Handmade brass utensils: Sidhu announces Rs 10 lakh to revive ‘dying art’
Promises: Says Punjab govt will go all out to revive the only Indian craft form to find a place in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Extending a helping hand to the ‘dying art’ of handmade brass and copper utensils, Punjab tourism and culture minister Navjot Singh Sidhu visited the Thatheras — craftsmen at Jandiala Guru — and announced a corpus fund of Rs 10 lakh for the revival and existence of this art, while adding that money will never be a dearth for these craftsmen at Jandiala Guru.
The minister, accompanied by Amritsar deputy commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, director of Punjab tourim Shiv Dular Singh and students of Enactus Sree Ram College of Commerce, went through the narrow streets of traditional bazaars here where the Thatheras carve these utensils and assured whole-hearted support to them.
The district administration of Amritsar and Enactus Shri Ram College of Commerce had taken up a project called ‘Virasat’ to uplift the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru in Amritsar district, who hammer brass, copper and kansa into beautiful utensils.
“It is a matter of pride that this is the only Indian craft form to find a place in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. These people are our pride and today I promise them that this state government stands rock solid with them and will never let this art fade away,” Sidhu said.
Sidhu, who sat with the Thatheras appreciating the making of the utensils, said, “Along with a corpus fund of Rs 10 lakh, we will give a shop to the Thatheras in the city where they can showcase their utensils. Money will never be a dearth for them and as soon as more funds are required, we will release.”
He further promised that the utensils will be showcased at the world -level and all efforts would be made to strengthen the artisans.
Sidhu said that so far, these products have been showcased at different exhibitions under the brand named ‘P-Tal’.
The DC said that this craft form flourished during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. However, due to low income resulting from competition from aluminium products as well as low cost factory made utensils, it has become an increasingly difficult task for Thatheras to earn good income from this craft.