The 40th edition of IHGF- Delhi Fair Autumn 2015 – the world’s largest fair of Indian handicrafts and gifts – was declared open by Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Textiles (Independent Charge) at the world class venue of India Expo Centre and Mart at a colourful ceremony on 14th October, 2015. The fair is being organised by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).
Vimla Batham, MLA, Gautam Budh Nagar; Dr. SK Panda, Secretary (Textiles), Ministry of Textiles; Rama Raman, Chairman- GNIDA and Shri Alok Kumar, Development Commissioner(Handicrafts) also graced the inaugural ceremony.
Inaugurating the 40thedition of IHGF-Delhi Fair Autumn, 2015, Gangwar said handicrafts of India have a distinct image and that Indian handicrafts can be further promoted through fairs of this kind. He further said that exporting community should innovate and come up with new products so that buyers who visit IHGF-Delhi fair take back the impression that they these kinds of products cannot be sourced from anywhere else. He added that India has a treasure trove of raw materials, craftsmanship and ethnic traditions and systems, and that we need to reorient to bring innovation and novelty. He applauded EPCH for adding newness to the fair by expanding the fair area and constructing new halls.
The Minister pointed out that handicrafts sector provides employment to more than 7 million artisans and craftspersons who are the backbone of the sector. He said that Government and exporting community need to work together for the promotion of this sector.
Dr. Panda congratulated the handicrafts sector for achieving very good growth figures. He said that handicrafts sector not only earns foreign exchange but also provides livelihood to large number of artisans. He urged the exporting community to look at growth in an inclusive way and adopt villages so that the livelihood of the artisans who are backbone of the handicrafts sector can be improved.
Dr. Panda said that under the visionary leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, a new chapter has been opened for empowering people with skiil, self-esteem and pride. He said that several new initiatives have been launched, giving particular attention to making development participative and inclusive. He said that as a part of these, the Ministry of Textiles has initiated several measures for promotion of textiles industry in general and assisting the youth, women and disadvantaged segments of the society in particular.
The Textiles Secretary said that while assistance is being provided under various schemes, it is necessary for the handicraft artisans to feel proud of their occupation and contribution, and come forward to avail benefits under various ongoing schemes. This would enable them to produce quality product with new design as per market demand. He said that it is beyond doubt that this would increase their earning, enable them to lead a comfortable life with dignity, and at the same time, provide continuity to the unique place Indian handicrafts have in the world.
Gangwar also released the Fair Directory as well as a book written by Dr. Panda titled "Promotion of Handicrafts for Inclusive & Sustainable Development – Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas".