March 3, 2021 1:30:15 am
Several men and women from the Dard Aryan tribe of Ladakh and a group of monks from the famed Hemis monastery could be seen walking amidst stalls displaying Rajasthani churan, Madhubani paintings and Lucknowi chikan kurtas at the second edition of Enchanting Ladakh, the annual art and craft fair organised by the Union territory’s Department of Industries and Commerce at Dilli Haat.
The event was inaugurated Tuesday evening by Ladakh L-G Radha Krishna Mathur in the presence of MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Feroz Ahmed Khan of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil, Tashi Gyalson of LAHDC, Leh, and senior officials from the Union Ministry of Textiles.
While the monks invoked the gods during a special prayer held at the inauguration, visitors were also offered a chance to dress up in the colourful costumes of the Dard Aryans for Rs 50 or get pictured with them.
As many as 76 artisans from the UT, along with their karigars, will stay put in the capital over the next two weeks, selling their uniquely crafted handloom and handicraft products, which include pashmina shawls (called Lena), clay models, dry fruits, hand-knitted items and seabuckthorn products.
Tsewang Paljor, deputy secretary of Ladakh’s Department of Culture, who is part of the organising committee, said, “We have got artisans from all corners of Leh and Kargil, making sure no unique product or art form is left behind.”
Paljor said they made sure no well known brands were brought here. In fact, preference was given to rural artisans and craftsmen. Some of them have also brought karigars along so that more products can be created on demand. All the proceeds will go directly to the artisans and the UT administration is taking care of all their boarding and lodging in Delhi.
During his address at the inaugural event, Gyalson said, “This is the second edition. When we conducted this event for the first time last year, just before the lockdown, we didn’t record very good sales. But we were told the aim is not to push for sales but to ensure the newly carved UT gets adequate exposure on a national level.”
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