Handmade products

Handmade products
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Madubani paintings, dogra work, pattachitra… If these words excite you then the Bengaluru Dastkar Bazaar 2024, which started in Bengaluru on May 15 should be your destination. The bazaar, which will go on till May 21, features craft groups from across 25 States.

Of the 160 plus groups, 40 % are coming to Bengaluru for the first time, says Shelly Jain, Head of Programs and Personnel-Dastkar. “Some of the languishing crafts also find representation in this edition.”

Though she does not have a craft history or background, Shelly says she found herself associated with crafts for 27 years. “When I joined, I told myself I will work for a year and leave. There was something that kept me hooked. I continued ahead and never looked back. I found satisfaction, which kept me motivated. That is how my journey with the craft world started.”

The bazaar includes handcrafted textiles, jewellery, home and décor, furnishings, accessories and wellness products. From the West comes phad and miniature painting, handloom weaving, dabu, bagru and Sanganeri block printing, lacquer work, meenakari, lehriya and bandhani, and handcrafted musical Instruments. From the north there are crafts like bhil, gond and thangka painting, Banarasi, Chanderi, patola, paithani and jhamdani.

There is also leather puppet painting, ikkat, Channapattana toys and crochet from the south. The Eastern sector brings Madhubani and pattachitra painting, batik, kantha embroidery, dhokra and fusion art.

Bengaluru, Shelly says, is a good place for the bazaar. “People here appreciate and value crafts. They are patient in every way, including waiting in line to pay for their purchases. It is a pleasure to be here every time. We also have dance and music at the bazaar. This year we have brought the rouf dance from Kashmir. There will be craft demonstrations and workshops. We also have some award-winning crafts people like Mohammad Dilshad (chanderi ), Narsingh Das (meenakari ), Chaman Siju (khadi ) and AK Textiles (sanganer block printing).”

Dastkar was established in 1981. “Our core focus is on uplifting the traditional Indian craftspeople, particularly women, and those based in rural areas. Dastkar achieves its mission through collaborative efforts with governmental, non-governmental, and foreign agencies, serving as an advisor, assessor, and source of support for craft groups,” says Shelly.

The Bazaar is also pet friendly, says Shelly.

The Bazaar is on at Jayamahal Palace Hotel, till May 21. It is open from 11am to 7pm. Entry is free to all.