Chandigarh, November 16 – Historically Panipat town of Haryana is known for three battles, but today its identity is for achievements in the field of handicrafts and handloom sector. The artisans and the handloom units, displaying their products at Haryana Pavilion in IITF-2011, New Delhi are particularly encouraged, because the theme of the fair is ‘Indian Handicrafts – Magic of Gifted Hands’. Panipat town produces handicraft and handloom goods worth Rs. two thousand crore in a year.
Vishnu handlooms, PCIS limited has displayed its tapestry products (wall hangings) at the Pavilion. Its proprieter Khem Raj Sunderyal is a well-known artisan, who received Sant Kabir award in 2009. The State Government has given him a project of Rs. 6 lakh for preparing ten tapestry items, out of which five will be given to the Government and the rest he will sell in the market. Khem Raj told that he has 15 handlooms, where table mats, door mats etc. are prepared. He receives orders worth Rs. 20 – 25 lakh in a year from the exporters. Most of the raw material is available in Panipat itself. Some items are purchased from Ludhiana.
Mr Khem Raj told that after retiring from Government of India as Technical Superintendent, he started own work of weaving. He has also been honoured with National Award for preparing woolen jamdani shawls. He is also invited as Visiting Lecturer by Fine Arts College, New Delhi, where he teaches the art of weaving to the students. For his tapestry, generally he prepares the designs on the basis of paintings of famous painters like M.F.Hussain and Amar Nath Sehgal.
Government of India has also established a Weavers Service Centre at Panipat. Since 1975, the Cente is providing technical help to the weavers and preparing new designs for the exporters. With the contribution of this Centre, today the handicraft and handloom products of Panipat are in demand not only in the country, but abroad also.
Haryana Carpet Manufacturing Association also has a stall in the Pavilion. The Vice President of the Association, Mr Surjeet Narwal told that Association has 100 members, who prepare hand tufted woolen carpets and Shaiggi carpets also. One artisan can prepare 40 sqft. of carpet in a day. The association is manufacturing products worth Rs. 400-500 crore in a year, which are generally taken by exporters.
There are small units also displaying their products in the Pavilion. About 8-10 workers are engaged in their units, where towels, bath mats, bed sheets, bed covers, cushon like items are prepared.
The artisan Sobha Ram from village Garhsarnai prepares terracotta show pieces like bowls, drum beater, huqqa, tortoise, small surahi etc., which attract the customers. Sobharam told that with the help of his three children, he is able to produce goods worth Rs. 2 lakh in a year, which he goes to sell in the exhibitions.
Anita Shastri has displayed the work of hand embroidery on lady suits. In her factory at Panipat 40-50 workers are working, where goods worth Rs. 50 lakh are produced in a year. Anita has been honoured with State award for hand embroidery work. Her husband Ram Prakash also has received State award for preparing Punja Dari carpets.