Faridabad, Feb13: Showcasing a broad spectrum of leather wares, the 23rd Surajkund Crafts Mela has provided a global stage for leather craftsmen as well. They transform the raw leather of cattle hide into a wide range of fine leather products with a touch of artistic finery. These range from bags and shoes to lamp shades and wall hangings.
The Surajkund Mela has impressively arrayed a huge variety of such products. There are about 15 work huts exclusively hawking the leather products. And these craftspersons, both national and State awardees, are displaying their craft at the Mela. Their creations have not only gained prominence in the art world but have attracted various designers who use this art in their creations. Many modern day artists have been inspired by their craft and have infused similar creations in their work as well.
The platform of the Surajkund Mela has been extremely lucrative for V.Chinnanjaneyulu who hails from Andhra Pradesh and has mastered the art of leather puppetry. Carrying the tradition of his forefathers forward, he displays a variety of leather products like lamp shades, wall hangings and paintings. The imagery of birds, animals and plants is prominent in his work. He has a range of wall hangings which are made up of leather and beads. His creations, colourful and lively have gained immense popularity among the visitors. The impressive use of colours has impelled many visitors to stop and appreciate his art of transforming leather into beautiful decorative items.
State Award recipient, he has made his debut at the Surajkund mela and has already gained lot of exposure outside his home city. He feels that the stage of Surajkund mela will bring him various lucrative deals in future. He plans to present a puppet show at the mela next year where all puppets will be made up of leather.
Variety of ladies and gents `Kohlapuri Chappals’ are at display at the stall of National Safai Karamcharis Finance Development Corporation. This corporation is under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and enhances the economic independency of the Scavengers and Safai Karamcharis and their dependents throughout India. Their traditional footwear of Kohlapur has accumulated a lot of popularity among the visitors of the mela. Their work hut is attracting a lot of visitors and buyers alike. They feel that the platform of Surajkund crafts mela has given them publicity and they would like to exhibit their creations in coming years as well.
Bags, wallets and ladies purses made of leather are neatly displayed at stall number 345. It has gained tremendous popularity among the womenfolk. Santosh Kumar, main craftsperson of this stall, feels that his products cater to a large group of buyers. His products mainly dominate the markets of Jabalpur and Indore. He pointed out that Surajkund crafts mela gives him a high podium to put up his creations. He has trained several unemployed youth the tricks of his art and feels that he wants to further expand his craft which can benefit maximum people in the society.
Durga Rani proudly displays her National Merit Certificate in stall no. 70. She has been awarded for her impressive work in `Tilla jutti’. This traditional Punjabi footwear is a craze among young and old ladies alike. Her work in footwear is completely handwoven and the use of a variety of colours makes it all the more impressive. Her son, Bansi Lal, has also displayed his craft at the Indian Festival in Dubai. He says that people abroad highly appreciate Indian craft and the international platform that 23rd Surajkund Crafts Mela provides to Indian craftspersons is extremely motivating. This is the second time he has made his presence at the Surajkund Mela and this exposure has attracted a lot of big opportunities for him.
The platform to display their creations at the Mela has infused lot of self- confidence in these craftspersons. People from all over the country come to Surajkund Crafts Mela and appreciate the art of these artisans. It is heartening to see that their work is being praised among the works of international artists as well.
A delegation of 12 senior officers from Sri Lanka visited the 23rd Surajkund Crafts Mela today, to study the functioning and set-up of the Surajkund Crafts Mela for exploring the possibilities for organizing such art and crafts Mela in Sigiriya, one of the ancient cities in the Central Province Sri Lanka somewhere in the month of April, 2009
Later in the day, colourful dance performances were staged by the artists of the theme State, Madhya Pradesh at Natyashala. These dancers performed on the folk dances like Rajwadi of Jhabua, Paniharin of Malwa, Badhai of Bundelkhand and Maihar Band of Maihar. Mr Subhash Gosh also enthralled the audience with his classical and western fusion music presentation. Chairman of National Crafts Council, Sri Lanka Mr Buddhi Keerthisena was the chief guest on this occasion and was accompanied by other officers of the delegation from Sri Lanka and Haryana Tourism.
The results of the photography competition organized by the Surajkund Crafts Authority was declared today evening, in the professional category of photography competition Mr Phol S Girota of New Delhi won the first prize, Mr Mukesh Mondal and Mr Gurmukh Singh Salh of Faridabad won second and third prizes respectively. In the amateur category of painting competition, Ms Asha Singh of Faridabad won Rs first prize and Mr Rajinder Kumar Wadhwa of Gaziabad and Mr Ajay Prasad of New Delhi won the second prize.