Shilpkala Utsav, an annual festivity of crafts, began at the Aga Khan Hal here on November 26 is set to go on till November 28. The fair is being organized by the All India Women's Conference (AIWC).
    
"Each year Shilpkala Utsav has been instrumental in economically empowering women artisans. We create a market and give access to customers for these artisans, upcoming women entrepreneurs and NGOs," says Ritu Singhal, convener of the utsav and AIWC Member in charge.
    
Organisers said the fair was to provide space to the women artisans free of cost without any middlemen and proceeds of the sales go directly to the women themselves.
    
Kalamkari textiles from Andhra Pradesh, embroidered shawls from Kashmir, ikat fabrics from Telengana, Tibetan dolls from Himachal Pradesh, miniature musical instruments from Delhi and blue pottery from Rajasthan are among the fare being exhibited.
    
Some of the participating NGOs at this year's fair include Purkal Stree Shakti Sadhna, Samoolam, Mahjila Umang, Auld Clan Welfare, SEWA Bharat and Tantuk Himalaya Pragati.
    
"AIWC organises this not-for-profit crafts bazaar annually to support women at grassroots level and also our network of branches across the country. We are unique because we do not charge the artisans anything,” says Veena Kohli, AIWC President.
    
"We give them a marketing platform and aim to help them create new design and adapt their skills in line with market trends," he added.
    
Craft demonstrations, mehandi and food stalls and performances by fold dancers are among the other highlights of the event.
    
The first 'Shilpkala Utsav' was held in 2001.

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