KATHMANDU, Jan 15: South Asian Festival on Handicrafts has concluded in Kathmandu on Sunday.
The three-day festival, which was organized by Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF), had begun on Friday.
The main objective of the festival was to explore the possibilities of revival and market expansion of the exquisite arts and crafts that have been basically limited to the village folks, according to the organizers.
The event focused on opportunities and challenges faced by the traditional handicraft business in the global market. Besides showcasing a wide range of products made by village artisans and conflict victims under the brand name Nepal Ko, the event also highlighted the need for the collective effort for the promotion of traditional craftsmanship that faces threat of extinction from machines.
“Machines can easily wipe you out. They do what you can do in a cost-effective way,” Rajiv Sethi, chairperson of Asian Heritage Foundation, India, said, addressing the concluding ceremony. He added that if consumers do not give due recognition to the handicraft products and press for preserving their unique identity, nothing can stop machines from taking over the ancient craftsmanship.
Similarly, in his speech, Minister for Industry Sunil Bahadur Thapa talked about the Making Market Works for the Conflict-Affected Project of PAF Nepal which is supported by Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) and managed by the World Bank.
The project is being implemented in seven districts in Nepal.
Thapa further said that the project has succeeded in finding a durable solution for poverty alleviation.
More than 100 Nepali artisans from rural, excluded and conflict-affected communities showcased and sold their products in the festival.
Arts and crafts from India and Pakistan were also up for sale during the festival, according to the organizers.