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Handicrafts sector source of empowerment for women, youth and disabled: Mukherjee

Handicrafts sector source of empowerment for women, youth and disabled: Mukherjee Surajkund, Feb 2 : The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 27th Surajkund International Crafts Mela at Surajkund today.

In his inaugural address, the President said this mela has become a sumptuous feast of colour, festivity, a manifestation of our nation's spirit and pride in its wealth of artistic talent and skills. This would be an occasion to showcase India's treasured diversity - its finest handlooms, handicrafts, fragrances and flavourful cuisine.

He hoped that the success of this event would motivate other States of India to organise similar melas.

The President said handicrafts and traditional arts represent our Indian way of life. The range of our nation's creativity is as diverse as its colourful people and their crafts.

"It is an embodiment of our aesthetics and our skilled craftsmanship. Our handicrafts and traditional arts are a highly decentralised activity, inspired by the local milieu and, in every case, based on local traditions, using local material and resources. These art forms have sustained generations, providing sustainable livelihood and socio-economic development at the grassroots. The Indian handicrafts industry has, over the years, contributed significantly to our nation's foreign exchange earnings. This sector has always been a source of empowerment of women, youth and the disabled," he said.

The Mela was first hosted at a very modest scale - on a small ground of about three acres in 1987. Today it spreads over 40 acres with the participation of crafts persons and weavers from all States of India and as many as 20 participant countries. (ANI)