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Pondicherry will soon have a Arts and Crafts Village at Murungapakkam, modeled on the lines of the Dilli Haat in Delhi. Artists from all over the country will get a platform to make, showcase and sell handicrafts items under a single roof. This would also be an opportunity for cultural exchange among the artists.

Located on the banks of the Chunnambar backwaters and spread over 4 acres, the arts and crafts village can accommodate more than 50 artisans to stay and work at a time. It has 24 permanent stalls for artists, a demonstration and exhibition block to display the handicrafts of various artists, an open-air theatre, a conference hall, a workshop and a training centre.

The village which is expected to be a center for tourism activities is designed by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and developed by the Project cell of the Puducherry Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) at an estimated cost of INR 5.34 crore.

Puducherry tourism Minister P. Rajavelu recently met the Minister of State for Tourism Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi and invited him to inaugurate the arts and crafts village in Murungapakkam.

Ashok Panda, co-convener of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) said that arts and crafts village would be functioning throughout the year so that tourists can see the artists work in their natural environment and can interact with them and buy handicraft items directly from them. The stalls have no doors and will also be used for handicrafts exhibitions and melas round the year.

According to the Tourism Department, the village will empower the artists from various states towards a sustainable livelihood and it will be a place to display a variety of crafts like terracotta, handmade paper, antiques, studio pottery and handmade goods.

Handicrafts of artists from the village will also be put on exhibition at the crafts bazaar on the beach promenade here providing inter-connectivity between the bazaar and village and a boost to tourism in the city.


Text: A. Peter
Source: The Hindu, New Indian Express

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