Venue: Kisaan Haat, Andheria Modh
Date: 20-31 August, 2015
Dastkar recently organised a desert mela featuring artisans from the Thar desert – Rajasthan and Gujarat. The stalls displayed products such as mirror work from Gujarat, Bandhni from Rajasthan and pottery, rope furniture, bells and ornaments from this part of India. Additionally organic products such as pickles, honey, toiletries were also available. In the food zone we saw makeshift stalls that were selling food from this region.
Frankly, there were a lot of things that went against this fair. It was the stickiest time of the year and there are very few takers for outdoor events. Further, about 50% stalls were unoccupied.
That said, the crafts people Dastkar brings are extremely skilled in their trade. The way they practice their crafts-maintaining traditional styles-with contemporary twists to cater to market dynamics-is as art on its won. As a result we saw cowbells transformed to home accessory or the traditional Guajarati stitches moving on from ghaghras for the village belle to trendy jackets and clutches for the city fashionista. Thus, for the connoisseur, the weather, the small display or somewhat isolated location (the venue is off Chhatarpur Metro Station) were not deterrents. For the sake of the sellers, it would have of course been nice if the turnout was a little better.