An unanticipated positive outcome of the health pandemic as well as the pressure to promote the indigenous production of holiday gifts, trinkets and artefacts has been a resumption in the demand and sale of Indian rakhi, unlike in recent years when the Chinese products had practically dominated the market. .
According to trade estimates, around 50 crore rakhis, attached to the wrists of the brothers to mark Rakshabandhan with a promise to protect the sister, are sold in the country.
Shantmanu, commissioner for craft development, told Outlook this year there has been an increase in demand for Indian festive products in the country, which has helped boost domestic production.
“In the past two months, since the government resumed its activities of promoting crafts through exhibitions held across the country, we have started to book at least two stalls to promote products for the most popular festival. close in this region, ”Shantmanu said.
The encouraging response has spurred plans by the Union Textiles Ministry to promote indigenous craftsmanship not only for exports but also for domestic consumption. The ministry annually organizes around 300 exhibitions across the country in various towns and villages.
Along with government efforts, manufacturers and traders have also done their part to revive the domestic manufacture of handicrafts, especially the products which are part of various festivals like Janmashtami idols, Ganesh chaturthi, etc.
Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary of the Confederation of All Indian Traders (CAIT), said the trade lobby has partnered with women living in slum settlements, working in Anganwadi and also unemployed people to make rakhis using only Indian material.
“With the cooperation of these women, millions of rakhis have been made over the past month and a half under the mentorship of over 40,000 CAIT member trade associations,” says Khandelwal.
A peculiarity of these rakhis was that they had special characteristics representing the place of origin like the khadi rakhi made in Nagpur, the Sanganeri art rakhi in Jaipur, the seed rakhi in Pune, the wool rakhi in Satna in Madhya Pradesh, bamboo rakhi of tribal items in Jamshedpur, tea leaf rakhi in Assam, jute rakhi in Kolkata, silk rakhi in Mumbai, date palm rakhi in Kerala, pearl rakhi in Kanpur, rakhi d Madhubani and Maithili art in Bihar, stone rakhi in Pondicherry, flower rakhi in Bangalore, etc.
Traders hope this attempt to eliminate the dominance of Chinese products in holiday season gifts and other artifacts will help revive India’s cottage and village industries and improve the livelihoods of millions of people. .
“We hope to replicate the success of rakhi in our Diwali diya and other festive product sales,” Khandelwal said.
For in-depth, objective and above all balanced journalism, click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine