Handloom weavers demanded government patronisation for traditional handloom products and sought support for establishing an effective platform for promoting and selling the products.
While talking to New Age at the ongoing three-day Heritage Handloom Festival at Khazana Gardenia Grand Hall in Gulshan, weavers and artisans demanded government support and stressed the need for a distribution network so that the products can fetch good prices at home and abroad.
The festival has been jointly organised by Small and Medium Enterprises Foundation and Association of Fashion Designers of Bangladesh.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith inaugurated the festival as the chief guest on Friday. Cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor, SME Foundation managing director M Safiqul Islam and AFDB president Mantasha Ahmed, among others, were present at the inauguration ceremony.
Thirty-five stalls are displaying traditional handloom items like Jamdani, Tangail Taant, Sirajganj Taant, Nakshi Kantha (embroidered quilt), Nakshi Kantha Taant, Banarasi and others at the festival.
‘It will greatly benefit the weavers if the government and other non-government organisations come forward to support traditional handloom products and help create an effective market for selling the products’, said Maksuda Hasnat, proprietor of Jamalpur-based Shatadal Hastashilpa.
Narayanganj-based Jamdani weaver Kabir Hossain added, ‘though our products fetch high prices at Dhaka and abroad, the weavers get little benefit. We need a distribution network that will benefit the weavers’.
Organisers, however, are hopeful that the festival would help the weavers promote their products. ‘The festival aims to help the artisans and weavers. We hope they would use the festival as a platform to promote their products’, said Mantasha Ahmed, president of Association of Fashion Designers of Bangladesh.
Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, in his speech, termed handloom products as cultural heritage. ‘We have to make efforts to revive the handloom industry. Steps have to be taken to popularise the products’.
The festival will remain open for all till 8pm today.
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