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Handicraft workshop aims to solve artisan's problems
Dec '08
A one day workshop called 'Sui Dhaga', or 'Needle & Thread' when translated in to English, was organised in the capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad. It was attended by designers, experts, artisans and craft lovers. The workshop was organised with the specific purpose of providing an opportunity to master artisans to discuss their problems with experts and seek their opinion and views.

The biggest problem citied by the artisans was access to credit which they said was the biggest hurdle in their quest to expand and discussed the assistance needed by them in design and marketing, in order to compete in international markets. To the question of availing credit, the experts have suggested that the artisans should approach Small Business Finance Corporation (SBFC) and other government bodies.

They also suggested that this location, Lok Virsa be made a permanent venue for displaying arts and crafts of the artisans to hold exhibitions and that it be given out to artisans on a rotational basis as this will help them be in continuous contact with experts who can then guide them in improving their designs, quality control, provide marketing guidance and also advise on packaging.

The Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage) works towards preserving the living folk and traditional culture of Pakistan. It has a large display of embroidered costumes, jewellery, woodwork, metalwork and block printing. Lok Virsa Heritage Reference Library is equipped with resource data on arts and crafts.

The Lok Virsa is also considering letting out the shops on its premises to the artisans on a rotational basis to encourage the handicraft trade and help in the survival of dying crafts. The institute is also considering having a 'Lok Virsa' stamp seal on quality handicraft products on the lines of UNESCO, which is expected to increase the buyer's confidence in the products as well as encourage exports.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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