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Handicrafts sector – A rich but lost legacy
Mar '09
Nakshi Kantha embroidery workers
Nakshi Kantha embroidery workers
The handicrafts industry in each and every country has its roots in rich traditions built up over a few centuries. But if countries like India, Vietnam and Pakistan have a booming handicrafts business and respectable export growth rates, there are other countries like Bangladesh, which despite a rich legacy, still lurk in the shadows of their competitor countries.

Again, the traditional artisans in each and every country hail from rural and poor backgrounds, but it is these very craftsmen who have kept the flag of handicrafts flying high, despite a lot of tribulations faced by them, which includes government apathy and unfortunately are considered poor cousins of the textiles and garments sector.

Exports of handicrafts from Bangladesh account for just one percent of overall exports, while clothing constitutes 75 percent of the very same figures. On a global level, the contribution of the Bangladeshi handicrafts sector dips even further. Expert's advice setting up of workers cooperatives, which will enable the sectoral workers to organise themselves.

The second is to provide them financing and the third to help them source raw materials at cheaper rates and the last but not the least provide them the marketing wherewithal to showcase and sell their products at a domestic as well as global level. All these if implemented, would go a long way in reviving the rich traditional handicrafts of the country.

The starting point could be, concentrating on the already thriving embroidery handicrafts product; nakshi kantha, which commands a place among global handicrafts products for their rich and detailed embroidered work. Putting all the above in to action, should not be a hindrance if the government provides the necessary boost to the sector.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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