Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi inaugurated the ceremony as the Chief Guest along with Guest of Minister Deepak Giri, Ambassador of India to Nepal Ranjit Rae. It will conclude on 23 December, 2016 at Bhrikuti Mandap, Pradarshini Marg. Launched on an initiative of South Asia Foundation (SAF), to promote crafts based bilateral relations and to enhance artisans based cultural exchange program between India and Nepal, this unique craft Festival exhibition cum lived demonstrations of various exclusive arte-facts developed by artisans of India as well as Nepal.
Former Governor of Chattisgarh (India) Sekhar Dutt and Dr. Sashank Koirala, Chairperson of SAF-Nepal also were present at the inauguration function along with other dignitaries.
The Craft Festival (INCF-2016) is sponsored by Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and is organized by South Asia Foundation and SAF-Nepal in association with Council of Handicrafts Development Corporations (COHANDS) and being supported by Embassy of India (Kathmandu), Embassy of Nepal (New Delhi), B. P. Koirala India-Nepal Foundation (BPKF), Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and Indian Cultural Centre, Embassy of India (Kathmandu). SABAH Nepal is also partnering with INCF-2016.
The exhibition cum sale includes more than 50 artisans/craft persons from India including 20 Schedule Caste Artisans, one of the most challenging communities of India along with more than 30 participating artisans from various parts of Nepal.
“Cross-cultural Festival like this is an opportunity for an effective tie-up and comprehensive collaboration between Nepal and India for a larger participation in the field of arts and crafts, thus providing a platform to the artisans to exchange ideas and explore a large cooperation and promote trade between the two countries,” said après release issued by Indian Embassy. “Nepalese organizations like Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN) and SAARC Business Association for Home Based Workers-Nepal Chapter what is popularly known as SABAH-Nepal have come forward in full strength to support this initiative of SAF and SAF-Nepal.”
Khadi-Nepal, a special Fashion show is being organized as a part of INCF-2016 where Khadi as well as other hand woven products, under the brand name “Khadi – Nepal” will be showcased in the fashion show to carry the message of self-reliance and sustainable model of development that is rural artisan based, which Gandhiji propagated in the world. The show will highlight the authenticity and implications that Khadi carries with its brand image Khadi-Nepal. The handmade products by Baruwa-SAF Women Agriculture Co-operative Society Ltd. , a co-operative society being initiated by South Asia Foundation & South Asia Foundation-Nepal will be carried along with the ensembles of Khadi at the Show.
The Khadi-Nepal fashion event took place at Park Village Resort, Budhanilkanta, and Kathmandu in the evening of December 19, 2016 at 7 PM. The Fashion show will engage couture designs of Indian Designer Nida Mahmood and SABAH-Nepal & Pulchowk3 from Nepal where Nepalese and Indian models will share the same platform. The initiative is strongly being supported by the Zonta Club of Kathmandu as the club along with SAF-Nepal is setting up a Khadi based micro-enterprise under the brand name of Khadi-Nepal and a community Centre at Baruwa Village in Sidhupalchowk. The Village is one of the worst affected villages after the devastating earthquake that had catastrophic impact in Nepal.
An exclusive Buyer-Seller Meet would also be organized as a part of the Festival will certainly enhance bilateral relationship and have greater exchange of trade that could be beneficial to the crafts sector like the past editions of the Festival. Incidentally Nepal is frequented by large number of European tourists and other foreigners and large number of Nepalese workforce is also working in India.
A design development seminar cum workshop will be conducted by Asit Kumar Raha, SAF-Design Consultant who will be engaging artisans and SABAH-Nepal home based workers to introduce new design element and design trend to familiarize the artisans with market friendly products.
It is an added advantage that the Festival is being supported by both the Embassy of India, Kathmandu as well as Embassy of Nepal, New Delhi which itself would give a big boost to this Craft Festival. The India-Nepal Folk Crafts Festival would be an important milestone in the immediate neighborhood of India that enjoys a strong bond with the country in every aspect.