Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board (MPTB) has decided to open ten art & craft centres at different places in the state under Responsible Souvenir Development Project to promote the state’s eco-friendly handloom and handicraft items and tourist destinations across the world. The places include Bhopal, Khajuraho, Orchha, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Gwalior, Shivpuri, etc. The souvenirs are completely handmade with local motifs and have eco-friendly packaging.
The tourists can not only take handloom and handicrafts items but also see how artisans work at the centre by scanning through the QR code on Google. The project is running under Responsible Tourism Mission which aims to promote the art and craft of the state as well as to provide livelihood to local artisans and instill a sense of pride and confidence among the local community.
The initiatives will henceforth close the loop by presenting travellers a destination- specific responsible souvenir to take home with them. Manoj Kumar Singh, director skills, MPTB, told Free Press that they began the project in 2021 in Madla (Panna) and Dhamna (Chhatarpur) where handloom and handicrafts items, made of terracotta, wood are being produced by locals. ‘We got a huge response from both domestic and international tourists.
As a result, we have a demand-supply imbalance which is the reason for us to decide to open 10 more such centres in the state,’ he said. ‘We will open ten centres by March next year. The work of centres in Khajuraho, Gwalior, Shivpuri, Orchha is complete’ he added. He further said, ‘The project is being implemented in and around the villages selected under Rural Tourism. The activities of these villages will support each other.
A centre is being established at the village-level to provide local employment. It is managed by the committee, formed locally, to provide long-term sustainability while handholding support is provided by technical support organisations. ‘We have 159 trained artisans at the two centres and most of them are women who are earning their livelihood through this,” he said.
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