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Dastkar Delhi monsoon mela: Crafts for the people


Rarely can a craft festival straddle both responsibilities with equal ease: stay concerned about the interests of craftsmen and give a vivid experience to visitors.

Soon to be launched in the capital, Dastkar Delhi Monsoon Mela is one such endeavour that will bring 80 crafts under one banner.

Sonal Khada, Communications Manager, Dastkar, speaks with The Morning Standard on how the fair differs from its previous editions.

“Until last year, we focused on exhibiting only interior design products. Having replaced that with the Monsoon Mela, this year we are targeting a vast collection of clothing, footwear, bags and jewelry.

Crafts and craftspeople, workshops and cultural performances, and cuisines from across the country at Dastkar Delhi Monsoon Mela. | ( Photo | Dastkar Facebook )

Apart from products, we have also worked with well-renowned Kalighat painters Mamuni Chitrakar and Sameer Chitrakar from West Bengal in order to create a set of hand painted umbrellas for our display at the mela.”

But the fair, apart from providing a hearty shopping experience to the visitor, also focuses on enriching people with cultural aspect of different Indian states.

A number of craft workshops will have craftspeople teach various embroideries and natural dyeing processes. Visitors can enjoy various cultural performances from North East India, especially Assam and Manipur. Even food enthusiasts will get the chance to taste several authentic Indian cuisines.

Shelly Jain, Head of programme and People Team, speaks about the focus of the organisation.

“At Dastkar, we ensure complete focus on crafts and craftspeople. To be able to exhibit at fair, participants must work with traditional craftskills.

In case of contemporary designers, we ensure that the products are being produced via collaborative efforts between designers and craftspeople.

All machine-made goods are barred from the exhibition, and we focus on everything handmade.

We support participants who do not have a retail outlet by promoting and exhibiting their work at our mela. Hence, one of the main criteria is having no retail outlet within Delhi and NCR.”

At Nature Bazaar, New Delhi
On  August 22 - September 2