Artisans, textile stalwarts feted at gala event

New Delhi: Against the mesmerising backdrop of the Sawan Pavilion in Delhis historic Red Fort, the Ministry of Textiles on Saturday honoured stalwarts of the textiles sector, as well as 16 artisans who have enriched the handloom world.

The ‘Special Recognition Award in the Textile Sector’ was conferred by Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani to acknowledge the contribution of each of the awardees in furthering the cause of the Indian textiles tradition and their contribution to the textile Industry.

Among the awardees were craft revivalist and textile conservationist Madhu Jain, Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) President Sunil Sethi, Kiran D. Malali, Ramesh Devangan, Vijaya Kumar, Suresh Kotak and Mani Chinnaswamy.

Jain, who has worked with weaver communities over a 32-year-long career, was honoured for introducing bamboo fibre as a viable alternative textile into India.

“Being acutely conscious of environmental concerns, I’ve always been fiercely into developing sustainable, alternative textiles,” Jain said in a statement to IANS.

“With India being the second-largest producer of bamboo in the world, I immediately recognised that India is well positioned to grab global ascendency in bamboo-yarn production. My dream is to help India realise that,” she added.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Textiles to celebrate the achievements in the sector over the last four and a half years.

The event, called ‘Artisans Speak’, was a showcasing of India’s glorious legacy of textiles.

Curated by FDCI, India’s apex fashion body, the show saw participation from designers Anita Dongre, Anju Modi, Gaurang Shah, Rahul Mishra, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Rohit Bal, who showcased traditional wear in all its glory.

Out of the 16 artisans who were honoured at the event, eight are Padma Shri awardees, and others are recipients of the Sant Kabir Award which the Indian government confers on outstanding weavers.