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Seven days into the Hathkargha Mela – State Handloom Expo (SHE), an event aimed at promoting traditional handloom and handicrafts, participants have lauded the expo despite challenges with low buyer turnout.

The expo, which commenced on February 2, will run until February 15, 2024.

Asung, overseeing the ongoing expo and representing the Department of Industry and Commerce, mentioned that more than 100 people have been attending per day since the expo commenced on February 2nd at the Imkongmeren Sports Complex. The Nagaland Directorate of Industries and Commerce organized the expo under the National Handloom Development Programme (NHDP), sponsored by the Development Commissioner Handlooms, Union Ministry of Textiles.

According to Asung, despite facing minor challenges such as inclement weather conditions, this edition of the expo is considered one of the best in Mokokchung’s history.

MD Amir, a handloom carpet seller from Kohima, stated that he has been able to sell 2-3 items on average per day. He emphasized the expo’s benefit in terms of potential future orders, despite the lower-than-expected turnout.

Janmoni from Assam, specializing in handbags made of rugs, expressed that sales have been slightly lower than anticipated. She shared that while their organization in Assam used to earn Rs 1500-3000 per day on average; they have managed to sell about Rs 5000 worth over the past eight days at the expo. She remains hopeful for better outcomes in the future.

Pangerchila from Dimapur reported selling about 20-30 pieces of her items per day, including Ao Naga shawls, designed mekhalas, traditional mufflers, neckties, necklaces, and more. She highlighted the increased sales opportunities afforded by participating in expos across the state.

Also Read: “Our traditional attires are not cheap products” | Low buyer turnout challenges perception of traditional attire’s worth

Chonbeni from Dimapur, showcasing Lotha traditional wear, echoed similar sentiments, appreciating the market visibility provided by the expo.

Maonginla, President of the Jangpetkong Tetsur Telongjem Mokokchung Unit, oversaw a stall representing women from nine villages. She shared that during peak sales periods, they achieved remarkable success, with sales totaling Rs 10,000 in a single day. However, she lamented the challenge of low buyer turnout.

The Jangpetkong Tetsür Telongjem stall sells items ranging from Ao Naga traditional attire to handicrafts, handlooms, and other home-based products such as pickles, which they have introduced to solely empower the womenfolk of the nine villages economically.

“Our women have many talents, but we did not have a market before, and selling products in the market was also difficult. Therefore, expos like this have been such a positive development,” she expressed.

Mokokchung Times

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