Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje hopes the ongoing Rajasthan Heritage Week (RHW), aimed at boosting the 'Handmade in Rajasthan' brand, scales the global popularity of the Jaipur Literature Fest (JLF).Like the literary fest which brings national and international names from the literary world to the Pink City, RHW has attracted some foreign names like Bangladeshi designer Bibi Russell, Sri Lanka-based designer Ajai Vir Singh and Lars Andersson all the way from New York.To a question by IANS on the idea behind amalgamating foreign sensibilities with that of the weavers, Raje said: "Like we have the Literature Festival... Look at how it started and where it is today."It is a globally well-known festival. We hope that the same way... 'Handmade In Rajasthan' goes to those heights."
Raje, who attended the opening day showcase of a line-up of designers was happy to see how the vibrancy of her state's colours; weaves like Kota and Khadi; as well as techniques like bandhej and leheriya, were interspersed with modern as well as traditional silhouettes to appeal to people of different generations.She is especially happy for the weavers."There is talent in the hands of these weavers. If they work like this, they won't just earn their bread and butter, but they will also be able to make a mark for themselves."It is with this dream that in 2006, we brought Bibi Russell. I am very glad to see that after her, people like Prasad Bidapa, Rajeev Sethi, Rohit Bal and others are present here to encourage us."It means the dream was a right dream. I am very glad that the youth of Rajasthan is enjoying the creations," Raje added.
At the three-day RHW -- a part of a textile development programme for traditional textile weavers of the state -- there's a melange of designers and seven award-winning weavers, who are showcasing their works.From names like Ritu Kumar, Puja Arya, Hemant Trivedi and Abraham & Thakore to young talent like Pallavi Jaipur and the team behind women's formal wear brand Kaaryah, there's a variety of designs catering to men and women who like a nouveau touch to age-old techniques.The event, which started on Thursday and will conclude on Saturday, also has a crafts market to attract fashion and style aficionados.