Textiles Secretary, Ravi Capoor,inaugurated the 48th edition of the Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (IHGF) at the India Expo Centre & Mart at Greater Noida today. verseasbuyers from 110 countries are in India to source home, lifestyle, fashion, furniture and textiles products from around 3200 Indian exhibitors who are participating in the Fair that will be on from 16 – 20 October 2019.Textiles Secretary, Ravi Capoor, while speaking at the inaugural ceremony, urged the organisers of the IHGF-Delhi Fair to make all efforts to ensure that next year the Fair attracts over 10,000 exhibitors. He further said that with the skills of Indian artisans and the crafts heritage of India the handicrafts industry has the potential to achieve greater growth for not only the sector but for the artisans and the exporters and increase the handicrafts exports of India to Rs. 100,000 crore from the exiting Rs. 26,590 crore.Textiles Secretary further said the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) must explore the possibility of opening handicrafts parks in India and develop those parks as tourism and crafts centres. He welcomed the proposal of EPCH for setting up of handicrafts parks for apparel and handlooms and assured the support of the Textiles Ministry for setting up of apparel and handlooms parks by EPCH. Shifting of the production from small organized units to these parks will be beneficial for the small units as it will reduce overhead costs.
He also directed EPCH to include new segments in the IHGF-Delhi Fair for women entrepreneurs and new artisans and also ensure that the handicrafts industry works on a sustainable model where the entire production process will function as a zero waste manufacturing sector.Director General EPCH, Rakesh Kumar, said that effortsare being made by EPCH for sustainable development and preservation of environment by focusing on reduce, reuse and recycle at this edition of the Fair. Around 50 tonnes waste material like plastic, metal, wood and fabric are being reused to enhance and decorateIHGF-Delhi Fair 2019.Director General EPCH further informed that in order to reduce the usage of plastic, the Council has decided to do away with bottled water and instead is offering metal water bottles to the visitors and exhibitors which may be refilled at the water stations spread across the Fair venue. A 3 MW roof top solarenergy panel has been installed in the Fair to minimise carbon emissions.The IHGF-Delhi Fair 2019 will have knowledge seminars on various topics by expert faculties, fashion shows and ramp walks by models wearing fashion jewellery, accessories and utility items sourced from exhibitors at the Fair.EPCH is a nodal agency for promoting exports of handicrafts from the country to various destinations of the world and projecting India’s image abroad as a reliable supplier of high quality handicrafts goods and services. EPCH has set up Handicrafts Carpet Sector Skill Council which has set up the initiative VRIKSH, the Indian Timber Legality Assessment and Verification Scheme, to establish the chain of custody and legality of the wood which has further been mapped with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. VRIKSH ensures, encourages and supports sustainable development and encourages women entrepreneurs.Chairman EPCH, Ravi K. Passi and other senior officials of EPCH were present during the inaugural programme.