Tue, 21 Mar 2023

Kolkata /Ranchi (West Bengal/Jharkhand) [India] January 28 (ANI): With an aim to promote India's rich culture, art and crafts, the Airport Authority of India has taken the initiative to allot space to self-help groups at its airports for selling and showcasing the locally produced goods.

This step has been taken in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to encourage the talent of women artisans and craftsmen and provide them with the right opportunities. The name of this scheme is - "AVSAR", Airport as a Venue for Skilled Artisans of the Region.

Several operational airports have set aside 100-200 square feet for the stalls where Self Help Groups get access for up to 15 days.

Domestic and international passengers are supporting regional handicrafts men, artisans, and women by purchasing local goods right at the airports. About 27 airports run by the Airports Authority of India have so far allowed self-help groups to sell and display their own goods.

At one of the busiest airports in Eastern India, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, local craftsmen and artisans have been given stalls Under the AVSAR program. One can purchase items made by women artisans, such as handbags, scarves, stoles, shoes, cups, etc., as well as items that are connected to the culture of West Bengal.

Kona Mondal, a woman artisan at the stall said, "I never thought that I would get space at this airport. Both international and national passengers are buying my products".

A passenger and customer appreciated the initiative and said, "Especially products are very good and the costs are superb. Everyone can purchase them. I was just passing by and saw them and I really liked them. I bought several items".

In a similar manner, this program has been put into place at Bagdogra Airport, where a stall has been designated to promote products made by women themselves. It has developed into a major tourist destination. People can purchase handmade jewelry, items for the home, sarees, kurtis, handbags, toys, etc. here.

Sheetal Modi, a Passenger at Bagdogra Airport said, "The government has taken good initiative for women. Those who are living in rural areas were not able to showcase their talent. But now they can show their talent and they are earning also. Therefore, the government should take more such initiatives."Steps have been taken to support regional artists and craftspeople at Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi also, where handmade goods are on display in a variety of vibrant stalls. Local artisans appear excited to have this opportunity.

In addition to providing space at airports for self-help groups, AAI aids in the promotion and trade of regional folk arts, crafts, useful goods, and high-quality products from India. The success of the plan is evidenced by the rising foot traffic at these stalls.

Whenever you come to the airports, please do visit these stalls, encourage these self-help groups and help in the progress of the country. (ANI)

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