V. Vishwanath of Andhra Pradesh is worried about the poor sales at Bali yatra.
The 35-year-old artisan deals with lamp sheds and wall hanging made of leather. This is for the first time that he has set up a kiosk at the National level Handicrafts Exhibition, sponsored by Union ministry of textiles’ development commissioner (handicrafts), at Bali yatra.
“I had come here with the hope that Bali yatra would offer me a good business opportunity and platform for other traders to showcase their talent. But it’s been a few days now and the overall business has not yet been satisfactory,” said Vishwanath.
The artisan claimed that the leather lamp sheds were a new product that had come up to support the families engaged in traditional shadow puppetry in Andhra Pradesh. The product cost ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 2,000, and usually, the artisans do a business of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh in fairs and exhibitions in various parts of the country.
Faiyaz Ahmed, 35, another trader from Badgaon in Jammu and Kashmir, also claimed that there had been little response from visitors towards purchasing stoles, dress materials and shawls. He said:
“The demonetisation is to be blamed for poor sales as visitors are giving us 500 and 1,000-rupee notes which we are not accepting.”
He said it usually took three to four days to make a woollen shawl or stole that was sold at prices ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 4,000.
Nodal officer Subrat Das also admitted that the demonetisation was adversely affecting overall sales at Gandhi Shilpa Bazar.
“The total sales registered by 100 kiosks set up by traders and artisans from various parts of the country stood close to Rs 10 lakh in the past two days,” said Das.
Official sources said the traders had registered a record business of Rs 1.4 crore during Bali yatra last year.
Not only Gandhi Shilpa Bazar, business of various self-help groups and other traders at Pallishree mela, hosted by the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society, has also been the lowest in the past two days.
Last year, the total business in the first two days by traders at the mela stood at Rs 1.9 crore, while this year it was restricted to Rs 1.10 crore.
“We hope that the business volumes will increase in the next few days of the fair,” said the society’s executive officer Bipin Rout.
Courtesy: The Telegraph