Come July, shopping will be redefined at Kalagram, as rural artisans sell their handicraft items directly like in Dilli Haat.
Six years after it was conceptualised by the state industries ministry, three Kalagram centres — better known as urban marts — are all set to be inaugurated in Hazaribagh, Parasnath and Deoghar. The projects in Hazaribagh and Deoghar cost Rs 2 crore while the one in Parasnath is pegged at Rs 95 lakh.
"It indeed took a long time to complete the infrastructure at the three places. But once it is thrown open to the public, it will definitely be an added attraction to visit the state. The basic idea is to promote artisans and their handicraft and handloom through Jharcraft, an initiative of our department," said Dhirendra Kumar, the special secretary of the industries department.
The Dilli Haat in the national capital is a hub of craft and cultural activities, and has become a major attraction for tourists, especially foreigners.
Each of the Kalagram centres — prospective shopping destination for both domestic and foreign tourists — would be spread over two acres.
The inauguration of the marts is scheduled in July and the industries department is gearing up to select guests and choosing the final date.
According to the special secretary of the industries department, each Kalagram centre will have about 30 shops displaying the indigenous handicraft of the state. The artisans will also have full freedom to sell their products.
Like in Dilli Haat, the Kalagram centres will also have a food court with seven kiosks, an exhibition hall, a live demonstration counter and accommodation facilities for artisans. The marts will store handicraft items worth a minimum of Rs 3 lakh.
The Kalagram will be a kind of centralised market, which will not only provide a platform to artisans and weavers to display their products, but also create a space for people and art lovers to buy a variety of products from one place.
"We will first start these centres on an experimental basis. If they do well, we may plan extension units in other cities. As of now, the marts will be used for domestic purposes and will serve as a place to make people aware about the traditions of this tribal state," said Kumar.