Meteka products at NEDFi Haat

Staff Reporter

 GUWAHATI, March 13 – The eco-friendly handicraft products made from water hyacinth (meteka) are now available at the NEDFi Haat, Ambari, Guwahati. The Water Hyacinth Craft Gallery-cum-Demonstration Centre at NEDFi Haat was inaugurated recently by UK Sangma, Secretary, NEC in the presence of BP Muktieh, CMD, NEDFi.

The initiative, which was started by NEDFi in a small way in the year 2008, is now supported by the NEC under a three-year project commencing from the year 2010-11.

The project involves capacity building of 1000 artisans and facilitating them with the market linkage. During the year 2010-11, 200 artisans were trained through eight different programmes conducted in Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. To facilitate advance training, a group of 25 people were deputed to the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad for a three- week programme in the month of December, 2010. The programme helped in incorporating better design and also inimproving productivity. These 25 artisans are now facilitating handhold support to other artisans for improvement of their products, said a statement.

The Water Hyacinth Gallery at NEDFi Haat will facilitate display and sale of the products produced by the artisans. The customers can buy the products from thegallery and the price she/he pays will be forwarded to the artisans.

The centre is equipped with flattening machine, looms, stitching machine, colouring dyes apart from the moulds used for different products. A master artisan will man thecentre who will also guide the artisans in respect to the quality and pricing of the products.

“The project is supporting the individual artisans to participate in different exhibitions, whether it is in small towns or in big cities. Exclusive exhibitions on water hyacinth are also held at NEDFi Haat from time to time to promote the craft. The participation has helped not only to sell the products but also to popularize the same among the customers, creating future market demand,” the statement mentioned.

The Water Hyacinth Craft Gallery at the 1st floor of NEDFi Haat is expected to provide a permanent platform for marketing of the products. The products displayed in thegallery include varieties of bags, baskets, laundry bins, caps among others, apart from the beautiful jewellery made from the water hyacinth.