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30/05/2016 09:22am

WB Govt making efforts to enhance Sitalpati Industry of Cooch Behar

image WB Govt making efforts to enhance Sitalpati Industry of Cooch Behar

Kolkata, May 30 (KNN) The West Bengal government is making efforts by way of rural fairs, loans and more to boost the traditional – sitalpati industry consisting of micro and small enterprises from the region.

There are around 50,000 sitalpati makers living in Cooch Behar’s Natabari Assembly segment.

“The Trinamool Government’s efforts helped expand their market and improve living standards,” the party said in a release.

Local MLA Rabindranath Ghosh has been appointed as North Bengal Development Minister and the handicraft’s artisans are hoping for further boost to their traditional business.

Ghosh said that the government has special plans for sitalpati, or the cool-mats, one of the traditional handicrafts of Bengal that has started finding acceptance in the urban markets over the past few years.

“I have elaborate plans for the Sitalpati industry. Over the past five years, several hundred families got government loans and training for improving design of the diversified products,” he said.

The Mamata Banerjee government has organised rural fairs throughout the year, which have actually helped increase sales.

The two-storied sitalpati market was built at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore. Ghosh helped complete the project on a war footing.

A a large number of the craftsmen have been brought under various social security schemes the state government has launched for the craftsmen.

The population at more than a dozen of villages within Natabari constituency is entirely dependent on sitalpati and diversified products. Generally, the men slash green canes (muthra reed), locally called Mukta, into thin slices.

The women weave the slices. Besides the mats of various sizes, they also make bags of different sizes and designs, shoes, mobile covers, belts and showpieces.

“I plan to add floors and facilities at the Ghughumari weekly market, besides ensuring their products are made available through various government outlets across the state,” Ghosh added.


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