SAMBALPUR: In a bid to promote local handicraft products, the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) has decided to establish a crafts emporium in the city. Laxmipriya Store, located outside the office of District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) here, will be converted into a full-fledged and exclusive crafts emporium. The store was set up in 1990 to sell products produced by Self Help Groups (SHGs) of the district.
These products included spices, non-timber-forest produce and a few rural crafts. But mismanagement took its toll on the facility, which has remained closed for the last few months. At present, more than 200 SHGs in the district are involved in manufacturing of handicrafts including wooden and bamboo crafts, terracotta and a few handloom and apparel products. Assistant Director of ORMAS, Srimanta Hota said, “The objective of the emporium is to provide better marketing facilities to the SHGs and offer genuine products to the buyers at a reasonable price.”
Usually, handicraft products made by SHGs are sold at Pallishree Mela and other fairs organised across the State. But there is no permanent facility to make these products available round the year. Since, the Government provides financial assistance and skill development training to SHGs for promotion of handicraft, the crafts emporium will be instrumental in displaying and selling rare handmade products.
Hota said the budget for renovation of the building and setting up of the crafts emporium is Rs 4.5 lakh. The asbestos roof of the building will be replaced with a concrete one and later its complete overhauling will be carried out. If the initiative achieves its objective, such emporiums will be established in every block of the district. “We have already written to the Government for setting up such stores in nine blocks of the district,” he said.