Colours of Himalayas 12– Showcasing handmade products of tribal women from flood affected area of Uttarakhand

The chief guest of the eventShriSantosh Kumar GangwarHon’ble Minister of State for Ministry of Textiles (IC) inaugurated the “Colours of Himalayas” exhibitionorganisedby Empowerment NGO, on 12th December at Artizen Art Gallery in New Delhi. On display will be shawls, stoles, carpets, bamboo products, copper ware products, paintings and photographs depicting Uttarakhand and its crafts.Empowerment also showcase the ramp show where models wearing the traditional out fit of uttarakhand.The exhibition will remain open till 14th December 2014.

Empowerment, a socio-cultural not for profit NGO, aims to preserve art and cultural heritage of India through promotion and revival of arts and crafts. A socially responsible organisation, Empowerment spreads its message and works through capacity building of women and youth. In June 2013, a cloudburst on the North Indian state of Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides becoming the country’s worst natural disaster. The aftermath of this tragic turn of events left many homeless and wanting. Though relief poured in from various sectors, a sustained effort is required so that people are rehabilitated and empowered through capacity building and work towards sustenance.

Towards this objective of filling in the gap for a sustained efforts and rural development, Empowerment and Uttarakhand Artist Welfare Association are actively working with flood affected tribal women belonging to remote areas of Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. This initiative has motivated the women to pick up the threads of their life using their craft to move on. It has also resulted in many tribal women coming together and creating beautiful handmade and hand woven products.

The exhibition is being curated by Sonika Agrawal and Kumar Vikas Saxena, who have closely watched these women going from being totally helpless and dejected to the spirit of wanting to move ahead and create a better living for themselves and their families. They say, “the immersion of the tribal women in crafts have given them a purpose of life and renewed their strength and courage, providing them with hope for the future.”