Naturally yours

NATURE BAZAAR·Organised by Dastakar, New Delhi· Dilli Haat, New Delhi· January 17-22

Published: Friday 28 February 1997

IN THE modern world of plastic and chrome, humankind's fascination with natural materials endures. The popularity of terracotta, earthenware, leatherware, hand-crafted ornaments and textiles made of natural fibre and dyed in vegetable dyes was never more evident than in the Nature Bazaar.

The fair, held every year for four years now, showcases India's traditional handicrafts and provides an opportunity for an interface between the craftspersons and the consumers. To give the event a contemporary orientation, Dastakar had organised a workshop where students from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, worked closely with weavers and leather workers. The designer garments and accessories that came out of the workshop were also on display.

What made the fair more than a crafts mela were stalls like that of Navdanya -- a Dehra Dun-based non-governmental organisation. It had on sale organically grown food grains. Vandana Shiva, director of Navdanya, says that India's mix of traditional crops, which have a high nutritional value, are being displaced by the emphasis on high yielding varieties (hyv) of wheat and rice introduced under the green revolution.The organisation aims to reintroduce crops like Ramdana (amaranth). Having yields comparable with that from hyv and being resistant to most pests, these can be grown organically at lesser economic and environmental costs.

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