Handicraft street in Delhi gets ready for Commonwealth Game visitors

New Delhi, Sep 10 (Calcutta Tube) Discounts, new stocks, eye-catching displays…state emporia selling exotic and colorful products from around India are set to make Commonwealth Games (CWG) visitors shop till they drop.

There are as many as 21 state emporia on Baba Kharak Singh Marg in the capital’s downtown, Connaught Place. Also known as the handicrafts street, it has always been a shopping paradise for Delhi residents as well as tourists from India and abroad.

[ReviewAZON asin=”B000X8ITUC” display=”inlinepost”]’We have high hopes and are coming up with special merchandise and props related to the CWG. There will definitely be discounts for everyone during that period,’ Manju Chhabra, manager of Hansiba, the flagship brand of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), told IANS.

From handicraft, antiques, leather articles, rugs and carpets, fabrics, silks to jewellery and furniture – there is something for everyone.

Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are among the states that have outlets there. Apart from the state emporia, a few NGOs also have their outlets in the Rajiv Gandhi Handicraft Bhavan in the area.

All shops here are trying their best to cash in on the thousands of visitors who will come to the city for the Oct 3-14 Games.

‘We already have stocks worth Rs.1 crore (over $215,000) in our three-storey shop and are planning to get stock worth Rs.25-30 lakh (over $50,000) by Sep 15 for the CWG,’ said B.K. Sahu, manager of Utkalika emporium run by the Orissa State Cooperative Handicrafts Corporation Limited.

‘We are also planning to have a better display to attract tourists and will be offering great discounts as well on all our handloom and handicraft items,’ he added.

Sahu said attempts were being made to spread the word about the discounts on offer through advertisements.

‘We offer silver filigree items, stone carvings and pattachitra (paintings) – and I am sure tourists will like all our items,’ he said.

D.D. Sharma, marketing manager of Himachal Pradesh State Handicrafts and Handloom Corporation Limited, said: ‘We have enough stocks and as our major selling items are woollen products, we can order more only when there is a big order; otherwise I feel we have enough.’

Sharma was hopeful of brisk sales despite concerns being raised about the fate of the Games due to delayed preparations.

‘The problems that we are dealing with are infrastructural. But tourists will come out and shop and we are making all preparations to lure them,’ said Sharma.

Tamana, a sales girl at an accessory store in the area, agreed. ‘We want everyone who visits us to be happy and we are making all preparations for that,’ she said. Tamana works with Abhishek International, manufacturer and exporter of bags, fashion jewellery and accessories.

‘Everyone likes shopping and when you have the option of finding so many things from various states available under one roof, everyone would love to come and experience this and take home some souvenirs,’ she added.

(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at shilpa.r@ians.in)

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