|A two-days “Spring Fest” was organised by probably India ‘s oldest NGO ” Bengal Home Industries Association (BHIA)” at its premises on Rashbehari Avenue in Kolkata. In the Spring Fest, artisans showcased crafts of jute , dokra , basketry , mora, shola , oyster shell and a few others on 10th and 11th February 2023.Artisans from different districts of West Bengal participated in the festival and gave live demonstration of their crafts. Puppeteers entertained the visitors with puppetry and folk music of Bengal. The festival also showcased wide range of high quality handloom and handcrafted textile products including silk, linen, a range of home made food products including pickles of various fruits, wide range of home decor items including home furnishings items , lamp shades, wooden items , terracotta items including toys and many more. A wide range of high quality women wears including sarees, scarves , jackets, jewellery from shells and other eco-friendly items were on display . The Spring Fest was visited by diplomats , elites of the society, including foreigners visiting Kolkata ,many of whom were awe- struck by high quality craftsmanship of various products on display and sale .
The festival provided buyers opportunities to interact directly with craftspersons and to get insight into various crafts.An audio-visual talk on ” Massart” of Durga idols was presented by architect & public art specialist Sayantan Maitra to give birds eye view on wide range of craftsmanship involved in creation of Durga Puja idols and pandals in Kolkata as well as availablity of unique creative talents as human resources in Bengal . In fact, Durga Puja of Kolkata has received intangible heritage of humanity certification and honour from UNESCO.Spring Fest was brain child of Mrs. Nandini Mahtab, wife of Dr. P. C. Mahtab , current President of Bengal Home Industries Association and Head of Royal Family of Burdwan whose grand father was one of the Patron and founder member of Bengal Home Industries Association in 1916 alongwith Lady Carmichael , famed artist Shri Gaganendranath Tagore and many other public spirited elite citizens of Kolkata of the time. Mrs. Nandini Mahtab is Princess of Royal families of Joyentia Hills & Rangpur now in Bangladesh. Mrs. Nandini Mahatab is directly involved in promotion of decaying and dying arts & crafts of Bengal over last several decades and successfully rejuvenating the dying art & crafts by creating infrastructure , providing resources, including funding ,raw materials etc to artists and crafts persons . Mrs. Mahtab also facilitating marketing of various creative artworks and products of artisans and crafts persons through Bengal Home Industries Association outlet.
The opening ceremony was attended by Shri. G M Kapoor State President of INTACH , Ms. Nayantara Pal Choudhary Honorary Consul of Norway in Kolkata , famed & iconic personalities Smt. Gini Sen , Smt. Madhuchhanda Karlekar, Smt. Mahua Bose, Shri Shankar Bose, Shri Rajesh Sen and other members of management committee of Bengal Home Industries Association besides Mrs. Nandini Mahtab. In the noble effort to support the arts and crafts of Bengal as well as artisans and crafts persons