Kolkata: It was Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s to create an organised setup to help the propagation of madur, one of Bengal’s heritage crafts, and transform madur-making into a sustainable source of livelihood,and now it is gradually becoming a reality.
Senior officials of West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board (WBKVIB), part of the State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) & Textiles Department, which works for the promotion of the traditional arts and crafts, said it will establish the madur manufacturing on a solid foundation.
Madur is the Bengali vernacular for floor mats. Mats are an integral part of Bengal’s lifestyle. Madur is a tradition and pride of Medinipur district of West Bengal. Usually, women of the households are involved in weaving this beautiful craft. With change in the requirement of the market, the mats are now also used for making decorative and utilitarian items. Madurkathi is locally available and is found abundantly in the alluvial tracts of East and West Medinipur districts of West Bengal.The hubs will house training centres for the craftspeople to learn modern techniques and designs. Training will also be given to create mats for the international market.
On March 28, 2018, the Government of West Bengal, was granted Geographical Indication (GI) Tag for ‘Madurkathi’ vide registration no. 567 in respect of handicrafts.
The application of registration of Madurkathi was filed by The West Bengal Khadi & Village Industry Board, Government of West Bengal. Madurkathi mats are popular and beneficial for the sitting as well as bedding purposes.
In India, there was always a certain market for these products. After the Trinamool Congress Government came to power, though, that market has been widening because of the active promotion of the craft. Consequently, the condition of the craft-makers has also improved much. Now, that market within the country is set to grow still, courtesy the GI tag.
Two institutions, one each in Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur, have received the Government of India’s Craft Mark, which is a symbol of creativity in the national and international markets.
A particular type of madur, called Masland Madur, is doing good business. It hails from the era of the nawabs of Bangla.
WBKVIB has published Madur Barta, a book containing information about the craft and success stories of the madur-makers.It may be recalled that after coming to power in 2011, Mamata Banerjee undertook schemes to revive the traditional products of Bengal like muslin, madur and masks (of north Bengal and Purulia). Earlier, many traditional craftspeople had left their professions because of financial constraints; now they have come back and are again eagerly involved in the production of their crafts.Now Work is on in full swing to set up ‘Madur Hubs’ in East and West Midnapore.