We have no padauk trees in the entire South Andaman area
THE ANDAMAN CHRONICLE
Jan 04, 2009 at 09:48 PM
Presently extraction of padauk is done from North & Middle Andaman District, which may not last for long: SS Choudhury, PCCF
Port Blair, Jan. 4: A state level marketing workshop on Handicrafts of Andaman & Nicobar Islands was organised at Sun Sea Resort, Port Blair on Friday, Jan 2, 2008. The Secretary (Textiles), Govt. of India, Shri A K Singh was the chief guest on the occasion.
During the interactive session, the artisans who were linked to the furniture industry demanded that they are not given Padauk timber, which is in major demand. Replying to the artisans, Mr. S S Choudhury, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest said, “We are left with not even a single padauk tree in the entire south Andaman. At present extraction is done from Diglipur area and in a limited quantity”. The PCCF Mr. Choudhury also underlined that the present crises of padauk is only because we always want to harvest but no one tries to replace it by planting trees.
Addressing the inaugural session, the chief guest explained the need for giving importance to quality and consistency of handicraft products so as to attract customers and fetch good returns. This will benefit the artisans engaged in production of handicrafts. He advised the artisans to take advantage of trainings provided to them by different agencies and utilize the skills in their handicrafts with innovative designs and quality.
Shri Sanjay Agrawal, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, New Delhi highlighted the objective of the workshop and informed that various initiatives need to be taken up for the improvement of handicrafts in the islands such as sea shell, coconut shell, wooden handicrafts, cane & bamboo. For these, the Govt. would provide financial help in the form of advance, he said.
Smt. SKP Sodhi Secretary, Industries explained that branding of products is more important that production. A study of the demand and then branding would definitely help in fetching good returns, she said.
In the technical session, speakers highlighted the role of different development agencies in development of handicrafts of the islands including marketing, raw materials, insurance of artisans and the problems they face. The speakers included S/Shri R Nityanandam, DGM NABARD, A Sinha Roy, Executive Officer KVIC Port Blair, N C Saravanan, DCF (Mill), S K Halder, GM, DIC, Abhijit Bhattacharya, Branch Manager LIC of India, D Halder, Chief Manager (CSC), M K Biswas, President, AFIA, A Jobai, President SSAWA and A M Abdul Kader, Asst Director (Handicrafts Marketing & Service Extension Center, Port Blair.
About 100 artisans attended the workshop which was organized by the Office of the Development Commissioner, Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles, GoI, Southern Regional Office, Chennai.