New Delhi, Feb 3 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioning the ‘Monpa handmade paper’ of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in January has led to a boost in its sales.
In a statement, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) said that on the very first day of its launch, more than 100 sheets of Monpa handmade paper were sold. The orders were received from Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
The KVIC, which revived this ancient art in Tawang on December 25 last year, has made Monpa handmade paper available online through its e-portal.
“The handmade paper, handcrafted by trained local artisans in Tawang, was put on online sale on January 31 after the Prime Minister spoke about this ancient art. Monpa handmade paper is not only supporting environment protection but has also opened new avenues of income for the local artisans. The handmade paper sheet measuring 24-inch in length and 16-inch in width is priced economically at Rs 50 per sheet,” the KVIC said.
KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said that owing to its religious and cultural significance, the Monpa handmade paper has great market potential in India and abroad.
“On the first day of its online sale, we received orders for over 100 sheets. The Prime Minister’s appeal will definitely make this paper popular among the people. We will explore new market avenues for Monpa handmade paper that will strengthen this industry and local artisans in Arunachal Pradesh,” Saxena said.
According to the KVIC, revival of this art assumes significance as Monpa handmade paper was once produced in every household in Tawang and the paper was exported to many countries like Tibet, Bhutan, Myanmar and Japan, among others. However, with new technologies coming in, the handmade paper industry almost disappeared in the last 100 years.
Monpa handmade paper is made from the bark of Shugu Sheng tree grown locally in Tawang and is identified by its distinctive translucent fibrous texture.
The paper is weightless but its natural fibers add great tensile strength to this paper making it apt for various art works.
Monpa handmade paper has been used for writing Buddhist scriptures, manuscripts and for making prayer flags. Writing on this paper is also known to be tamper-proof. The Monpa handmade paper industry set up in Tawang aims at engaging the local youth with this art professionally.
“Initially, the paper unit has engaged nine artisans who can produce 500 to 600 sheets of Monpa handmade paper per day. The artisans will be earning wages of Rs 400 per day. To begin with, 12 women and two men from local villages have been trained to make Monpa handmade paper,” the KVIC said.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.