Sunday, October 01, 2006

Women to help build Brand Bihar

PATNA: Women entrepreneurs are to help build Brand Bihar by showcasing the art, craft and cuisine of the state.

Bihar Mahila Udyog Sangh (BMUS) - a body of women entrepreneurs - will hold exhibitions in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore to display the state's handicrafts.

"BMUS wants to market Bihar as a brand by showcasing products that have not been shown before. We will invite entrepreneurs from across the country to see our handicrafts," Pushpa Chopra, president of BMUS, told IANS.

"We plan to join hands with the government to market the products," she said.

BMUS was formed in 1996 to promote rural and cottage industries. Its annual fair in Patna provides a platform to women entrepreneurs to market their products.

A recent market survey shows a high demand for such artefacts in the metros. "If the government helps us we will market Brand Bihar in a big way," said Usha Jha, secretary of BMUS.

Keen to attract investment in agriculture, health, IT and tourism, Bihar will hold its first global meet early next year to attract NRI and foreign investment.

"The famous Madhubani paintings, Tikuli work, bamboo crafts, Sujni, a rare hand embroidery, and appliqué work will be showcased at the exhibitions," Jha said.

Food items like 'litti chokha', 'makhana', 'sattu', litchi squash, honey and 'badi' will also be sold along with the handicrafts.

This year the BUMS fair will be held from Sep 14 to 18. Apart from entrepreneurs from Bihar, women traders from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have also been invited to the fair.

"It's time to showcase Bihar's handicrafts because they reflect the culture of the state," said Indu Agrawal, vice president of BMUS.
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