Shiela Dikshit bats for places like Dilli Haat

New Delhi: In order to make Delhi a hub for arts and artisans, Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit is batting for more traditional arts and crafts bazaars like the Dilli Haat that also provides an alternative to malls.

"We dream of Delhi becoming the hub for arts and artisans," said Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit at the opening ceremony of the 25th annual Craft Bazaar of Dastkari Haat Samiti at Dilli Haat here.

"We already have two haats--one here and one in Pitampura. A third one is coming up in Rohini soon...We will also have a nature bazaar at the Andheria More which will sell all natural products," said Dikshit.

To mark the completion of 25 years of Dastkari Haat Samiti, the organisation has invited representatives from Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda to participate in Handcrafting Promises -- a platform to interact, learn, appreciate and expose themselves to India's traditional crafts.

The External Affairs Ministry is supporting the initiative.

"A group of students from the US said they were amazed how Dilli Haat was providing an alternative to malls. We want to continue this and provide opportunities to the poor. We want to make this city a city of haats," said Jaya Jaitly, president of Dastkari Haat Samiti.

A total of 190 craftspeople from across India are particioating in the current fair. The Samiti, a national association of crafts people, was founded in 1986 and has over 1500 members from all states of India in all craft skills.