DHUBRI, July 27: Governor of Assam Prof Jagadish Mukhi was highly impressed seeing the art of Asharikandi terracotta cluster of villages during his two-day visit to Dhubri district recently.Asharikandi is a village in Debitola development block in Dhubri District. Governor Mukhi was accorded a warm reception in a public meeting held in the community hall of the terracotta village organized under the auspices of North East Craft And Rural Development Organization (Necardo), which transformed the village into a vibrant terracotta and pottery trading centre over the past 28 years.
The Governor interacted with terracotta artisans and visited some centres of trading. He was accompanied by his wife Prem Mukhi and both admired and appreciated Asharikandi styles and models of various terracotta products. In his welcome address, Director of Necardo, Binoy Bhattacharjee, while expressing his gratitude to the Governor for visiting Asharikandi terracotta vluster of villages at the invitation of the organization, pointed out some of the problems that artisans and villages as a whole were confronting and facing.
Necardo submitted memorandum to the Governor demanding old-age pension for terracotta artisans, providing kilns to the artisans, setting up police station for the protection of villagers and tourists, transform the cluster of villages into a craft and model village and complete all half-done development projects on a war footing. Governor Mukhi also formally released a book titled Journey of Development Activism in Indo-Bangla Border written by Binoy Bhattacharjee, Director of Necardo.
Bilasipara (East) legislator, Ashok Kumar Singhi and Dhubri Deputy Commissioner Anant Lal Gyani accompanied the Governor. Talking to The Sentinel, Binoy Bhattacharjee informed that annual turnover of terracotta artisans in Dhubri’s Asharikandi village was estimated at Rs 12 crore.
“Necardo, an NGO, has been actively making efforts for the past 28 years to promote terracotta and its trade along with tourism in Asharikandi,” he said. Bhattacharjee demanded that the government should provide some key facilities to terracotta artisans as well as traders and tourists, not only to promote the cluster of villages as a terracotta-trading centre, but also to transform it into a tourist hotspot in lower Assam.
Bhattcharjee said terracotta and pottery of Asharikandi were famous for their unique style. The crafts village is now one of the largest clusters in India with over 5,000 SC and OBC population, where trade in terracotta and pottery are prospering together.