Tawang: The 1000-year old heritage art- the Monpa Handmade Paper of Arunachal Pradesh- which was driven to extinction, has come to life once again, with the committed efforts of Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
The KVIC on Friday commissioned a Monpa handmade paper making unit in Tawang which not only aims at reviving the art but also engaging the local youths with this art professionally and earn. The unit was inaugurated by KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena in the presence of local people and officials.
The inauguration of the paper unit is a historic event for the locals.
The art of making Monpa Handmade paper originated in China over 1000 years ago. Gradually the art travelled across to India and it became an integral part of local custom and culture in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh which is just 30km from China.
The fine-textured handmade paper is called Mon Shugu in the local dialect. It is an integral part of the vibrant culture of the local tribes in Tawang. The paper has great historic and religious significance as it is the paper used for writing Buddhist scriptures and hymns in monasteries.
Upon the instruction given by the KVIC Chairman, a team of scientists and officials of Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI) Jaipur, was deputed at Tawang to set up the unit and training the locals.
Over six months of rigorous efforts bore fruits and a unit has been commissioned at Tawang.
The most challenging task for the KVIC officials was to transport the machines to Tawang, owing to its difficult mountainous terrains and inclement weather conditions. The Arunachal Pradesh Government had lent their full support to the project and had offered a building on a nominal rent to set up the unit.
The KVIC Chairman was happy to be able to revive the age-old practice of handmade paper making of the Monpa tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. It will pave the way for commercial production and was the key objective of KVIC.
"This handmade paper has high commercial value that can be harnessed to create local employment. By increasing production of Monpa handmade paper, it can again be exported to other countries. This is a local product with great global potential, which is aligned with the Mantra of "Local to Global" given by the Prime Minister," said Saxena.