MANNAR BELL METAL CRAFT
There is a Government Proposal to make Mannar, one of the centres of bell metal crafts, into a heritage village. I made an initial visit last week. The craft is dying slowly during the last 25 years. There were 34 enterprises 25 years ago, but now only six establishments and only four are functioning in a profitable manner. The aluminium vessels and the machine made bronze vessels from UP etc. is making it very difficult for the craft to survive. The new generation is not coming forward to learn this craft. In few years, the handcrafted work will disappear and will be taken over by the machine made units from elsewhere. There were many useful suggestions from the local community on reviving the craft. But it was great that we could see highly skilled craftsmen and although their number is small.