Big showcase of all things Indian

Big showcase of all things Indian
Two traditional Indian dancers make their way through the shops and crowd.

Master craftsmen in the West Indian state of Rajasthan produce intricate paintings with brushes made from the hair of a squirrel's tail.

People here can watch these craftsmen in action at the Singapore International Indian Shopping Festival which started yesterday. A mock Rajasthan village has been set up within the festival grounds at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre halls 401 and 402.

Another highlight of the village includes hand block printing, where craftsmen use a wooden block to stamp designs onto pieces of fabric that are made into dresses or saris.

The four-day festival, which is into its third year here and ends on Sunday, showcases India's food, fashion and culture. More than 200 booths have been set up, selling over 1,000 products.

It is open from 10am to 10pm and admission is free.

This year, the event also marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between India and Singapore.

"The festival deepens the connectivity between India and Singapore," said festival co-organiser Purnima Kamath, 43, founder and chief executive of events company De Ideaz.

The other organisers are Singapore Press Holdings' publications tabla! and Tamil Murasu.

At the festival's opening ceremony yesterday, tabla! also honoured veteran social worker K.V. Veloo with its Community Champion Award.

The 80-year-old has spent five decades helping the less fortunate.

His contributions include starting programmes to rehabilitate offenders and drug addicts, and pushing for a more accessible transportation system for the disabled.

Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information, presented the award to him.

Mr Veloo also received a S$10,000 cheque from the State Bank of India, which he donated to three charities - the Sathya Sai Social Service, which helps the sick and needy, the Singapore Indian Association Welfare Fund and Muslim Kidney Action Association.

He said: "I accept this award in the name of many volunteers who do a lot of community work without seeking publicity for it," he said.

"To them, having done a job well is their only recompense."

This article was first published on October 03, 2014.
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