Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas today launched the State Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission’s Kerala Souvenir Network initiative, which seeks to create a chain of souvenir-making units across Kerala to enable tourists go home with branded artifacts that bear the imprint of God’s Own Country.
Launching the Kerala Souvenir Network initiative at a function at Kerala Arts & Crafts Village, Vellar, near Kovalam, through video conferencing, the Minister said this was a unique project that facilitates tourists coming to Kerala to take home branded souvenirs that reflect Kerala’s culture and heritage, besides generating jobs and income for local communities.
“The initiative aims at making available branded souvenirs that reflect the uniqueness and
diversity of Kerala and its tourism destinations”, Riyas said. The Minister also inaugurated a one-day workshop of craftspeople.
The initiative, led by RT Mission, is expected to be a long-term project which will enable tourists visiting Kerala to take home exquisite souvenirs that resonate with the State’s art, culture and enlivening nature.
“To start with, it has been planned to create 15 branded artifacts that reflect Kerala’s history, culture, art, and geographical features. For this, a network of craftspersons from across the State will be formed and its members will be given special training to make attractive and handy souvenirs. Also, it is a completely environment-friendly and sustainable initiative as plastic will not be used as material for making these items”, Minister said.
Stressing the importance of local community participation, he said the souvenir network will set up shops in prominent tourist destination for sale of these artifacts. This initiative will also help generate jobs and income of local communities.
The souvenirs will also be sold online through the website of RT Mission. The craftspeople included in this network will ensure that they make artifacts that reflect the imprint of each district. The best among these will be selected.
M Vincent MLA presided over the function. Welcoming the gathering State RT Mission Co-ordinator Rupesh Kumar said over 300 craftspeople and more than 1200 handicraft units have already been enrolled in this network, which is expected to go up in the coming days.
Venganoor Grama panchayat president R S Sreekumar; Ward member Ashtapalan V S; KTM Society President Baby Mathew Somatheeram; Thiruvananthapuram DTPC Secretary Sharon; and Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society CEO Binu Kuriakose attended the function.
The one-day workshop for craftspersons from across the State enrolled in the network was led by Principal Secretary Tourism, K S Srinivas; Tourism Director P B Nooh, KTIL MD and Kerala State Institute of Design Principal Manoj Kumar K; and College of Fine Arts Kerala Principal Narayanankutty.