LETTERS: Problems of handicrafts

Apropos of your editorial, “Leg-up for handicrafts” (THT, January 16, Page 8), there are no easy answers to increase export of indigenous Nepali handicrafts like carpets, thankas, metal statues, woodwork, pashmina, woollen wears, straw and thread shoes etc.

There is no point in blaming the government or its agencies. They would have no clue on how, what, when, where, who and why to export. This is just like tourism. Indians and Chinese pay more and travel in huge numbers to Europe, Japan, Canada or Thailand but not to Nepal. Why?

As for handicrafts, there are so many factors that govern the business including quality finish, price competitiveness, timely delivery and market exploration. It not only costs money to promote business overseas but the embassies think that traders are trying to pull a fast one on them for visas. It is not easy to find customers for Nepali handicrafts and holidays on World Wide Web unless the products are Johnnie Walker, Cartier, postal brides, or Chinese leggings that cost 10 cents a piece on bulk order. Lack of professional artisans is the biggest bottleneck. Many don’t understand why a loose thread or a button not aligned perfectly to the hole in a sweater would be a problem. Workers tend to take these as the exporters using excuses not to pay or deduct fees. Many of them will blurt out bluntly that humans make error. Quality and timely delivery is a big problem, too, even if you contract with so-called professionals, who will in any case subcontract to housewives.

Workers hardly care about the importance of consistent quality and timely finish. Without workers accountability, business becomes just one time as the importers will pick up on a lose button or a delinquent thread in a sweater or a cap to vent his frustrations and irritations at the exporters.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu


Sincerity is the name of a bridge that can connect what we preach with what we do. It joins, so to speak, two opposite banks of a river — our ideals and our actions.

Most of the time, we ourselves, do not follow what we generally expect from others. Sometimes, we even do exactly the very opposite of what we say. Thus, sincerity can rescue one from becoming such a miserable character that one fails to recognise as one’s own identity.

This dilemma can even make us suffer from dissociative identity disorder (DID) or multiple personality disorder. So, we need to resolve it to become more sincere with our commitment to our family, occupation, society, country and of course to the divine. This is absolutely necessary to make ourselves as good as our word. As English preacher Charles Spurgeon had said, “Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.” Indeed, we can become truthful and honest only by being sincere. It will do us a world of good for our mental health.

It saves us from playing a mind-boggling role of a devil’s advocate for rationalising our hypocrisy. Sincerity can make parents and teachers role models of children.

Sujit De, Kolkata