Smriti Rekha Chakma winner of the Sant Kabir Award

 SmritiRekha Chakma, a sexagenarian gifted loin-loom weaver of Tripura has scripted history by winning the prestigious Sant Kabir Award for the year2018. She is the first and only master-trainer of the state who has been selected for this award which consists of a cash prize of Rs 3 Lakh, one mounted Gold Coin, one Tamprapatra, one Swal, and a citation. Provision for a smartphone enabling awardee to make use of information technology-related interventions in the handloom sector.

Smriti Rekha Chakma winner of the Sant Kabir Award

The President of India has been conferring the award through a luxurious ceremony in presence of a galaxy of guests and outstanding artisans of the country since 1965. Minister for Handloom, Handicrafts & Sericulture, Mevar Kumar Jamatia has congratulated Smriti Rekha on her remarkable achievement to make the state proud. Minister for SW&SE, Santana Chakma has also congratulated Smriti Rekha on her extraordinary achievement. Director Handloom, P L Chakma, and Dy Director Lakshan KumarBasak, WSC, Ministry of Textiles, Agartala greeted her on being the maiden winner of this prestigious award in the region.

Smriti Rekha Chakma, wife of Satya Bikash Chakma of Machhmara, North Tripura received the first President's Award in 2002 for her outstanding skillful weaving and use of natural eco-friendly vegetables herbal dyes in the handloom industry. 

This time she won the most prestigious SantKabir Award by virtue of her extraordinary products viz–Shawl, Scarf/muffler with traditional design and motif and a wall hanging woven on loin-loom with vegetable dying. She is the only state’s Master Craftsman trainer in vegetable dying and loin loom weaving whose four students so far have already been awarded the national award and thus glorified the name of Tripura all over the country. This award is conferred to outstanding handloom weavers of above 50 years of age who are carrying on with the tradition and have made a valuable contribution to the development of the sector.

Any handloom weaver, who is either a recipient of National or a State Award, National Merit Certificate, or a handloom weaver of extraordinary skills who has contributed significantly to the promotion development and preservation of weaving tradition in the greater interest of the society is eligible to show his/her excellence. Three-tier selection processes are followed to finalize the winning entry (i.e.Zonal, Head Quarters and central level Selection committee chaired by Zonal Director, Development Commissioner for handloom and Secretary (Textiles) respectively.

This award is conferred to outstanding weavers of having 50+ age who made valuable contributions in keeping alive the rich heritage and legacy of handloom, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India confers this award to the exceptional artisan in the country annually. Saint Kavir Das, a mystic poet of Varanasi, UP has been a legend and an embodiment of religious integration. On his death, both Hindus and Muslims claimed him as theirs. His poem as translated by Rabindranath Tagore reads:

If God be within the mosque, then to whom does

this world belong? If Ram be within the image which you find upon your pilgrimage, then who is there to know what happens without?

Hari is in the East, Allah is in the West. Look within your heart,

For there you will find both Karim and Ram;

All the men and women of the world are His living forms.

Kabir is the child of Allah and of Ram: He is my Guru, He is my Pir.

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