Kolkata: The three-day Wooden Doll Fair will be inaugurated at Natungram inEast Burdwan district on January 18. Handicraft artists from Maldives will attend the fair as special guests. There will be Chhau dance along with Raibenshe, Puppetry and Baul music on all three days. The mela is organised by the Artists’ cluster — Swami Janakidas Natungram Wood carving Artisans Industrial Cooperative Society. The state Micro Small and Medium Enterprises & Textiles department, in association with UNESCO, has developed Natungram as one of the Rural Craft Hubs of the state. This has given a major boost to the wooden doll industry which is becoming globally famous. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalThe hub has helped the artisans, particularly women, to become self-reliant. West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board (WBKVIB) has developed a Folk Art Centre in the village, with lodging facility that is equipped with all basic amenities. Visitors at Natungram can witness the artisans at work, explore the Folk Art Centre to learn about the craft and its techniques and learn the stories behind them. The hub is located in the Agradwip area. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe two-storey Folk Art Centre at Natungram has four rooms — two on the ground floor and two on the first floor. The rooms can accommodate 8-10 persons at a time. Guests can relish traditional Indian cuisine. The centre also houses a saw mill and a workshop where the artisans can be seen working. Craftsmen assemble here to work daily and the tourists can interact, watch them work and can also make purchases. There are about 60 families pursuing the traditional art form, where men do the carving and chiseling, while women do the painting. The wooden doll artisans of Natungram organise themselves under a collective known as Swami Janakidas Natungram Wood Carving Artisans Industrial Cooperative Society Limited established in 2008. A Common Facility Centre has been built inside the village with machinery, storage, common workspace, guest accommodation facilities etc. Other than arranging for skill upgradation of the traditional artisans, the society provides them with working capital support.