I like designers who work with heritage: Maneka Gandhi

New Delhi, Feb 27: It's not just her role as union Minister for Women and Child Development that keeps Maneka Gandhi busy. A lover of art and craft, she says she has a soft corner for designers like Madhu Jain, who stay in touch with the country's heritage. “I like designers who stay with heritage and for the last 30 years, I have seen that Madhu works fairly on reviving and preserving Ikat, Shibori and Benarasi work. She is very committed towards cutural rejuvenation and for me, that's very important,” Maneka Gandhi told IANS. She shared her love towards heritage during Jain's showcase of Uzbek-inspired Ikats, alongside a retrospective of her signature Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Ikat styles into which she has infused the Buddhist Mandala design inputs from the textile traditions of Thailand. The minister, who shared that she loves wearing creations by Jain, also said that the government's 'Make in India' initiative India will help many artisans and craftspeople. “'Make in India' and the revival of heritage will certainly help thousands of artisans as basically they are the ones who will improve the country's economy. We have over 50,000 prints... in terms of weaving, crafts, jewellery and so many other things and each one is beautiful. "Hence, it is really important that we must be proud of ourselves and the government's work of promoting it,” she said. In her nearly three decade-long career, Jain has experimented extensively with textiles and continues to innovate to craft unique blends that are characteristically true to her natural fibres label. This spring, she takes the craft to a new level, by introducing the motifs and weaves of Ikat from Uzbekistan into her design repertoire.