During the first six months of the current fiscal year, that is April-September 2021, India's handicraft exports saw a growth of 60.34 per cent to ₹15,995.73 crore, as announced by the textiles ministry in a statement. I applauded the handicrafts segment for contributing to an exemplary export growth of 60 per cent during the first six months of 2021-22 despite difficulties and challenges faced by exporters during two years of the pandemic, said textiles secretary U.P Singh in a statement.The ministry recently organised the 52nd edition of the IHGF-Delhi Fair - Autumn 2021. The fair, which was held at the India Expo Centre Mart, Greater Noida from October 28 to 31, saw the participation of 1,500 exhibitors along with pre-registered buyers from 90 nations. Other highlights of the event included theme presentations, regional crafts, seminars and craft demonstrations.Talking about the event, Piyush Goyal, Union minister of commerce, industry, and textiles, said in a statement, It is heartening to see that at a time when the world's largest vaccination programme is in full swing, the physical exhibition is taking place. This will provide an opportunity for exhibitors and buyers to meet in person for transacting business. The event will pave a way for bigger and better editions of the fair soon, and in the process, promote greater exports of handicrafts from India.While the growth in exports is considered commendable given the slowdown caused by COVID-19, handicraft exports are expected to grow further over the next six months of the current financial year.Image used for representational purposes only.