New Delhi. SARAS Mela, an exhibition cum sale mela showcasing the skillfully crafted rural products by below the poverty line(BPL) artisans got off to a traditional colourful beginning at Pragati Maidan here yesterday. The two week long mela from Nov.14 to Nov.27 was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Rural Development, Dr. C.P. Joshi.In his inaugural address, he called upon the artisans to take advantage of this opportunity to increase the sale, understand the marketing and improve the quality of their products. Director General of CAPART in his address underlined the need to develop the linkages for the marketing of rural products.
The mela has been organized by the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART).On display and sale at the mela are the products of 700 artisans in nearly 390 stalls of DRDAs and Voluntary Organizations from 33 States and Union Territories displaying a variety of products from across the country. Some of the attractive products on sale for this SARAS include bamboo artifacts, traditional and ayurvedic medicines, metalwork, woodwork, Madhubani paintings, terracotta, sari, shawls, dress materials, carpets, food products etc.
The mela aims to facilitate the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna (SGSY) beneficiaries, rural artisans, craftsmen, self help groups (SHGs) and voluntary organisations to exhibit and sell their products, and to provide them the opportunity for additional income and exposure on a large scale. The mela aims at creating a unique platform for the artisans to develop linkages with customers and provide them the opportunity to interact with the buyers directly. In addition, 27 CAPART supported voluntary organizations under special SGSY scheme are also represented in SARAS 2009.
A special display on rural development schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development and rural technologies has been organized at RD Pavilion (Hall No.17), Pragati Maidan. A Business Centre has also been created at Hall No.17 to facilitate Artisans and State Coordinators for business discussions. In addition, workshops will be organized during the fair on Designing and Packaging.
Another major attraction of the program today was the Kalbeliya dance by folk dancers from Rajasthan and Bhangra by the folk artists from Punjab. The exhibition cum mela would be on till November 27.