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The 25th Surajkund Crafts Mela went off to a colourful start at Surajkund

INVC,, Chandigarh, The 25th Surajkund Crafts Mela went off to a colourful start at Surajkund in district Faridabad today with Department of Posts releasing a commemorative cover of Surajkund Crafts Mela to mark its 25th anniversary. The mela was inaugurated by Mr Subodh Kant Sahai, Union Minister for Tourism in the presence of Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana and Mr Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Mr Subodh Kant Sahai and other dignitaries were traditionally welcomed at Charminar Gate, a replica of the Hyderabadi grandeur. The four grand arches of the Gate were adorned to radiate the magnificence of the rich history of the State. He was then escorted to the Mela grounds amidst the drumbeats and was profoundly impressed by the fascinating display of art, culture and cuisine. Mr Subodh Kant Sahai first visited the section displaying the crafts from SAARC nations and other foreign countries like Uzbekistan and Thailand. He was impressed with the exquisite range of crafts that the partner country, Uzbekistan, had to offer. He commended on the efforts of Surajkund Crafts Mela Authority for amalgamating various crafts from all over the world on a common platform. He applauded that the Mela has become one of the most renowned international cultural affairs. He appreciated that various countries have come forward to provide an array of arts and crafts for the Mela. It was stated that this endeavour will give Indian art and crafts a global recognition. This will also boost trade and tourism for the country. He also visited the special enclosure of the Theme State, Andhra Pradesh and was deeply impressed with various languishing and other art and crafts at display. It was heartening to see the involvement of various Self Help Groups and NGO’s and desired that there should be more such collaborative measures to assimilate the marginalised sections in the mainstream. He took out time to talk to various craftspersons and understood the intricacies of their arts and crafts. He also stated that the expansion of Mela is an indicator of the huge success of the Surajkund Crafts Mela over the years. He was taken to `Apna Ghar’ where a family of Andhra Pradesh showcased its rural habitat. His visit culminated at `Choupal’ where he witnessed various cultural performances like Haryanvi, Kuchipudi and Uzbek dance forms. He was impressed by the various performances that the platform of Mela presented. The culmination of different cultures added to the versatility of the Mela. The Mela has identified, introduced and nurtured various art forms of the country and this year also it will keep the promise of preserving the arts and crafts which are the hallmark of our traditions. Dr.Salikh R. Inagamov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan, Mr Prasad Kariyawan, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Mr Vatti Vasant Kumar, Minister for Tourism and Culture, Archaeology and Museums, Archives and Youth Services and Sports, N.C.C, Andhra Pradesh, Mr Om Prakash Jain, Minister for Transport, Tourism, Civil Aviation and Hospitality, Haryana and Pt. Shiv Charan Lal Sharma, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Haryana also graced the inauguration ceremony. The other dignitaries who were present on the occasion included Mr R.S. Khwaja, Secretary Tourism, Government of India, Mr S.S. Gupta, Development Commissioner, Handicrafts, Union Ministry of Textiles, Ms. Indu Gupta, Chief Post Master General, Haryana Circle, Ms Sharda Rathore, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Haryana, Mr Raghubir Tewatia, MLA, Mr Anand Kaushik, MLA, Mr Krishan Pal Gurjar, MLA, Mr Chhatar Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Haryana, Mr Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary Tourism, Andhra Pradesh and Mr Maha Singh, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary, Tourism Haryana. [caption id="attachment_22689" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The Union Minister for Tourism, Shri Subodh Kant Sahai releasing a postal stamp at the inauguration of the 25th Surajkund Crafts Mela, in Surajkund, Haryana on February 01, 2011. The Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N. Kiran Kumar Reddy are also seen."]The Union Minister for Tourism, Shri Subodh Kant Sahai releasing a postal stamp at the inauguration of the 25th Surajkund Crafts Mela, in Surajkund, Haryana on February 01, 2011. 	The Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N. Kiran Kumar Reddy are also seen.[/caption]

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