Toshali National Craft Mela-2016 to begin from December 15

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government will organize 11th Toshali National Craft Mela-2016 to offer an open forum to artists, artisans, and connoisseurs for interaction at Janata Maidan here.

The mela will be organized from December 15 to December 27.

Handloom and Textiles minister Snehangini Chhuria said the crafts mela has already carved a niche of its own in the country’s annual carnival calendar.

The state government expects that around 15 lakh people will visit the mela this year and approximately merchandise worth Rs. 15 crore will be sold. Last year the mela witnessed a footfall of 15 lakh people and Rs.15.19 crore businesses was achieved.

“Artisans, weavers, painters and sculptors from all over the country will participate in this Crafts Mela and exhibit their traditional and contemporary handicraft and handloom products,” said the minister.

She said the crafts mela is aimed to strengthen the position of the weavers and artisans who are economically deprived by creating a market for their products.

It would also preserve and nurture the traditional art forms, handicrafts, and handlooms of India. It would create awareness and educate the people on the skills and creative intricacies involved in making the products, she added.

This year the mela will accommodate 350 handicraft and handloom stalls. A food court having 30 food stalls set by exclusive hotels and restaurants will offer delicious multi cuisine foodstuffs to the visitors along with traditional Odia cuisine.

100 artisans and 50 weavers from different states of the country will be sponsored by DC (Handicrafts) and DC (Handlooms), Government of India respectively. Similarly, 140 artisans and 60 weavers of the state will be sponsored by DH & CI, Odisha, and Directorate of Textiles and Handlooms, Odisha respectively.

The mela will host cultural programs each evening inviting eminent artists and troupes from different parts of the country as well as the state in collaboration with Odisha Sangita Natak Akademi.

Public will get the opportunity to enjoy the evergreen music performance of the versatile Bollywood singers Kavita Krishnamurthy on the evening of 25th December and Amit Sana on December 18.

To add to the ambiance, a theme pavilion “Applique in Fashion” depicting the Applique Craft of the state is erected centrally which will tell the minute details of the making of the magic creations of Applique and the Journey of the craft from traditional to modern.

Keeping in view of the demonetization, this year steps are being taken to open at least 4 to 5 ATM counters inside the mela ground. Steps are also being taken for e-money transfer facility inside the ground for helping exhibitors and visitors for the smooth business transaction, said the minister.

Life Time Achievement award and State Handicraft Award for the year 2016 will be given to eminent handicraft Artisans.