Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Handlooms, Textiles & Handicrafts Department, is going to organise the 16th Toshali National Craft Mela at Janata Maidan, Bhubaneswar from 28th March to 10th April. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to inaugurate the event tomorrow at 6.00 pm.
Artisans, Weavers, Sculptors from all over the country will participate in this Crafts Mela & exhibit their traditional and contemporary handicraft and handloom products. As important cultural nerve centre of the country, Bhubaneswar hosts the Toshali National Crafts Mela at Janata Maidan every year. The crafts mela has already carved a unique niche of its own in the country’s Annual Carnival Calendar.
The vision of the mela is:-
- To offer an open forum to artists, artisans and connoisseurs for interaction
- To strengthen the position of the weavers and artisans by creating market for their products
- To preserve and nurture the traditional art forms, handicrafts and handlooms of India
- To create awareness and educate the people on the skills and creative intricacies involved in making the products.
This year, the major objective of organising the event is to provide marketing scope to the artisans/ weavers of the State as well as the Country. Due to the COVID 19 restrictions, the artisans/ weavers are facing huge difficulties for marketing their products. Keeping in view of the amid COVID 19 situation in the State, adequate measures has been taken for marketing of products within strict observations of COVID 19 guidelines imposed by State Govt/ Central govt. Adequate security personnel will be engaged in different blocks to maintain social distancing. Proper care will be taken for sanitization of tire mela ground at regular interval. Use of mask and social distancing is mandatory for exhibitors/ visitors and officials inside the mela ground. Al the COVID 19 awareness messages will be included in publicity items i.e. hoardings/ standees etc.
This year the “Theme Pavilion” of the Mela will showcase the development of Golden grass craft artisans of Kendrapara district under the “Sankalp National Pilot Project”.
This year the mela will be Accessible, Inclusive and Sustainable (AIS), a differently-abled & Senior Citizen friendly event. A special help desk with provision of wheel chair, designated parking space will be arranged for smooth movement and visit of differently-abled & Senior Citizen. A special baby care room will also be available for mother and baby.
This year the mela will accommodate 390 artisans and weavers out of which 150 weavers/artisans from different states of the country will be sponsored by DC (Handlooms) / DC (Handicrafts), GOI. Similarly, 150 artisans and 90 weavers of the state will be sponsored by Directorate of Handicrafts, Odisha and Directorate of Textiles and Handlooms, Odisha respectively.
As a new initiative, this year, the Handicraft & Handloom Corporations of other States have been invited to show case the rich handicrafts and handlooms of their respective State. 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.
To avoid excess gathering of visitors, high scale cultural programmes are not scheduled this year. However, small traditional cultural event like dhuduki, kendera, dasakathia, pala, kirtan and local folk dances etc will be performed on small stages inside the mela ground.
Keeping in view of the heat waves during March- April the mela will be opened every day from 3.00 PM to 10.00 PM. The dedicated air-conditioned restroom will be constructed in the mela ground, especially for the exhibitors. Special provision for sufficient cold drinking water for visitors and exhibitors will be made in the mela ground.
All related logistics arrangements i.e Fire brigade, Security, First Aid Service, Ambulance, ATM Counters, free lodging to artisans, Wheel Chair for Senior Citizens etc. will be available in the mela premises.
Last year the mela witnessed a footfall of 14 lakh people and Rs 12.38 crore businesses was achieved. It is expected that around 15 lakh people will visit the mela this year and products worth Rs.15.00 crore will be sold approximately.
The mela is scheduled to be inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik at 6.00 pm on 28th March 2022 at Janata Maidan, Bhubaneswar. Provision of Rs. 2.60 Crores has been made by HT & H Department for the organisation of this mega event.
The mela is being organised by Handlooms, Textiles & Handicrafts Department in association with Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India. State Institute for Development of Arts & Crafts (SIDAC), Gandamunda, Bhubaneswar an autonomous institution under Handlooms, Textiles & Handicrafts Department, Govt of Odisha is implementing this mega National level Crafts Mela.
The Odisha Handlooms, Textiles & Handicrafts Department has requested all to observe Covid-19 guidelines such as social distancing, sanitisation, and wearing of mask, etc. issued by Govt.