SRINAGAR, Mar 25: The second edition of SARAS Aajeevika Mela held in Kashmir, which featured products manufactured by over 300 rural craftswomen associated with Self Help Groups of DAY NRLM concluded on March 25, marking it as the first of its kind 11-day women-led Fair in Srinagar.
The Mela hosted artisans from all over the country and offered a wide variety of finest handicraft and handloom products from the remotest areas of Rural India to the visitors.
The Mela which began here at the Banks of Dal Lake on 15th March continued till today, offering the visitors a myriad collection of hand made products and cuisines from across the country.
More than 170 women artisans from different parts of rural India participated and showcased their products on 70 stalls provided by the JKRLM for exhibition and sale. women from self-help groups from 17 states /UTs displayed handicraft, handloom and natural food items from different rural areas in the vibrant stalls handled and managed by Women SHG members.
Some of the prominent items displayed at the stalls were the handmade cloth from Jammu-Kashmir with sozni and ariwork, antique coin jewellery from Maharashtra, organic soaps and herbal cleaning agents from Sikkim, Phulkari suits from Punjab, Chikankari Kurtis from Uttar Pradesh, handmade jewellery from Himachal, handloom from Bihar and many more.
At the food court an array of dishes, traditional delicacies and street favourites were served. There were Vada Pav from Maharashtra, Momos from Sikkim, traditional wazwan from Ganderbal and the most liked Shahi kheer from Uttar Pardesh.
Addressing the valedictory function Additional Mission Director Jammu Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) Reyaz Beigh said, “Organizing SARAS Ajeevika Mela is a remarkable feat achieved by JKRLM as being the host of a huge event where in the participation of SHG members from 17States/UTs was made possible.”
He said such fairs provide a marketing platform to artisans who are unable to get good price for their products. Beigh further expressed his gratitude and acknowledgement towards the Commissioner Secretary Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Mandeep Kaur and Mission Director JKRLM Indu Kanwal Chib for their consistent support and persuasion in making the Saras Ajeevika Kashmir a grand success.
He thanked all the line departments for their contribution in making the Mela a success. Also he thanked the entire team of JKRLM for their relentless efforts for making SaRAS Ajeevika Mela a grand success.
The fair drew a massive crowd on the last day. The SHG members returned home with a smile on their faces as they registered a good income. Sharing the views Priyanka from Vikas SHG based in Jani Block of Uttar Pradesh said that attending SARAS Ajeevika Kashmir has boosted her morale to scale up her business. Adding further she said she will carry back home the learnings from the Mela and the sense of hospitality rendered by the organisers of the Mela, the visitors and the common kashmiri they met in and around the Mela.
Meanwhile, prizes in various categories were given during the closing ceremony. In the best products category Budgam secured the first position While as Srinagar district bagged first in the best food stall category while as best presentation stall award was given to Kerala State respectively.
The first edition of Saras Ajeevika was held in the month of February in Jammu, after a gap of a decade, which evoked a great response from the artisan community from across the country.
The closing ceremony was attended by Additional Mission Director, JKRLM Kashmir Reyaz Beigh ;District & Block Programme Managers of JKRLM and other officers and officials from the line Departments.
Saras Ajeeviak Mela aims at facilitating and motivating the beneficiaries of Self Help Groups (SHGs) supported by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana -National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) scheme of Ministry of Rural Development, to exhibit and sell their products and to provide them with an opportunity for additional income, exposure and interaction on a large scale.