Srinagar: A first-of-its-kind 11-day “woman-led” food and cultural fair is all set to begin in Srinagar city this week.
Mission Director, Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) Indu Kanwal Chib told Kashmir Despatch that a “national level fair” called Saras Ajevika “Kashmir will begin in Srinagar from March 15 to March 25 with the participation of artisans and women self-help groups to showcase diverse cuisines and unique indigenous products from across the country.
She said In these 11-day-long fairs, rural SHG women artisans from various states will participate and sell their products. The self-help groups will display handicrafts, handlooms, and traditional food items from different rural areas across the country in these stalls. This national-level food and cultural fair will exhibit unique and famous indigenous products from various states and UTs of the country. The event will provide a platform for the participants to sell and promote their self-made products and create marketing linkages with the various selling platforms, she said.
Mission Director Indu Kanwal Chib said that Rajasthan, Odisha, Punjab, West Bengal, Telengana,Telengana and Meghalaya are among the states that have confirmed their participation in the SARAS AAJEVIKA Fair.
The Mela will feature a total of 70 stalls, with approximately 15 of those being food stalls.
Some of the handloom products that will be displayed at the fair include cotton and silk sarees from Bihar, Phulkari garment products from Punjab, bamboo crafts and decorative items from Uttar Pradesh, Zari sarees from Telangana, and an exclusive leather slipper from Mahrashtra.
Besides this, the fair will have stalls that will showcase calico painting, jute bags from Samba, lac bangles from Bihar,Basholi paintings of Kathua, Sozni shawls from Budgam, saffron from Pampore, papermache items from Bandipora and Pahloo, black cumin from Gurez, and many more.
A recreational activity area for children would also be set up at the Mela venue, where the young ones would be made to understand their ancient culture, rituals, food, art & crafts, and heritage through some activities like on-the-spot pottery making, fun activities, and so on.
Another key feature of this national fair would be mesmerizing cultural events depicting the cultural and traditional legacy of Jammu and Kashmir.
To facilitate the customers and the mela enthusiasts, the facility of cashless transactions would also be made available at the mela venue.
For this purpose, mobile ATMs of J&K Bank, SBI Bank, and other online payment options are made available to our women self-help groups (SHGs) to sell their products in the mela.
Pertinent to mention here SARAS Mela also aims at facilitating and motivating the beneficiaries of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) supported by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development to exhibit and sell their products at a national level event, and it also aims to provide them with an opportunity for additional income, exposure, and interaction on a large scale.
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