7th Toshali National Crafts Mela Inaugurated

Press Release:  The 7th Toshali National Crafts Mela 2012, kicked off amidst much fanfare here today. Sounds of Ghanta Mrudanga and Sankha Dhwani resounded in the brightly lit Janata Maidan as Ms Sarojini Hembram, Minister of Textile and Handlooms, Government of Odisha lit the inaugural lamp and opened the 13-day mela to the public.

The mela is jointly organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation; DC Handicrafts and DC Handlooms, Department of Textiles, Handloom and Handicrafts, Government of Odisha and Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha.

The much-awaited annual crafts mela is an elaborate affair of handicrafts and handlooms and provides a common platform for domestic and international craftsmen to showcase their products. From Banarasi sarees to fancy home décor items, the fair offers every item possible on a shopping enthusiast’s wishlist at throwaway prices.  So go ahead and take your pick from Banarasi sarees from UP, Punjabi jootis, Lucknow chikkan, Gujarati dandiya jewellery, fancy home décor and much more.

As many as 300 stalls have been set up by the 23 participating states. There are at least 186 handicraft stalls and 82 handloom stalls. Three SAARC nations – Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan- are also participating in the mela this year.  Sri Lanka and Nepal have already put up their stalls. Items fom Bhutan will be available from tomorrow. As many as 14 food stalls have been set up by leading restaurants and hotels in the city to make the shopping experience even more enjoyable.

The mela will continue till December 27, 2012 at Janata Maidan every day from 2pm to 10pm. A number of cultural programmes will be held every evening. Renowned singer Usha Uthup will be performing live on Sunday, December 16, 2012.

Mr Ashok Kumar Tripathy, IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture; Dr Arabinda Padhi, IAS, RDC-Central; Smt Usha Padhee, IAS, Secretary, Textile and Handloom; Mr HS Upadhyay, IFS, Director, Department of Tourism and Mr Manoranjan Pattanaik, General Manager, Odisha Tourism Development Corporation Limited were also present on the occasion.

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