Bhubaneswar: The 14th Toshali National Crafts Mela was inaugurated by Handlooms and Textiles Minister Padmini Dian in the presence of senior officials of the State Government on Sunday.
As an 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. Artisans, weavers, sculptors from all over the country participate in this Crafts Mela and exhibit their traditional and contemporary handicraft and handloom products.
The vision of the Toshali Crafts Mela 2019 is:
• To offer an open forum to artists, artisans and connoisseurs for interaction.
• To strengthen the position of the weavers and artisans who are economically derived 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 Toshali Mela will accommodate 380 handicraft and handloom stalls out of which 50 weavers from different states of the country will be sponsored by DC (Handlooms), Government of India.
Similarly, 150 artisans and 80 weavers of the state will be sponsored by DH & CI, Odisha and Directorate of Textiles and Handlooms, Odisha respectively. Besides, 10 institutions/organisations involved in the development of handicraft and handloom will open their stalls.
Food court at Toshali Mela: A food court having 40 food stalls set up by exclusive hotels and restaurants will offer delicious multi-cuisine food to the visitors along with traditional Odia cuisine.
Cultural Programmes: The Toshali fair will be opened every day from 11.00 AM to 9:30 pm. Cultural programmes will be hosted each evening between 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm, inviting eminent artists and troupes from different parts of the country as well as the state.
Versatile Bollywood singer Pratibha Singh Baghel and AmanTirkha will be the important attraction of the cultural programme. Besides, traditional Odia folk music and folk dance will be performed in the day time.
This year, the mela will be Accessible, Inclusive and Sustainable (AIS), a differently-abled and senior citizens friendly event. A special help desk with the provision of wheelchair, designated parking space will be arranged for smooth movement and visit of differently-abled / senior citizens.
Besides, this year, information on Toshali Crafts Mela 2019 will be printed in Braille and circulated to visually impaired visitors. A special baby care room will also available for mother and baby.
Eminent craftsman Banamali Maharana was presented the Lifetime Achievement award for 2019. Three artisans, Bramhanand Maharana, Debendra Maharana and Suman Meher were presented the State Handicraft award at the inaugural event.
The mela is expected to witness a footfall of 22 lakh people and products worth Rs 21.50 crore will be sold (approximately), the officials said.