Bhubaneswar: The 17th Toshali National Handicrafts Mela, organised by Handloom, Textile and Handicraft Department was inaugurated at Janata Maidan on Wednesday evening.
On the occasion, the message of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik meant for weavers and artisans was read out by the Principal Secretary of Handloom, Textile and Handicraft department, Dr Arabinda Kumar Padhee during the inaugural event.
The CM’s stated that Odisha is a land of art. “Odisha’s handicraft and handloom have brought glory for the state beyond borders. There skills of the artisans of this land are unmatched. I am delighted that 47 craftsmen have been felicitated with the Craft Award.”
The Life Time Achievement Award for 2019 was presented to Sudarshan Sahoo for stone carving, Benudhar Mohapatra for 2020 for Pattachitra and palm leaf engraving and Debendra Mishra for 2021 for stone carving.
“Artisans from different states across the country have joined the at the Tosali National Handicrafts Mela,” the CM said and welcomed them all to Odisha.
In the inaugural meeting, Ministers Rita Sahu and Ashok Chandra Panda, and MLAs Sushant Kumar Raut and Anant Narayan Jena were present, along with senior officials of the Department.
Addressing the event, Dr Padhee said that the Department is taking up several steps for the prosperity and development of weavers and artisans of Odisha. The Department has undertaken programmes for elderly artisans, said Padhee.
The Toshali National Mela this year boasts of 560 handloom and handicraft stalls. The Food Court of Odisha at Toshali Mela is a sought after destination and the Millet Food Stall this year is a major attraction at the venue.