Agartala plays host to 10-day handicrafts exhibition

Agartala, Jan 11 (ANI): The ten-day long handicrafts exhibition jointly organized by the Ministry of State Rural Development and District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) drew the attention of a large number of locals here, who seemed fascinated by the various designs displayed by the rural artisans and craftsmen.

Almost 350 artisans and craftsmen from over ten states have come to display their products at the annual 'SARAS Mela', which is taking place for the sixth time in the state.

The fairs are good opportunities for most craftsmen, who are either self-employed or have formed cooperatives to get new business.

"By holding such fairs, the members of the self help groups, are benefiting a lot because one cannot sell that much in one year as much as we sell in such fairs, since the public that comes here sees various products and buys them," said Mohammad Irfan, an entrepreneur of wooden artifacts from Uttar Pradesh.

Such fairs also help in removing exploitation of the poor craftsmen by the middleman.

"This type of fair should often take place because it encourages the self help groups, the self-employment and craftsmen. We need more entrepreneurs to come out, as there is a lot of unemployment everywhere and such fairs can solve this to some extent," said Tapas Mukarjee, a visitor at the fair.

The SARAS Mela is an entrepreneurs' exhibition-cum-fair, that aims to promote the indigenous work of rural artisans and craftsmen from different parts of India.

SARAS, which means Sale of Articles of Rural Artisans Societies, is an initiative that began in 1980 by the Ministry of Rural Development.

The fair that began on January 5 would conclude on Saturday. (ANI)

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