The 14th edition of the ‘Toshali National Crafts’ Mela began in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
The mela was organised by the Handlooms, Textile, and Handicrafts Department, Odisha. It witnessed the participation of several weavers, artisans, and sculptors from all over the country. Joint Secretary, Handlooms, Textile, and Handicrafts Department, Odisha, said: “People from all over the country, and especially the artisans of Odisha, have participated in the 14th edition of this mela. There are about 500 stalls here.”
She further stated that some cultural programmes were conducted in the mela, and additional facilities provided, such as wheelchairs and toilets for the specially challenged.
Speaking on the mela, Panda said: “We build the capacities of the people, we train them and create new designs. So they wait for these opportunities so that they can earn a year’s income from a single event.”
Manzoor Ahmed, a weaver, said: “I have been coming to this mela for more than three years. People mostly prefer shawls and suits in red and black colour. The response of the people has been very good.”
Another weaver, Reenita Mukherjee, lauded the initiative, stating that it is a good platform for the handloom industry of the country, which needs to be preserved.
“Every state of the country has a different cultural heritage which can be seen in their handlooms,” she said.
About 50 weavers from different states of the country participated in the mela.