Bhubaneswar, Dec 12 (IANS) The Odisha government will organise the 12th Toshali National Craft Mela-2017 at Janata Maidan here from December 15 to offer an open platform to artists, artisans and connoisseurs for interaction, said a Minister on Tuesday.
Artisans, weavers, painters and sculptors from all over the country will participate in this Crafts Mela and exhibit their traditional and contemporary handicraft and handloom products, said Snehangini Chhuria, Minister for Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Department.
Chhuria said the crafts Mela has already carved a unique niche of its own in the country's annual carnival calendar.
The Minister said the vision of the Mela is to offer an open forum to artists, artisans and connoisseurs for interaction and to strengthen the position of the weavers and artisans who are economically deprived by creating a market for their products.
It is also aimed at preserving and nurturing the traditional art forms, handicrafts and handlooms of India and to create awareness and educate the people on the skills and creative intricacies involved in making the products.
Department secretary Subha Sharma said this year the Mela will have 350 handicraft and handloom stalls.
A food court having 30 food stalls set by exclusive hotels and restaurants will offer delicious multi-cuisine foodstuffs to the visitors along with traditional Odia cuisine, she said.
Besides, the Mela will host cultural programmes each evening inviting eminent artists and troupes from different parts of the country as well as the state in collaboration with Odisha Sangita Natak Akademi, Culture Department.
The public will get an opportunity to enjoy the music performance by noted Bollywood singer Javed Ali. A Fashion show on handloom wear will be organised by Boyanika with support from NIFT. To add to the ambience, a theme pavilion is conceptualised with the theme "Prakruti (Nature)".
The theme pavilion is erected centrally which will reflect the use of natural fibres in the making of Handloom and Handicraft products and also depict various forms of nature transformed in Odishan Handlooms and Handicrafts.
The state government expects that around 20 lakh people will visit the Mela this year and products worth Rs 20 crore will be sold approximately.
In 2016, the Mela witnessed a footfall of 16 lakh people and Rs 15.60 crore businesses was transacted.