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SARAS AAJEVIKA Kashmir 2.0: Showcasing Rural Indian Art and culture celebration begins

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SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission (JKRLM) proudly presents SARAS AAJEVIKA Kashmir 2.0, an extraordinary exhibition that celebrates the diverse and vibrant art and culture of rural India set against the idyllic backdrop of Dal Lake, this year’s exhibition begins today. 

The mela boasts 46 unique stalls, with 30 from outside the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, showcasing a fusion of products from different regions of India.

Visitors to the mela will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a plethora of handicrafts, handloom products, and delectable culinary delights from across the country. With a dedicated focus on promoting financial independence, the fair also serves as a platform for self-help group (SHG) members supported by the DAY NRLM from various states such as Bihar, Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra, and others to exhibit and sell their products.

Each stall at the mela is diligently managed by confident and empowered women SHG members, offering an enticing range of products that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Among the treasures awaiting exploration are silk thread jewellery from Karnataka, pochamoally handloom products from Telangana, herbal products & handmade paper products from Rajasthan, wooden cuffs from West Bengal, sambalpuri suits/saris and dupattas from Odisha. 

The mela also presents distinctive offerings such as spices and traditional handloom from Arunachal, crystal jewellery & bead jewellery from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, and Buttu Baskets & bowls, from Karnataka, vermicompost & organic Turmeric, jute bags from Haryana.

Moreover, visitors can admire the beautifully crafted willow baskets and handbags from Ganderbal and savor the taste of freshly ground maize flour, pickles, and black zeera from Kishtwar. They can also enjoy peanuts from Poonch, hygienic dry apricots, saffron, honey and walnuts from Kashmir. Handcrafted copper and paper machine items from Baramulla. In essence, SARAS Ajeevika Mela Kashmir 2.0 epitomizes the rich cultural heritage of India.

Speaking about the event, Additional Mission Director, Jammu Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission, Reyaz Ahmad Beigh said, “SARAS provides a powerful platform for rural women artisans to exhibit and sell their products. JKRLM Umeed has remained steadfast in providing marketing avenues for self-help groups, and SARAS stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to their empowerment. We are confident that SARAS Ajeevika Mela Kashmir 2.0 will surpass all expectations and continue to support the financial independence of rural women artisans.”

The first day of the mela witnessed an overwhelming response from both locals and tourists, and there has been a significant increase in footfall in the days to come. With a remarkable turnover expected, the event promises to be a resounding success throughout its 10-day duration, Beigh added.

He further said that with renewed enthusiasm and the expanded participation of 17 states, SARAS Ajeevika Mela Kashmir 2.0 promises to be a joyous celebration of India’s cultural diversity and a remarkable showcase of the extraordinary skills and craftsmanship of its rural artisans.

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