Chief Minister inaugurates 12-day arts and crafts fair in capital city

Saras Mela, a national arts and crafts fair organised by the Rural Development Department and Thiruvananthapuram district panchayat, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here on Monday.

The 12-day fair, being held at Manjalikulam Ground, includes exhibition and sales of arts and crafts produced by artists from different parts of the country.

Inaugurating the Mela, Mr. Chandy said such national fairs would encourage rural self-employment entrepreneurs as well as women's self-help groups by providing a platform to showcase their products.

Rural Development and Cultural Affairs Minister K.C. Joseph, who presided over the function, said fairs such as Saras Mela would help in rural development and encourage rural artisans.

Deputy Speaker N. Saktan, Mayor K. Chandrika, MLAs Koliyakkode N. Krishnan Nair and A.T. George, district panchayat president Remani P. Nair, vice-president Rufus Daniel and Rural Development Commissioner M. Nandakumar were among those present at the inaugural function.

Over 250 stalls

More than 250 stalls have been set up at the Mela. Craftsmen and artisans from different parts of the State, including Kashmir, Gujarat, West Bengal, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, are taking part in the fair.