Shoppers, particularly craft lovers, from the city now have to chart out their plan of expenditure for the next 15 days, well before money burns a hole in their pockets.

With Utkal Hasatasilpa Society coming into its own unleashing an array of impressive collections of handicrafts and handlooms from across the country through the Orissa Art and Craft Fair, they need to ensure that they have everything of their choice in their bags before the ship has set sail.

Making its foray into Tiruchi, this exhibition at SRT Exhibition Hall, II Cross, Thillainagar, offers a golden opportunity to the members of self-help groups from nearly three to five districts of Orissa which constitute over 60 per cent of the display, to the customers, especially homemakers.

"It is too early to comment on customers' reaction considering our first presentation in the city. But, we hope that people, enamoured by the richness of the products, will lap up the crafts from Orissa and give us enough reason to open up stalls for the second time,” says Sunakar Lenka, Secretary, Utkal Hastasilpa Society.

The major attractions of the expo are appliqué work, palm leaf paintings, copper silk paintings, lamp sets, sunflower work, tribal painting, and sarees and dress materials from Orissa.

“People from Orissa who have settled down here, can taste the flavour of their hometown, they have been longing for,” says Mr. Lenka. A sales target of Rs. 3 to Rs. 4 lakh has been fixed this year.

Swanky furniture from Uttar Pradesh; silk paintings, bangles, ghagra choli and kurta pajama from Rajasthan; stone and pearls jewellery from Hyderabad; children toys from Kondapalli and Chennapatnam; jute bags from Kolkata; tops and sarees from Gujarat; jewel boxes, key holders, bed sheets, cushion, pillow covers and woollen materials have decked up the stalls.

The exhibition was inaugurated by R. Karunagaran, proprietor, Kavi Bajaj, Tiruchi, on Friday. It is open to the people between 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on all days, including Sundays and government holidays from February 4 to 20. Discounts of 10 per cent and 20 per cent are available on handicrafts and handloom products.

The Society has already showcased its products in exhibitions conducted by the Tamil Nadu government, in Madurai, Coimbatore and Thanjavur.