The Sales of Articles of Rural Artisan Society (SARAS) national mela has picked up momentum after an embarrassing inaugural with few stalls opened on August 31.
On Tuesday, the festival had indigenous artefacts jostling for attention among a host of exclusive rural products from various parts of the country.
Though vacant spaces still exist in the large shamiana under which are arranged products from nearly 15 States from different corners of the country, and inadequacies like improper management and shabby arrangements are largely conspicuous, the mela does have a good stock of articles from clothing to footwear, kitchen goods to planting material and decorative items.
The bamboo table coasters, cloth pouches, bags, cushions and towels at minimal prices from Krishnagiri, Namakkal, and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu, framed pictures from Andhra Pradesh, embroidered salwar material from Punjab, wooden curios and carpets from Uttar Pradesh, their own beaded ornaments, silk, cotton silk, jute silk and matka silk sarees from Tripura, Rajasthani bedsheets, Punjabi footwear and ornamented cloth wall hangings from Odisha, are some of the exceptional products on sale for affordable prices at the mela.
These native rural products share space at the mela with handloom items from Iritty, eatables from Alakkode, the Balaramapuram and Kuthampully handloom clothing, mats and bedsheets from Vadakara, and the bamboo and coconut shell items from Thrissur.
Some unusual products like the LED bulbs from the Niravu Farmers’ Club Vengeri are also for sale at the mela. An effort to reduce electricity bills by one-third led to the production of the bulbs, explained the stall owner.
Comparing the prices of their product against those from big companies, the community-based entrepreneurs testify that their product was used to illuminate a conference venue at Kozhikode recently.
The national fest, organised by the Union Ministry of Rural Development, State Rural Development department and the District Panchayat, will conclude on September 13. Entry is free for the fest, which will be open between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.