Exhibition of village products from today

Minister for Health and Social Welfare P.K. Sreemathy will inaugurate “Cochin Saras,” a national level exhibition-cum-sales of products manufactured by self-help groups and village industries from across the country at the Ernakulathappan ground on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Dominic Presentation, MLA, will preside. Mayor Mercy Williams will be the chief guest. P. Rajeev, MP, will make the first sale. District Panchayat President P.S. Shyla and District Collector M. Beena will be among those present.

10-day-long show

Addressing a press conference at the district panchayat headquarters at Kakkanad here on Wednesday, Ms. Shyla said the products manufactured by the beneficiaries of the Integrated Rural Development Programme and the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana from various States would be featured in the exhibition. About 180 stalls would be set up in the 10-day-long exhibition which will last till the eve of Thiruvonam.

Eleven States including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tripura, Pondicherry, and Chattisgarh have confirmed participation in the exhibition, said K. Rajendran, Project Director, District Rural Development Agency.

The IRDP mela organised just ahead of Onam every year would be replaced by the national level exhibition this time. The exhibition is being organised jointly by the Union Rural Development Ministry, the State Local Self-government Department, and the district panchayat.

The products will reflect the skill, traditional knowledge, and hard work of the rural population.

The exhibition will offer the buyers with the unique opportunity to purchase unadulterated products directly from the manufacturers. Purchase using credit cards, which is usually absent from exhibitions of this nature, will also be facilitated, Ms. Shyla said.

Handcraft products including those made out of straw, wood, tree roots, and coconut shell, various products made out of bamboo, medicinal knives, iron equipment, dolls, spices, lemon grass oil, footwear, ornaments, readymade clothes, steel knives, pickles, glass paintings, Ayurveda medicines, joss stick, food products, earthen pots, designer saris, curry powders, flower vase, thread works, carpets, statues, cane products, furniture, wines, cloth bags will be among the products to be featured in the stalls.

Besides, rare and unique traditional rural products made by self-help groups and individuals from across the State would also be available.

The organisers are expecting a turnover of Rs. 1 crore from the exhibition. The exhibition will be open from 8.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.

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