Bhubaneswar: The Silver Jubilee celebration of annual winter exhibition Sisir Saras threw open its gates to shoppers of Odisha capital yesterday. Organised by Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society of Panchayati Raj and Water Development of the state government, this display-cum-sale fair gives local and national artisans of Self Help Groups (SHGs) an opportunity to showcase their products.
Sisir Saras has about 635 craftsmen from 24 states of India setting up 293 stalls in IDCO Exhibition Ground of Bhubaneswar.
Visitors have a wide array of products at their disposal; from kalamkari sarees of Karnataka to phulkari embroidered dupattas and dress materials from Punjab and from hand-painted leather handbags and wallets from Kolkata to decorative artificial flower stalks from Arunachal Pradesh.
Woollen waistcoats and jackets from Himachal Pradesh, meenakari work from Rajathan, jootis from Chandigarh, etc. also found takers on Day 1 of this exhibition.
There were booths from Kerala that were identifiable by the distinct fragrance of the spices they were selling; organic farming products such as raisins and dates from Nasik.
Indigenous rural products of terracotta from Balasore, green grass from Kendrapada and Kotpad woven vegetable dyed fabrics from Koraput, were being worked upon by craftsmen and demonstrated live to the onlookers.
Visitors stood around admiring striking terracotta statues and idols.
Similarly, horn works, pattachitra and tribal art paintings, coir products, brass utensils, muguni pathara (black granite) carved show pieces from Keonjhar and Khiching, were also on display.
Ceramic utensils like cups, mugs, soup bowls, casserole sets, condiment and spices containers, pickle jars and tall vases from Uttar Pradesh drew customers due to their attractive offers.
The youth thronged the food stalls that served a variety of delectable dishes such as chat, dahibara, mudhi-mutton, parathas, kachoris, momos, biryani and ice cream.
The event was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Supply Minister Pradeep Maharathy, Bhubaneswar (Central) MLA Bijay Mohanty, Bhubaneswar (North) MLA Priyadarshi Mishra, BMC Mayor Ananta Narayana Jena, ORMAS chairman DK Singh, CEO of Odisha Livelihood Mission Pranab Jyoti Nath and ORMAS Executive Director B N Das.
Padma Shri Ileana Citaristi and internationally acclaimed Odissi dancer Saswat Joshi and their troupe performed Odissi at the inaugural event, followed by performances of Prince Dance Group from Nayagarh (not to be confused with India’s Got Talent fame group from Berhampur) and Malyajala from western Odisha.
The exhibition is slated to remain open till Jan 15, from 11 am to 10 pm, with various cultural performances schedule to enthral the audience every evening.
Sisir Saras aims to promote entrepreneurship, encourage new technologies and business models among the state’s rural producers and 2018 marks the 25th year of its inception.
Last year, Rs. 9.56 crore businesses were transacted and this year, ORMAS is hopeful of selling products worth Rs. 11 crore.