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Toshali National Crafts Mela to be bigger, better this year

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OST Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 12:

toshali festThe stage is set for the 8th Toshali National Crafts Mela-2013 at Janata Maidan here from December 15 to 27. The 13-day festival will provide a platform to artisans, weavers, painters and sculptors from all over the country to sell their products.
A total of 300 stalls will be on offer for the artists and artisans to showcase their ware. There will be interactive sessions where the artisans will share the intricacies of their art and craft with the connoisseurs.
A food court having 30 food stalls set up by exclusive hotels and restaurants of the Twin City will offer delicious multi cuisine foodstuff to the visitors.
To add to the ambience, a theme pavilion “Symphony in Tassar” depicting the tassar tradition of the state has been erected centrally, which will trace the evolution of tassar from its plantation to finished products.
For the first time in the festival’s eight-year history, six government educational institutions related to handlooms, textiles and handicrafts sector – namely NIFT, Bhubaneswar, Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, Baragada, Indian Institute of Textiles, Choudwar, ATDC, Bhubaneswar, CET, Bhubaneswar and SIDAC – will open their stalls to create awareness and to address queries from the student community of the state about the scope of fashion/textile education and career opportunity on offer in these sectors.
That is not all. The organisers have lined up a galaxy of stars from the world of entertainment, who will enthral the visitors every evening. The star attraction, of course, will be singer-composer Bappi Lahiri, who made a stunning comeback last year with the chart-busting “Oo Lala oo lala la” in ‘Dirty Picture’ His performance is scheduled for December 21.
The mela, which will host cultural programmes on a daily basis, will have eminent artists and troupes from different parts of the country as well as the state performing on the stage every evening. Among those who have confirmed their participation are Odia performers Debasish, Sumant, Sonali and Sohini Mishra, who have participated in national level competition telecast through channels like Sony, Star Plus, Zee TV etc.
Besides, Ollywood stars Kuna Tripathy and Papu Pom Pom will enthral the audience during the cultural extravaganza in the festival.
The Handlom and Textile department, which will organize the festival, has decided to install one ATM of UCO Bank at Janata Maidan for smooth money transaction.
The government has made a budget provision of Rs 1.50 crore for successful organisation of the festival. It is expected that around 8 lakhs people will visit the mela this year and the business transaction will be Rs 5 crores.