Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal
The handloom clothes are luring visitors at the regional Saras Mela organized by Panchayat and Rural Development Department at city’s Haat Parisar.
Saras Melas in the state capital have been regular annual event and have been able to elicit wide participation by the beneficiaries of the programmes of the Ministry from all over the country. The participants bring an impressive range of rural products, which include handicrafts, textiles, artwork, furniture, items of daily use etc.
The visitors are showing a lot of interest in these products and there is a huge direct sale of rural products. In addition to the direct sales, bulk orders for the products are also received during these melas and the participants have been able to meet these orders to a large extent.
The regional Saras fairs have given a fillip to the confidence and enthusiasm of rural artisans and officials dealing with the self-employment programme. Saras has been able to demonstrate the capacity of the rural poor to produce goods for sale in urban, metropolitan and international markets.
Saras exhibitions have opened a new dimension in promotion of rural products and encouraged the participants and other stakeholders in the development of rural products/artisans.
It is felt that Saras has provided a platform not only for direct sales of rural markets, giving exposure to rural artisans/ entrepreneurs to various aspects of marketing, and developing linkages with various other markets. The concept of participation has to be evolved in the longer run with these objectives in mind.