SURAJKUND MELA Parali Craft of Jammu wins Kala Nidhi Award

Harry Walia. Updated: 2/17/2020 9:19:05 AM Front Page

JAMMU: Parali Craft of Jammu being showcased by Mukti Society, a Jammu based NGO, has won the Kala Nidhi Award as the curtains came down on 34th International Surajkund Mela at Faridabad on Sunday.
Kala Nidhi Award is an award bestowed on the craftsperson for very skilled work on their crafts. It was received by Nidhi Sharma, Founder and Chairperson, Mukti Society.
Her NGO has managed to reach the platform of Surajkund Mela in a bid to breathe life into the dying art of making enticing products out of ‘parali’ such as chappals, binna, pattu, chataayi etc.
Exquisite Basohli Paintings and bamboo products had also been put up along with parali craft in the stall set up by the NGO.
“We have participated for the first time in this mela. This award is an appreciation for our work. It is encouraging for me and the crafts persons involved in parali craft. We have demonstrated to all, that how parali is not a ‘samasya’ but a ‘samadhan’,” she says.
Pertinently, the practice of setting fire to parali or stubble in Punjab-Haryana after the harvest allegedly causes pollution in Delhi NCR, forcing the union and state governments to work on finding a solution to it.
Further, the NGO is working to revive and nurture the local handicraft, in addition to empowering the rural artisans engaged in this eco-friendly craft.
At the fair, Nidhi Sharma, was accompanied by a few women artisans and Sarpanch of the village, who, according to her, got exposure to the handicrafts market. They live demonstrated the craft, made products on the spot for the visitors, and learned the nuances of marketing.
“They will go back to their village with experience and understanding of the market. Gradually, they can work more on their craft and make efforts for its marketing. Reviving and promoting the craft is imperative to their development,” she says.
The acclaimed annual Surajkund Fair is organized by the Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs, during the first fortnight of each February, to celebrate Indian folk traditions and cultural heritage. The fair occupies a place of pride on the international tourist calendar, with more than a million visitors thronging it including thousands of foreign tourists.
For the 34th Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2020, the state of Himachal Pradesh was chosen to be the Theme State. At least 20 countries & all the states of India participated in the Mela this year.

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