North India Kaleidoscope Bureau
The 32nd Surajkund International Crafts Mela, which concluded on Sunday, recorded a footfall of 13 lakh visitors, including one lakh foreigners. Against 1,012 stalls last year, the 17-day fair this time had 1,070 stalls.
Sticking to tradition, the much-sought-after annual event showcased an unparalleled display of regional and international crafts, ensuring art and culture enthusiasts a treat, and shopaholics and foodies an opportunity of a lifetime.
Presiding over the closing-cum-awards presentation ceremony at Surajkund, Haryana Governor Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki said it was heartening to see the mela being organised at this scale and exhibiting the spirit of unity and brotherhood among different nations.
Prof Solanki said the fair offered an ideal opportunity to bind countries together and think for the larger good with over 25 countries taking part in it and different folk cultures being unveiled during the 17 days.
He congratulated the state government for making Kyrgyzstan Partner Country and UP the Theme State this year.
“The Mela is an ideal platform to promote traditional art and craft and will help the young generation stay with their cultural roots,” he said while awarding 26 craftsmen under Kalaratna, Kalamani, Kalanidhi and Kalashree categories. He further said that Haryana has made new strides in the fields of education and sports.
Uttar Pradesh (UP) Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi said the Surajkund Crafts Mela had become popular worldwide. She announced that her Government would organize an art and craft fair on the pattern of Surajkund Mela in Lucknow.
Haryana Tourism Minister Ram Bilas Sharma thanked the artisans and craftsmen for their participation in the fair.
Additional Chief Secretary, Haryana Tourism Vijay Vardhan and Chief Administrator of Surajkund Crafts Fair Authority Sameer Pal Srow were also present on the occasion.