Toshali National Crafts Mela 2016 in Bhubaneswar from December 15

The 11th edition of Toshali National Crafts Mela 2016, organised by the Handloom, Textiles and Handicrafts department of the Odisha government, kicked off at Janata Maidan, Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

More than 350 artisans from across India displayed an array of handloom and handicraft products at the Mela. As a mark of the post-demonetisation times, a number of sellers were seen with point-of-sale (POS) machines to ensure cashless transactions.

“I have brought block print fabrics and traditional Kalamkari garments for women. I don’t think the demonetisation will have any impact on my sales as I have a POS machine and people can easily pay me through card,” said Jyothi, a seller from Bangalore.

The fairground has been colourfully decorated with the famous applique work of Pipili and the theme pavilion made in the shape of the three chariots of Puri’s Jagannath temple is the main attraction.

Yapam, an artisan from Arunachal Pradesh, who has brought a wide variety of decorative flowers, said, “The experience is the last one month after demonetisation has been dismal.”

Handloom, handicrafts and textiles minister Snehangini Chhuria inaugurated the fair. “This year only pure handloom and handicraft items will be displayed in the fair. The main aim of the fair is that visitors must appreciate the skills involved in creating the crafts,” she said.

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