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Toshali National Crafts Mela from 15 December

Toshali Craft Fair, which was started in 2007 on the lines of Surajkund Craft Mela at Pushkar, is going international this year with artists coming down from Bhutan.

The 7th Toshali National Crafts Mela, 2012 will kick off on December 15 at the Janata Maidan here. The 12-day long fair attract more than 200 craftsmen from different parts of the country showcasing their pristine handicraft and handloom products. Besides, food courts and cultural shows will be major attractions of the fair.

The fair is jointly organised by the Union Ministry of Tourism, the State Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts department, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC), the Odisha Sangeet Academy and the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre.

“Noted pop singer Usha Uthup and Rex D’souza will perform along with several other noted artists,” said Manoranjan Patnaik, general manager, Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC). More SAARC countries have been approached and their consent is awaited, he added.
Toshali National Crafts Mela
The fair serves as a meeting ground for artists, painters, weavers, sculptors and craftsmen from all over India. “The fair is quite popular among the city denizens as we get to buy variety of products from all over the country,” said Usha Das, a city resident.

According to the OTDC sources, last year, the fair attracted 3, 13, 000 visitors among which 503 were foreign nationals and generated business worth Rs 7 crore out of which Rs 6.13 crore was generated from the handloom and handicraft segment alone.

This year also the organisers expect a growth of 10 per cent both in visitor arrival and business volume. The fair would have around 300 stalls, out of which 186 stalls will be for handicraft and handloom segment and 82 will be for the Odia traditional music and dance form like Dasakathia, Ranappa, Sakhinachha, Chhau, Champu, Janana and Sambalpuri along with dying art form like Kandehinaacha.

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