Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Rural Development & Marketing Society (ORMAS), under the Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department, Government of Odisha, is set to host the SISIR SARAS MELA-2024, a National Level Handloom, Handicrafts and Natural Food Products event from January 6-15 at the Biju Patnaik Play Ground, Baramuda. Preparatory meeting for the 10 daylong event has been held at the MNREGS conference hall in Bhuaneswar.
Shri. Sushil Kumar Lohani, Principal Secretary, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department emphasized the collaborative efforts of various line departments and organizations are crucial for ensuring the success of the fair.
Poonam T. Guha, Director-cum-Chief Executive Officer of ORMAS, outlined the details of SISIR SARAS-2024 in her welcome speech. The fair will feature 400 stalls showcasing handicrafts, handloom, and food products from 26 states, set up by Women Self Help Groups (WSHGs), Producers Groups (PGs), and Producers Enterprises (PEs).
A special food court and a theme stall highlighting ORMAS activities, including Marketing, Livelihoods, and Skill Development, will be focal points of attraction. The meeting addressed the arrangements for government Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) stalls, featuring flagship programs and schemes. Cultural nights with performances by renowned artists are planned, offering entertainment every evening.
ORMAS is making provisions for battery-powered rides for senior citizens and differently-abled individuals, a special kids zone, and coordination with the police for crowd control. The fair will also have amenities like ATM machines, coin vending machines, drinking water supply, and designated parking zones. Efforts will be made to maintain cleanliness and reduce the use of polythene during the fair.
Additionally, the event will host an open quiz, drawing competition for school students, and various entertainment programs. The meeting was attended by senior officials from Commissionerate Police, Traffic Police, Fire Department, BMC, BDA, WATCO, SSEPD, TRIFED, SC&ST Dept., Health & FW Dept., Culture Department, as well as representatives from state-owned and private banks.
Highlighting the success of the 2023 SISIR SARAS-Mela, which coincided with the F.I.H. Odisha Hockey (Men) World Cup Championship, ORMAS reported a significant business turnover. During this period, the SISIR SARAS National Fair took place in Bhubaneswar, accompanied by the Mini Pallishree Fair held simultaneously in 30 districts of Odisha. The fair, coupled with the promotion of the World Cup Hockey match, led to substantial sales of rural products. ORMAS reported an overall business turnover of Rs 75 crore across all these fairs, with a noteworthy Rs 23 crore generated exclusively during the SISIR SARAS-2023 mela.
Shri. Sushil Kumar Lohani stressed the uniqueness of SISIR SARAS as a platform for showcasing and selling products from WSHGs and groups across Odisha and the nation, seeking cooperation from all line departments for the event’s success.