Organised by the Surajkund Mela Authority (SKMA) and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs, the 31st Surajkund International Crafts Mela is showcasing the art and crafts of Partner State – Jharkhand and Partner Nation – Egypt along with 20 other countries from February 1-15, timings being 10:30 am to 8:30 pm.
To remain unaffected by the cash crunch post demonetisation, this year the organisers have joined hands with BookMyShow for booking entry tickets and Mobikwik for hassle-free payment. Partner Bank – Dena Bank has also provided card swiping machines to every seller making it easy for visitors to shop. Sameer Pal Srow, IAS, Managing Director, Haryana Tourism and Deputy Commissioner, Faridabad added that the event is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors this year.
Apart from going cashless, this year’s edition has an increased space of 2.5 acres with 145 more stalls this year, up from 865 last year to 1010 this year. Complimentary Wi-Fi, sufficient parking space, better sanitation facilities, tight security and fire ambulances (22) have been ensured at the venue. Six ATM machines and mobile ATMs have also been facilitated, informed V S Kundu, Additional Chief Secretary, Haryana Tourism and Vice Chairman, SKMA.
In the next year’s edition, the organisers are planning to focus more on the languishing Indian arts and crafts. A new mobile app will be launched and the sellers will be able to register online for the 2018 annual event, revealed Kundu.
Rahul Sharma, IAS, Secretary Tourism, Jharkhand highlighted that it is a big opportunity to promote the culture and heritage of the state to the global audience. Visitors can get to know the Jharkhandi architecture, dance, music, festivals, art and craft better. A Fashion Show will be organised by the state on February 11.
This is the second time for Egypt as the Partner Nation, outlined Khalid Elshazly, Deputy Chief of Mission, Egypt Embassy, New Delhi. He added that the cultural exchange will go a long way in boosting ties between both the nations.
The event was inaugurated yesterday by Manohar Lal, Chief Minister of Haryana in the presence of Ram Bilas Sharma, Haryana Tourism Minister; Amar Kumar Bauri, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Jharkhand and Hatem Tageldin, Ambassador of Egypt to India amongst other dignitaries.