President Patil inaugurates 23rd Surajkund fair

February 1st, 2009 - 11:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Pratibha Patil

Surajkund (Haryana), Feb 1, (ANI): President Pratibha Patil on Sunday inaugurated the 23rd edition of the famous rural crafts fair, Surajkund Mela, which is 20-kilometers from New Delhi.
This year, Egypt is the partner country at the fair that has proved to be a viable platform for the artisans from India as well as abroad to showcase their creations and novelties.
Inaugurating the famous Surajkund Mela (fair), the President mentioned about the fair playing a role strengthening relations among countries. “This fair helps in bolstering relations between the nations. It helps in cultural exchange and increases the bilateral relations between the nations,” President Pratibha Patil said.
The fair recreates the rural ambience for people in the urban areas as well as for foreign tourists.
Egypt is the prime partner this time. Its stall at the fair has a wide range of authentic products from the land of Nile like carpets, chairs and models of pyramids carved in soapstone.
“I see people are interested in our products, so I am really very happy with this. I am also happy for the organization, which has organized everything very well,” said Aiman Hossam Eddin, Senior Advisor to the Minister of Social Solidarity for Marketing Strategies.
Apart from Egypt, the member nations of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Afghanistan are also participating in the fair like every year.
Pakistan, however, is not participating in this years fair.
The theme state for this year is central Madhya Pradesh. Around 400 Indian crafts persons and 20 international participants are taking part this year.
Organised by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Tourism Department of Haryana, this is for the 23rd time in succession that the fair is being held in Surajkund.
Introduced in 1987, the fair is held every year with the twin objective of highlighting India’’s handicraft and handloom traditions.
According to the Harayanas State Minister of Tourism Kiran Chowdhury, around 78 Close Circuit TV cameras have been installed all over the place to ensure stringent security measures in the wake of the recent Mumbai attacks.
Apart from traditional crafts, visitors will be witnessing several colourful and captivating folk dances.
Over the years, the fair has attracted thousands of visitors — both from within and outside India.
For many it is an opportunity to see master craftsmen from all over India working at the same venue. For others, it is a chance to rediscover the rich cultural heritage of India. (ANI)

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