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Adivasi Mela Attracts Footfall

Bhubaneswar: If you think the Annual Adivasi Mela is all about the famed Kandhamal Haldi (turmeric powder) and the various ingredients to make an attractive preparation in your kitchen, then here is a chance to come to explore and check more and more, which are available at the Adivasi Exhibition Grounds in Unit-I area near Sishu Bhawan Square.

Minister ST SC Development Jagannath Sarka, Secretary ST SC Development Roopa Roshan Sahoo and Director Tribal Affairs & SCSTRTI Indramani Tripathy visiting the stalls and talking to the visitors, which has positive impact, feels a senior citizen, who for the first time visiting Advisi Mela.

Seeds like “Chironji” popularly known as Charoli nut, Almondette, Cuddapah almond, Calumpong or Hamilton mombin of the cashew family (Buchanania cochinchinensis) used in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha systems to boost memory among kids and many herbal, skin-care products and organic deodorants like lemongrass oil are attracting the crowds at the eagerly-awaited yearly event.

Aditya Mohapatra, an IT professional was very happy to purchase a bag full of traditional spices from the stalls managed by tribal shelf help groups (SHGs) from Kandhamal as he brought “haldi” cooking masala and many things. “I love to come to this event every year with my mom and we take extra stuff to stock in our home and use it for months as we wait for another year to collect more and more. I am also happy that the tribal SHGs from interior pockets of the state are coming here despite challenging weather conditions and open their stalls for our convenience. It’s a great effort,” he added.

Carlota Maso from Spain, who is working now at a city-based NGO for disaster management, Odisha State Volunteer and Social Workers Association, said “I from a foreign land, but after coming here I could gather an insight into the tribal culture, tradition and practices of the tribal communities and especially the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) of the State. It’s a wonderful experience for me and my teammates.”

Kasturi Kadraka from Maa Thakurani SHG of JK Pur area under Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) Rayagada said “since 2018 our organisation is participating in the Adivasi Mela and during the fair a business of nearly Rs 3 lakh is done and this year we are expecting more.” The SHG collects pepper, cinnamon (dalchini), bay leaves, turmeric, many types of millets and many other minor forest produce from the tribal communities on the nearby hills around Chatikana under Bisamkatak block.

Similarly, Gajabahini SHG’s “millet mixture” with its spicy content is also attracting buyers and the organisation from Tangarpalli block in Sundargarh district is hoping for a good business this time. While Om Sairam SHG from Baliguda is showcasing traditional spices and grains, Sarba Mangala SHG from Betnoti in Mayurbhanj district is pulling the crowd for its quality herbal and skin-care products.

Several SHG groups from 22 ITDAs and 17 Micro Project Agencies (MPAs) for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups from across the state are participating in this Adivasi Mela this year. There are 66 stalls under the “Tribal Haat” to sell the organic products and 15 stalls under “Tribal Art and Craft” to do the business with the public, which is thronging the venue in large numbers.