Balangir ,19/01 ( Odisha Samachar/ Maharaj sai) – Loka Utshav 2014-15 sees an increase in footfall from the beginning, which is any indication that there the awareness level among people towards this event has gone up to such a height that even the cold and chilly weather fails to deter them from coming to the event with entire family.
This Loka Utshav, which is a four-day affair from January 18 to 21, 2015 providing a platform for emerging talents, folk artist, sound artist of the district also attracts numerous organizations from different parts of the state and outer state who are here to showcase their culture, coordination and artistic talents. Some are here to collect prize accolades and for some to sell their product and earn some money. Interestingly, unlike previous year this year district administration under the chairmanship [lokautshav organizing committee] of collector Dr M Muthukumar has taken keen interest to make this event successful. “This time they have involved us at every stage beside conducted number of preparatory meeting and sought suggestion of civil society and social organization at every step”, said Sandeep Kuanr, a well known social activist and writer.
The eventful day started with offering prayer to the pandal [Mancha Puja] which followed by flag hoisting and a colorful cultural procession that moves through the town. During day time committee organized a Kabita Pathoshav at the old pandal of Kalamandap field.
The main attraction of the event ‘Pallishree Mela’ which is promoted by ORMAS was inaugurated in the august hand of Puspendra Singdeo, Minister of Housing and Urban Development Department, who was accompanied by Rajyasabha MP AU Singdeo, MP Blangir KN Singdeo, MLA Patnagarh KB Singdeo, Chairman Zillaparisad Bijaya Padhani, SP Balangir Dr Deepak Kumar and Collector beside Odia Film Director [Bhuka/Salabudha fame]Sabyasachi Mohapatra, is a special invitee at the event.
Interestingly, though lokautshav will be for four day but Pallishri Mela will be held for five days for give them one more day so as to provide more business opportunity for the SHGs’’ said Dr M Muthu Kumar, Collector while informing the media in previous meeting for extending one more days for Pallishree Mela.
Notably, village women with their Self Help Group came in large numbers to take part in the mela besides other small time merchant. They have brought variety of their art, food item, prickle, zute bags, handloom, leather items, inhale stick, minor forest products, sambalpuri clothes, sanitary items, carpets, terracotta arts, wooden artifacts and many more to sell in this event.
‘’It is not just a event but a platform which provides opportunity to us sell some of our product as each day thousands of people came with intention to take back some homemade product which is of high quality and low cost.’’, said Sabita, a woman in her mid 30 who came along with her SHG group member not only to enjoy the program but to learn things or two from other besides taking some money back by selling their product. Other attraction in the event is a stall providing variety of solar product at subsidies rate, beside stall of horticulture department which has decorated a statue with flower apart from agriculture department also show casing new technology, upgraded method, modern instrument.
Similarly, Fishery Department, Small Scale Industry Department, Health Department have also up stall and publicizing information to raise public awareness.