Present at the closing ceremony was Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia, who was the chief guest at the closing-cum-prize distribution ceremony of the 27th Surajkund International Crafts Mela on Friday.
They were welcomed with drumbeats and foot-tapping music and a cultural show by the participating cultural troupes of various countries and states of India.
A host of new initiatives were taken to make the Mela more exciting and people-friendly. This year, the Karnataka Day and Sri Lanka Day were celebrated on 9 February and 12 February, respectively with much enthusiasm. Facilities like e-ticketing was introduced for the first time, also battery-operated carts and 50 per cent discount to differently-abled, defence personnel and senior citizens along with free entry for freedom fighters and war widows were extended during this edition.
Karnataka — the theme state of the Mela for the second time after a gap of 18 years — lent a unique touch to this mega event with an impressive display of exclusive crafts and vibrant performances. The mela ambience — various moods of sun and dance forms of peacock adorning every corner of the premises were a big pull factor this time, which was also in tune with the tradition of Haryana Tourism Corporation that has its resorts named after birds. ‘Sun’ was predominantly used as a sign of prosperity and its various moods were shown to signify its importance in society.
The Mela had a lot to offer. A photography competition was held for amateurs and professionals. Also an Exporters and Buyers meet was organised with the help of Export Promotional Council. The scintillating cultural programmes at Natyashala sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, ICCR- New Delhi, Theme state- Karnataka and the Cultural Affairs Department, Haryana made the mela a wholesome treat for one and all.
The closing day also saw awards distributed. The Kala Mani award was given to the craftspersons for their inimitable skills in arts and crafts. Kala Nidhi awards were given to craftspersons for very skilled and profound works in their crafts. Kala Shri awards were bestowed on craftspersons for innovation in their crafts.