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Aadi Mahotsav: Ode to tribal culture and cuisine

Featuring tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery through 204 stalls, this unique 15-day festival is a must visit.

Aadi Mahotsav: Ode to tribal culture and cuisine
The much-awaited 'Aadi Mahotsav' – a fortnight-long tribal festival, kick-started on Thursday by none other than Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu. The 15-day tribal extravaganza is an initiative of the government to promote the tribal culture, cuisine and commerce.
The festival, which will feature an exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery through 204 stalls, is being organised in different parts of the national Capital such as Dilli Haat INA, Central Park, Rajiv Chowk, Delhi Haat Janakpuri and Baba Kharak Singh Marg.
At the fest, over 750 tribal artisans and artists from over 25 states will be participating to enthral the residents of the Capital city with their primitive dance and music.
While inaugurating the festival, the Vice President said that the government wants to bring tribal communities into the mainstream. "Some people argue that we must let the tribals remain the way they are, but they should also cooperate and partner with the rest of the country and it is the job of the government to facilitate that," Naidu said.
The Vice President also said that government seeks to promote interaction between the tribal artisans and the mainstream designers from reputed design organisations. "Events like 'Aadi Mahotsav' are very important in this regard. The government has formed the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) for achieving this," he added.
The Vice President also appealed to the Adivasi communities to support and encourage people who bring change through democracy and not those who promote violence."Let me say that guns can never be successful in a democracy. There can only be lost through guns. There (the tribal areas) nowadays the naxalvadis or the maovadis want to bring about change. If they are really interested in change and believe in their ideology then they should participate in democracy... They should go to the people with their beliefs, encourage people and win elections and then later try to implement their ideologies," Naidu said.
As Indian tribes constitute 8 percent of the total population of the country, which is very significant, the national objective of inclusive development includes the development of tribes as well, he said.
Naidu also appreciated the wide range and beauty of Indian handicrafts, which include hand-woven textiles, and paintings. "It is true that tribals did not create these for the market but for their own use. But they need cash too for the sundry, and it is important that their skills are channelled to promote their sources of income," he said.
On the occasion, Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said that the government had introduced a number of programmes like the Friends of Tribes Card, opening of franchise outlets and give a push to retail trade through exhibitions.
"The ministry was targeting to achieve a target of Rs 100 crore in sales of tribal products to raise tribal incomes. TRIFED has achieved a turnover of Rs 20 crore in the sale of tribal products this year. It has also entered the electronic and digital era and signed MoUs with leading e-commerce portals, including GeM, a government of India portal for e-commerce," Oram said.
"Tribes India outlets accept payments by credit card and swipe machines to promote digital transactions. Tribals in Aadi Mahotsav have been trained for use of modern retail machines," the minister added.
"The 15-day Mahotsav promises to be a feast of shopping, exotic dining and fine music from artists from all over the country," said Tribal Secretary Leena Nair, adding that the traditional tribal jewellery, the bamboo cane would also prove to be items of attraction.
"The tribal textiles manufactured by master tribal craftsmen from Jammu and Kashmir in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South and from Gujarat in the East to Nagaland/Sikkim in the West will win the heart of Delhiites," Nair said.
Dhirendra Kumar

Dhirendra Kumar

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