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Job creation: State to hold fairs by engaging 2.59L artisans, 1.04L 'Lok Prasar shilpis'

Job creation: State to hold fairs by engaging 2.59L artisans, 1.04L Lok Prasar shilpis
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Kolkata: Taking another major step to create job opportunities in the post lockdown situation, 20 departments along with all districts will organise fairs by engaging 2.59 lakh artisans and 1.04 lakh Lok Prasar shilpis across the state in three months time time till mid-February.

The initiative under "Bangla Moder Garbo" programme is a brian child of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The uniqueness of the programme is that it is "market and target oriented" with "sales to be generated" out of 617 fairs, exhibition, expo and event is well estimated and defined, said a senior state government officer.

The Chief Minister on Tuesday said: "Artisans and folk artists have passed through a difficult phase during the nationwide lockdown. In many cases they had failed to sell their produce. The initiative to hold the fair will generate business of around Rs 156 crore besides generating 3.63 job opportunities".

Out of 617 fairs, at least 165 will be held in north Bengal districts with maximum number (65) in Malda. There will be 19 and six fairs in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts respectively. While the remaining will be organised in South Bengal districts and it include 140 such fairs and exhibitions in North 24-Parganas itself. There will be 63 fair and festivals in East Midnapore district.

The 20 departments including Agriculture, Information and Cultural Affairs, Agriculture Marketing, Animal Resource Development, Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, MSME, Panchayat and Rural Development, Self Help Group and Self Employment and Tourism department will organise 302 fairs. District authorities will be the in-charges of the remaining 315 fairs. The agriculture department will hold the highest number of fairs that is 75 followed by the Information and Cultural Affairs department with 69 fairs. The MSME and T department will organise 51 fairs.

The maximum number of the fairs (261) will be held in the month of January in 2021 while 229 in December and 82 in February 2021.

In Kolkata, as many as 11 fairs, festivals and exhibition will take place. It includes Bangla Sangeet Mela, Biswa Bangla Lok Sanskriti Utsav, Poush Utsav, Little Magazine Mela, Kolkata Saras Mela and Kolkata International Film Festival.

Since the change of guard in the state in 2011, Bengal has witnessed a series of initiatives of the Mamata Banerjee government to create opportunities for the rural populace those are involved in making of handicraft goods.

Now the initiative of organising 617 fairs across the state is going to give equal opportunity to artisans from nook and corner of Bengal. At the same time Lok Prasan artisans from different genres including Chhau, Raibeshi, Baul, etc would also get opportunities to perform at the fairs and "utsava". Even the state government has involved lakhs of Lok Prashar artists to create awareness on Duare Sarkar programme.

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