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Days before polls in UP, Minority Affairs Ministry to hold 16-day long 'Hunar Haat'

Days before polls in UP, Minority Affairs Ministry to hold 16-day long Hunar Haat
In a decision which could possibly raise eyebrows of the Opposition parties in the run up to the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Ministry of Minority Affairs will organise 'Hunar Haat', a 16-day mega festival in the city to provide a platform for minorities for showcasing their traditional art, crafts and cuisines.

The first-of-its-kind event will showcase traditional skills of artisans from the minorities, besides giving them a national and international platform.

"Hunar Haat is aimed at encouraging, promoting and providing national and international market to artisans and craftsmen belonging to the Minority communities. The theme of the event is 'Craft Aur Cuisine Ka Sangam' [Meet ofCrafts and Cuisine]," said Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister for State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs.

The mega fest will be organised at State Emporia Complex, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place from February 11 to 26.

According to sources in the Ministry ofMinority Affairs, 100 artisans and 30 bavarchis (cuisine makers) have registered for the first-of-its-kind event.

The selected artisans include several awardees from five minority communities, representing as many as 23 states and cuisines from 13 states, said a senior officer of the Ministry.

The Ministry had participated with a similar 'Hunar Haat' at the India International Trade Fair 2016 in November last year. However, this is the first such standalone mega fest.

At the Trade Fair, around 180 minority artisans from across the country had participated and some of them received orders from foreign countries as well. "In Trade Fair, only artisans were invited in Hunar Haat. But here we have invited cuisines makers which also a unique skill but gradually disappearing from minority community," added Naqvi.

The Opposition, however, is not amused with the mega event due to its timing. "What is the need to organise such an event when Assembly elections are coming up in some states, particularly Uttar Pradesh? The previous Hunar Haat concluded on November 27. Why a second Hunar Haat within three months," questioned Ambeth Rajan, National Treasure and former Rajya Sabha MP of Bahujan Samaj Party.
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