A Mela in Udaipur Brings Hope For Artisans
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 30 Dec 2021, 9:06 am IST
- 3 minutes read
- After a break of two years the annual Shilpgram Mela is being held in Udaipur again.
- It started on 26 December and will end today. The melas gave a platform to artists and craftsmen to showcase their art after a long gap.
- Director of Western Zone Cultural, Udaipur, Kiran Soni Gupta said that she is happy the mela is helping the artists to sell their art and earn some money as they went through a difficult time in the last two years because of Covid.
- Shilpgram, Udaipur
Artists and craftsmen went through a rough phase in the last two years. The pandemic and the two lockdowns reduced their earnings to almost zero and some of them were on the verge of starving. A retired IAS officer felt deeply about their plight and wanted to help them in some way. She is Ms. Kiran Soni Gupta and she is currently the Director of Western Zone Cultural, Udaipur.
Ms. Gupta wanted to bring back normalcy to the lives of artisans so that they can resume creating beautiful art pieces and earn some money by their sale. So, she decided to organise the Shipgram Mela, an annual event in Udaipur that could not take place in the last two years, with double enthusiasm this year. She and her team went out of their way to make sure the event is a huge success. During a conversation with Indian Masterminds, Ms. Gupta talked about some interesting aspects of the mela and, also, the challenges she faced in organising it during pandemic time.
This year around 11,000 artisans and craftsmen from 25 states participated in the Mela and around 100 shops displayed different variety of products. People came in large numbers to the Mela to enjoy an event after a long gap.
The Mela started on 21st December and today is the last day. It was inaugurated by the Governor of Rajasthan, Mr. Kalraj Mishra. This year the theme is traditional art and culture of our country. Every day is dedicated to folk and arts of one state which falls under the western zone cultural centre. Every state gets two days to showcase their art and craft. States like Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra are actively participating along with home state Rajasthan.
HELPING ARTISTS AND CRAFTSMEN
Ms. Gupta said, “This has been an annual affair but due to Covid, we couldn’t organise it last year. In the last few years, it had been a major attraction for tourists but Covid changed everything. We just wanted to resume this activity so that the artists can be helped. Shipgram provides lots of livelihood opportunities for them. I can proudly say this year has been a big success. A participant in the mela told me that all her products got sold. She makes idols with paper. What else do we want?”
ALL INCLUSIVE MELA
The cultural program organised in the mela has always been one of the major attractions. This year is special too, as different folk dances from states like Manipur, Assam, Jammu and Gujarat are on show.
Along with enjoying the cultural programs, people can go around the stalls and buy handicraft items made of cloth, metal, wood, blue pottery etc. 15 artists and craftsmen are also giving live performances of their work, which is an added attraction.
“We have called famous artists from different places to showcase their work. Ajit from Jaipur who is famous for his fire art has been getting huge applauds for his paintings drawn with fire,” Ms. Gupta informed.
Specially-abled and transgender artists are also taking part in the mela, showcasing their work and also taking part in various competitions.
END OF THE ARTICLE