Bhubaneswar: The annual Adivasi Mela-2024, organised by the ST&SC Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare department, kicked off in Odisha capital here today.
ST & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Minister Jagannath Saraka inaugurated the tribal fair at Adivasi Exhibition Ground in Unit-I area of the city.
The annual fair will showcase tribal culture, tradition, anthropological narratives and range of products from various pockets of the state.
ST & SC Development department Commissioner-cum-Secretary Roopa Roshan Sahoo, Director, SCSTRTI & Member Secretary, Academy of Tribal Language and Culture (ATLC) Indramani Tripathy and senior officials were present at the inaugural ceremony.
Tribal talents from various fields were also honoured with Rs 10,000 cash awards and citation as part of ‘Adivasi Pratibha Samman’ on the occasion.
“As per the demand of the participants at the Adivasi Mela last year, a permanent facility for effective market linkages of the tribal produce and crafts would be planned in the state capital in near future. This, in a way, would help more and more tribal SHG groups to take their business potential to a different level,” said the minister while interacting with media persons soon after the inaugural ceremony.
The Commissioner-cum-Secretary of ST & SC Development department said, “The annual Adivasi Mela has so far completed an eventful 70 years of journey as it came to the city in 1954 after it started in the-then capital city of Cuttack in 1951″.
She also informed that a multilingual drama festival by different tribal communities will be organised at the Adivasi Mela Ground between February 3 and 5 as a sideline event of the World Odia Language Conference in the city.
The tribal fair will continue till February 5. People can visit the fair from 2.30 pm to 9 pm while cultural events by various tribal troupes would be held between 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm.
This year, as many as 66 stalls have come up under the Tribal Haat while 15 stalls have been set up to showcase tribal art and crafts at the fair.
The Adivasi Mela has an ensemble of tribal products like Kandhamal ‘haldi’, millet products, minor forest produce from different tribal pockets and freshly procured strawberry from Sunabeda to attract visitors.
“The last year’s Adivasi Mela had done business of over Rs 5 crore. This year, the volume of transaction is likely to go up,” said an official.
At least 39 cultural troupes from various districts are scheduled to perform at the fair.