A visitor at the Shravani mela in Ranchi on Thursday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
It’s a fair by, of and for women.
With the holiest month of the Hindu calendar starting from Wednesday, Ranchi-based social organisation Agarwal Sabha Mahila Samiti is back with its annual three-day Shravani mela, especially meant for women.
The fair kicked off at Agrasen Bhavan in the state capital on Thursday. Chief guest at the inauguration was Chandrakala Tatia, better half of Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice Prakash Tatia.
The women wing of Agarwal Sabha has been organising this fair for the past 15 years, providing a platform to women entrepreneurs from places like Calcutta, Mumbai, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Muzaffarpur and Jamshedpur to market their handmade products. This year, there are as many as 100 kiosks besides 20 food counters.
Day one saw a footfall of 2,000 with organisers hoping that the crowd count would touch 7,000-10,000 in the next two days. Visitors are spoilt for choice — fashion jewellery, handicraft items, designer saris, salwar suits, rakhis, envelopes and homemade pickles among others are some of the items on sale.
A portion of the proceeds will be used to construct a drinking water point at Ranchi railway station.
While addressing the gathering at the inaugural function, Chandrakala Tatia praised the women entrepreneurs for designing such unique products. “I am happy to see that women, who otherwise remain confined within the four walls of their houses, are coming out to sell their creations. They have also got a fine platform to present their products before public,” she said.
The chief guest also lauded the organisers. “The number of participants is not only growing every year, but also the range of products and the quality is improving as well,” Chandrakala said.
Participants are looking forward to brisk business.
Barkha Agarwal, a woman entrepreneur from Mumbai, said, “I have brought designer saris, which cost between Rs 500 and Rs 5,000.”