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Fair deal for rural women

- NGO organises event, slated to begin from March 12

Guwahati, March 9: A Guwahati-based NGO, Will N Work, is organising a pre-Rongali Bihu fair to provide rural women a platform to market their products.

Formed in 2003, the NGO has over the decade empowered over 1,000 women, a majority of them from the rural areas, with product knowhow through training sessions conducted in association with the state handicrafts department.

The NGO, which currently has over 30 members, is organising its first trade fair — Bordoichila 2014 —at the Assam Engineering Institute playground at Chandmari from March 12.

“Till a good part of last year, we had a platform in the form of NEDFi Haat at Ambari where weavers and artisans could sell their produce. But after its closure, we had to come up with an alternative and we thought an annual fair to support local artisans and entrepreneurs would be the best option,” the NGO’s chairperson, Nitali Das, told The Telegraph today.

The organisers of the 12-day fair are upbeat that the Bihu festivities and the venue, which is in the heart of the city, would woo a good number of visitors every day.

“We have named the fair Bordoichila, which we thought would be in sync with the season. The prime location of the fair would also be an advantage,” Das said.

The festive spirit and venue apart, there is a lot at stake for both buyers and sellers. “The buyers get to choose from a variety of products ranging from handloom to home appliances and the sellers get to market their products and brands,” she said.

Over 150 stalls have been allotted space by the organisers at the venue.

Departments such as state social welfare, National Small Industries Corporation, District Rural Development Agency and Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) would take part in the fair.

In view of the rising demand for kitchen appliances, the organising committee has set up a special pavilion for top kitchen brands.

“We also have performances by Bihu troupes at the fair. Besides, the organising committee has decided to hold a cooking competition and a painting contest among children to make the event more than just a fair,” Vijaylakshmi Baruah, the marketing co-ordinator of the NGO, said.