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Surajkund Mela begins in Faridabad after a two-year gap

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been declared the theme state–the state whose culture and traditions are primarily exhibited– and Uzbekistan the partner country

After a two-year hiatus, the Surajkund International Crafts Mela, which showcases the cultural fabric of India, began on Saturday. Haryana governor Bandaru Dattatreya and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated the 35th edition of the annual fair at Danteshwari Gate in Faridabad.

According to officials, the fair will continue until April 4. Its timings are from 12pm to 9.30pm, an extension of one hour from the earlier 8.30pm, as many visitors may choose to visit the fair in the evening to escape the soaring mercury levels. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been declared the theme state–the state whose culture and traditions are primarily exhibited– and Uzbekistan the partner country.

Officials added that 300 CCTV cameras have been installed at the fair grounds to improve overall security, and elaborate parking arrangements are in place.

According to officials, there will be around 1,100 stalls showcasing culture, artefacts and cuisine from different states and 30 countries at the fair this year.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dattatreya said, “Uzbekistan and India have strong cultural ties and the special relationship is evident from the love that Uzbeks have for Indian movies. The fair will not only assist artists in earning and learning, but also give them a chance to interact with exporters and buyers.”

The governor congratulated chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar for successfully implementing Hunar Haat Yojana in the state. As part of the scheme, the state government provides market exposure and employment to local artisans and craftsmen.

Khattar, while addressing the gathering at the inauguration, said, “It is a matter of pride for every artist to participate in the Surajkund fair, which could not be held due to Covid-19 last year. An artist not only gives his or her handicraft a colour and shape, but also portrays emotions of the human mind.”

Chief secretary Sanjeev Kaushal, who was also present at the inauguration ceremony, said, “We are grateful to the Union government and our partner country Uzbekistan for organising the fair this year, despite the challenges that the state faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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