Handicrafts are all the rage at Cuttack Bali Yatra 2022
Surav Prakash Das
Cuttack, November 12: Have you ever had coffee from a bamboo mug? Or tried a vanity bag made of Shital Pati, a kind of mat that looks cold by nature and is made from Murta plants?
You will get all handicrafts at Bali Yatra 2022 in Cuttack.
Artisans and craftsmen who have gathered from all over the country with their talents and works of art present a number of products, including lampshades, burlap, beaded jewelry and even various urban requirements.
Traders, who came from several parts of the country through the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS), have also set up stalls and are selling a wide range of handicrafts including household items and home decor.
The historic nine-day ‘Bali Yatra’ festival, which kicked off on November 8, is seeing strong attendance as the festival goes ahead without any restrictions after a two-year Covid hiatus.
Women of all age groups have been seen thronging the ORMAS stalls, which are set up in the basement.
Government-registered Self-Help Groups (SHGs) have set up several stalls there and sell, among other things, organic spices, homemade snacks and dried fruits. In addition, homemade sweets and Ayurvedic oils were available to visitors.
The main attractions were Rajasthani bangles, traditional handcrafted clothes and shoes available at affordable prices.
Sanmay Nayak, a trader from Assam who has been coming to the Bali Yatra for the past seven years, said visitors come to the stall to buy the wooden products.
Nayak offers a wide variety of handicrafts, pen holders, lamps, key chains, mugs and even bamboo chairs ranging from Rs 30 to Rs 2500.
He said that craft lovers love artistic furnishings and small decorative things.
“We offer several handicrafts. Visitors flock in large numbers to see the products. They are more interested in interior decoration. They mainly buy low-priced products,” Sanmay said.
“People who come to the stand also inquire about high-end products and leave without buying anything. It seems that the financial situation of the population, which has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, has not yet stabilized,” he added.
Another West Bengal trader, Nirmal Patnaik, said he offered a variety of handmade handbags and mats made from Shital Pati.
The products have a price range of Rs 100 to Rs 2200.
“I have been coming to the Bali Yatra every year for the past 14-15 years. As the festival is being held after a two-year hiatus, I was expecting some good deals. But the sale of the products does not go as planned. However, I expect the sale to increase in the coming days,” Nirmal said.
He also cited the reason for the drop in sales.
“About 300 stalls were set up last year, but the number has increased to 500 this year. For that, people are not coming to every stall,” Nirmal added.
However, traders are expecting good deals on the first weekend as footfall is expected to increase further.
“I am from Bhubaneswar and came to Balijatra for the first time. I really have fun exploring the stalls and eating mouth-watering delicacies here. I bought several wooden products to decorate my house,” said Payal Pradhan.
Kalpana Mishra, another visitor, said she was particularly fascinated by the bamboo cups.
“I live in a hostel with friends. I bought four bamboo cups for me and my friends to drink coffee in the morning. In addition, these products are environmentally friendly,” she said.