Expos at Exhibition Grounds, Maharaja’s College Grounds to conclude tomorrow
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Expos at Exhibition Grounds, Maharaja’s College Grounds to conclude tomorrow

February 13, 2021

Stall owners bemoan lack of business at rural products expo

Mysore/Mysuru: Even as the 10-day expo of rural crafts and Industrial products organised under the joint aegis of the Department of Industries and Commerce and Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) at Dasara Exhibition Grounds is drawing to a close, stall owners at the expo are bemoaning lack of public response to the expo.

The expo began at the sprawling Exhibition Grounds on Feb. 5, a day before the much publicised 25th edition of Hunar Haat.

When SOM spoke to some of the stall owners on Thursday, many of them rued that only a few people were visiting the expo ever since it began on Feb.5. Pointing out that while thousands of people are visiting Hunar Haat expo at Maharaja’s College Grounds daily, only about a hundred people are visiting the Dasara Exhibition Grounds, where rural artefacts, handicrafts and industrial products are on sale.

Noting that the expo has more than 50 stalls, with rural artisans from all parts of the State, including Hubballi, Davangere, Gadag etc., exhibiting their products, they said that the venue also lacked sanitation facilities, with women facing a lot of inconvenience. They also questioned the timing of the expo when already Hunar Haat was going on in city.

Asgar Nurmamad Luhar, who has a Copper Bells stall at Hunar Haat, displaying an instrument made of copper.

The expo features nearly 50 stalls selling rural made products and artefacts such as earthen pots, flower vases, natural cooking oil, coconut oil, herbal-based body massage oils, gardening equipments, women dress wear, multi-millet and other nutritious powders, condiments, spices, ED embossed paintings, wood sculptured products, cloth bags, cotton shirts and other cotton wears, tooth powder, soaps and other natural and hand made products.

The expo, which is open to public from 10 am to 9 pm, concludes on Feb. 14.

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Pushpa, a stall owner from Hunsur, said that there is no mobile toilets at Dasara exhibition grounds. Complaining that there is shortage of water too, she alleged that officials were apathetic to their plight. Regretting poor business, she said that lack of publicity and other factors has made the expo a near no-show, with hardly about a 100 people visiting every day. She further said that she was hardly able to meet her daily expenses, let alone earning profit.

The traditional jewellery stall at Hunar Haat set up by Abdul Suhail from Delhi is attracting women folk.

Anjali, another  woman stall owner, said that she had participated in more than 450 expos of this kind in the past. But this expo has brought her the most disappointment, as there is almost no business for her.

Kumaraswamy, a stall owner from Gadag, too echoed Anjali and said that he had never seen such a dull business in any of the expos he had participated in the past. He further said that hardly a handful of visitors visit his stall and only a couple of them buy something and the money thus earned is not enough even to meet his daily needs.

Sumana, a stall owner from Kuvempunagar in city, said that she had set up her stall with high expectations, having brought Asafoetida (Hing in Kannada), processed honey, coconut oil and other food and spice materials from Dharmashtala and other places. But she is deeply disappointed that all her expectations have gone wrong, she bemoaned.

Rukmini Chandran, Director of Karnataka Chapter of National Adventure Foundation, who has set up a stall of school bags, office bags, life jackets, trekking bags and such other products, said that she has hardly done Rs. 500 business in the first four days of the expo, which is disgusting.

A tribal woman from Pakshirajapura in Hunsur taluk said that she has brought herbal-based hair massage, pain relief, body ache oils etc., to the expo. But there are hardly any customers for her products and as such, she is forced to sell her products on the streets and the sales here is better than that in the expo.

Audience tap their foot as Bhupinder Singh performs at ‘Hunar Haat’ at Maharaja’s College Grounds in city last evening. The confluence of craft, cuisine and culture, which attracted over a lakh visitors in the past seven days, will conclude tomorrow. The expo is open from 11 am to 10 pm.

Youth will be encouraged to become entrepreneurs, says Minister.

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Meanwhile, Small Scale Industries, Information and Public Relations Minister C.C. Patil was in Mysuru on Thursday and visited Chamundi Hill. 

Speaking to press persons on the occasion, Patil said that he had come to the temple to offer special prayers to Goddess Chamundeshwari on account of Amavasya (New Moon).

Maintaining that the Government is committed to encourage the youth for becoming entrepreneurs through the Centre’s ambitious Atmanirbhar scheme, he said that at the same time, efforts are being made to strengthen the small scale industrial sector. 

Isar of Jaipur Bangles demonstrates making of the bangles at Hunar Haat venue — Maharaja’s College Grounds in city.

Stating that more skill and entrepreneurship training programmes will be organised throughout the State for the youth, Patil asserted that the Government was committed to protect the interests of industrial workers. Noting that the main objective of the Government is to create jobs for the youth through Atmanirbhar initiative, the Minister said that he was holding talks with the Department officials on the effect of rising fuel prices on small scale industries.

Replying  to a question on whether journalists will have Government insurance cover, Patil, who is also the Information and Public Relations, said that journalists from urban areas registered with the Karnataka Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) are already brought under insurance cover. However, the Department is also working on plans to extend this cover to taluk-level journalists too in the coming days, he added.

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