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Surajkund Mela in Haryana: A Dying Attraction?

Surajkund Mela in Haryana: A Dying Attraction?, naya haryana, नया हरियाणा

25th June 2014

Naya Haryana

The Suranjkund Mela, held every year from February 1st to February 15th, in the Surajkund village in the Faridabad district of Haryana, is a celebration of culture, festivity and the richness of arts and crafts of as many as 400 artists and weavers. Paintings, handlooms, mirror embroidery work, craft items, ivory work, pottery, lacquer work, etc., of the finest qualities are all brought together in the same place. Started in 1981, the Suranjkund Mela is an acclaimed celebration of arts and culture. But the question to ask here is, does the Surajkund Mela still hold its appeal and attraction among the people of Haryana and of the country as a whole? Is this annual celebration dying a slow and inevitable death?

The first problem that visitors to this mela face is availability of space. Parking facilities in the premises of the Surajkund Mela is an increasing menace that the administration is unable to deal with. The Tourism Department of the Haryana government and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of the Government of India, who are jointly responsible for organising this fair, cannot cope with the growing number of visitors to the fair, who often complain of zero provisions of parking facilities. This practical concern has reduced the number of visitors, both domestic and international, to the fair over the years.

The other major drawback to the popularity of the Suranjkund International Mela is the restricted financial resources available for the maintenance of the flow of the artists to the fair. Most of these artists face hardships all the year through, because of lack of funds to carry on with their handiwork and craft production. Cottage industry in Haryana is a dying sector of the economy, and such artisanal production receives meagre government support in terms of funds. This withholds some of the finest artists and craftsmen from the rural regions of Haryana and the rest of the country, to display their exquisite brilliance of arts, as they cannot afford to register for the fair.

It is imperative that the Haryana government must, first of all, increase the allocation of funds and resources for this annual festivity, either through international collaboration or through the Central government. This will ensure that equitable opportunities and resources to the traditional arts in rural Haryana are provided. More and more skilled craftsmen will then be encouraged to exhibit their otherwise dying artwork to an international audience.

It is the role of the Haryana government to provide superior administrative facilities for the visitors to the Surujkund Mela. Economical accommodation, cheap transport opportunities and world-class ambience throughout the state of Haryana must be ensured during the month of February when the fair is held in the state. Issues of parking, limited area, etc., must be dealt with strictly by the Haryana government.

Awareness among the people is one of the primary steps to restore the fame of the Surajkund Mela. Government should make every effort, such as propagating the mela far and wide, along with highlighting the facilities available for the artisans and the general public, to let the people take a keen interest in this annual celebration at Surajkund. The Surajkund Mela is not only a shoppers’ delight, it's a magical gastronomical experience along with a touristy feel, which gives the festivity a holistic appeal. It is the responsibility of the government to keep alive the attraction of the Surajkund Mela.

 


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