Capturing the moment ...


Charkha Team at Surajkund Crafts Mela

Absorbing the spirit of the Mela

Probably nothing can prepare one for the sheer splash of colours, designs, range of material, the catchy music beats, the vibrancy of performing artistes and costumed characters ambling about.  The 735 hut-like stalls of the Mela sprawled out over a 40-acre undulating land, recreated a festive village-like atmosphere.  

The folksy motifs on kuccha walls, models of village houses added to the ‘feel’ of rural India.  The exuberance of the crowds including giggly school-children, fashionable teenagers and families on their day out – was palpable.

Interaction with craftspersons, visitors, officials

Charkha team talked to craftspersons and learned about their hopes, aspirations, their struggle. their wide experience and exposure at the Mela.  Mohammad Rafique and Hamraz from J&K had set up stalls selling shawls and embroidered clothing for women; Nargisa and Pushpa Bhatkal, from West Bengal were selling Khadi woven items and fish scale art respectively; Jwalamukhi Devi from Bihar showcased Madhubani paintings and Worthing Shangh from Manipur had a stall of  trendy ‘ serpentinite’ stoneware.

Charkha team talked to random visitors seen  enjoying the displays, food, performances and even peering into a Bioscope, an entertainment media of yesteryears ! Team members also talked to Mela officials and workers to get an idea of how things have been organised as well as plans for the future.

Media coverage

Charkha team members got down to work after returning from the Mela. Articles ranging from the organisational aspects of Mela, its varied fare to individual stories of the craftspersons –were penned down,  This included “ Surajkund Mele mein nazar aata hain, Gaon ka Hindustan”, by Anis ur Rahman Khan, Deputy Editor, responsible for Urdu features; “ Alvida Surajkund’ by Nikhat Parween, Assistant Editor responsible for Hindi features.

These have found space in Hindi and Urdu media including newspapers such as Inquilab, Quami Tanzeem; web portals such as News in Khabbar, Live India, Beyond Headlines and Clipper 28. An article “She transforms fish scales into beautiful pieces of art”  by Sujata Raghavan, Senior Manager Projects was published in Grassroots magazine brought out by Press Institute of India.

Folk art welcomes the Mela visitors

A beaming artist from
Rajasthan with her stuffed toys

Creating sculptures in wood

Nikhat with a Madhubani
artist from Bihar

Giving final touches to lac bangles

Babaji ka Bioscope!


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