By Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty
Cuttack: After the National Green Tribunal (NGT) gave its nod for Baliyatra, beginning from November 14, the district administration has geared up for the week-long annual festival in which Pallishree mela is going to be the centre of attraction this year.
According to sources, Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) has left no stones unturned to make the national level Mela a grand success.
More stalls will be opened this year as compared to last year at the Pallishree Nela, sources in ORMAS said, adding that the self help groups (SHGs) of 30 districts of the state and 28 states of the country will showcase their products at the Mela.
Special arrangements will be made for the women SHGS and rural entrepreneurs to display their products like handicrafts, terracotta and traditional foods prepared by them at the annual maritime trade fair, ORMAS sources added.
Besides, winter clothes of Kashmir, woodcrafts and carpets of Uttar Pradesh, Chandori sarees of Madhya Pradesh, leather articles of Rajasthan, Tangaile saree of West Bengal and various items of Punjab will lure the city denizens at the Pallishree mela.
Besides, a food court will also be opened at the Mela, where people will have the opportunity to relish mouth-watering food like Rasabali of Kendrapara, Malpua of Puri, Bara and Kakera of Dhenkanal, Mutton-Mudhi of Baripada and Kachori of Rajasthan.
Expecting huge footfall at the annual trade fair, ORMAS has decided to install ATM machines and coin vending machines at the Baliyatra ground so that the people can withdraw money to purchase the product of their choice in case they don’t have enough cash with them.
For the first time in the history of the fair, the district administration has earmarked 15 stalls for ‘Kinnars’ (third gender) wherein they can sell their wares and also present cultural programs.
The administration has been erecting a special pavilion for the differently-abled persons since last four years and it has received overwhelming response. District officials are hopeful that the transgender pavilion will also be another major attraction at the fair.