UP to hold Mati Kala Mela ahead of Diwali

The Uttar Pradesh government will organise Mati Kala Mela from October 14 to October 23 in Lucknow on the occasion of Diwali.

This is a bid to promote the art of pottery and clay ware and improve the economic conditions of clay artisans.

The initiative is also designed to curb the sale of Chinese idols and products during the festive season and to reclaim the domestic market.

According to the government spokesman, the 10-day long exhibition organised by the UP Mati Kala Board, will be held at the Sangeet Natak Academy.

The Mela will showcase handcrafted products made of clay by artisans from across Uttar Pradesh. Craftsmen from all districts of the state will be exhibiting their skills and talents via their products at the fair.

The Mati Kala Board will bear the cost of lodging of the participating artisans for 10 days. The artisans will also be exempted from paying stall charges.

A wide range of products will be exhibited at the fair, including terracotta of Gorakhpur; black pottery (Azamgarh), earthen cooker (Khurja), in addition to clay products from Agra, Lucknow, Mirzapur, Azamgarh, Chandauli, Unnao, Ballia, Kanpur, Pilibhit, Allahabad, Varanasi, Ayodhya and Banda.

Promoting ‘Vocal for Local’ this Diwali, products such as idols of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi, decorative lamps and diyas, earthen lamps, and other clay and handmade products will also be available at the exhibition.

This year, the idols of Ganesh-Lakshmi will be made through standardised moulds of 8 inches, which will ensure uniform size and shape. The moulds have been made available in every district. According to the need, the production can be increased by making duplicate moulds from them.

It may be recalled that only 37 districts were provided with these moulds last year. These standard sized moulds have been made available to Khadi Board’s training centres located in Lucknow, Mau, Allahabad, Azamgarh, Basti, Jalaun, Nazimabad, Mathura, Shahjahanpur and Gorakhpur.

The spokesman said that besides displaying a wide variety of clay products from different districts, the Mati Kala Mela will feature live demonstrations of how they are made to encourage aspiring artisans as well as to raise awareness about Uttar Pradesh’s rich heritage of craftsmanship among people.

The Mela will also feature three-day training for aspiring artisans. The three-day seminar on technical knowhow will help the artisans learn about the use of tools and machinery in the making of clay products. Information regarding packaging, marketing, especially e-marketing will be also provided.

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