The All India Handloom Crafts Mela-2020 which was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivas Rao at Shilparamam in Madhurawada on Wednesday is drawing huge crowds for the display and sale of a wide collection of handloom and craft products from across the country at the exhibition. More than 70 handloom weavers and craftsmen from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh among other states are taking part in the exhibition. The last day of the exhibition’s closure is December 30.
Built-in 2009, Shilparamam, 20 km from the RTC bus complex which is spread over 25 acres of land is exclusively dedicated to conserving art and culture with its open-air auditorium, scenes of village life through sculptures, and Alluri Seetaramaraju museum. Not it became almost ready to host weddings and major events.
Now, after a gap of over eight months, the arts, crafts, and cultural society Shilparamam at PM Palem in Visakhapatnam is slowly limping back to normalcy. Speaking to Hello Vizag, T. Viswanath Reddy, manager, and administrative officer of Shilparamam, said, “The required infrastructure like 10 air-conditioned rooms, dining hall and toilets, and a Kalyana mandapam with a capacity of 1,000 guests are almost ready. An exclusive entrance for this along with an arch is also being planned and work will begin once funds are allotted. Also, plans are afoot for developing Shilparamam at an estimated cost of Rs. 10.92 crore.
This place which reopened in September, recorded 5,864 visitors during the Kartika Masam this year, generating a revenue of Rs. 1.88 lakh. Last year, it saw as many as 18,390 visitors during the same period. Debi Prasad Mondal from West Bengal, who arrived in the city with his decorative terracotta artifacts three days ago to participate in the mela said “for the past several years, we used to come to Shilparamam in December to the mela to sell our artworks. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is indeed a great struggle for artisans like us. We are hoping that opening up of art exhibitions will give us some support,” says Ram Prasad, an artisan from Uttarakhand, who arrived in the city with his decorative terracotta artifacts three days ago to participate in the mela.
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