JAMMU, FEBRUARY 14: The first ever 11-day long Saras Aajeevika Mela Jammu 2023 organised by the J&K Rural Livelihood Mission (JKRLM) concluded today with much fanfare. The mela hosted artisans from all over the country and offered a wide variety of finest handicraft and handloom products from the remote areas of Rural India to the visitors. The Mela which began here at the scenic Bagh-i-bahu garden on 4th February 2023 continued till today, giving opportunity to thousands of art and food lovers to satiate their yearning for same. More than 300 women artisans from different parts of rural India participated and showcased their products on 57 stalls provided by the JKRLM for exhibition purpose. Around 300 women from self-help groups from 17 States /UTs displayed handicraft, handloom and natural food items from different rural areas across the country in these stalls. During the exhibition, stalls offering handlooms, handicrafts and non farm products were main attractions for the visitors Besides, food stalls of various cuisines had also been an added attraction for people of all age groups and backgrounds. Huge number of people visited the venue. The Mela remained the favourite choice of all for the reasons of having decorated stalls, diversified products, mouth watering cuisines from various states and local cultural programs in the evenings. Mission Director, Jammu Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission, Indu Kanwal Chib called “it was a historic occasion for entire Jammu and the people who came here to attend this grand Fair”. She termed the Saras Ajeevika Mela Jammu a big success as never before has such a wonderful event of this scale been held in Jammu, she added. The MD further reiterated that the fair also aided in exchange of urban and rural cultures among women who come across different parts of the country. SARAS not only provided them opportunities of economic upliftment but they also got an opportunity to learn about each other’s rich culture and traditions” she observed. While thanking the Departments from various organizations, the Mission Director delved upon the importance of organizing such type of Fairs and the serious efforts that are needed at this point to boost incomes of SHG women. Speaking on the occasion, Founder, Organiko Beautifying Life, Puja Kaul said that women should believe in their strengths and should think creative and innovative and must work on whatever business ideas they have. She added that no idea is big or small it’s how you execute it what matters, one should not get disheartened by failures instead treat failures as stepping stone to sucess. She thanked Jammu Kashmir Rural livelihoods Mission for inviting her and giving her a glimpse of the wonderful job the organization is performing here. She also congratulated Mission Director JKRLM on the grand sucess of the Saras Fair Jammu. While as Additional District Development commissioner Jammu (ADDC), Ramesh Chander stressed upon women empowerment through livelihood generation and appreciated the role of JKRLM in the upliftment of rural women. He assured full support to the Mission in achieving the objective of women empowerment and livelihood generation in the district. Meanwhile, prizes in various categories were given to the individuals/organizations. In the best sales category, Srinagar district from the Kashmir Division secured the first position and Block Kishtwar from Jammu second and Karnataka bagged third position respectively. DODA ,Rajasthan and Akhnoor bagged first, second and Karnataka bagged third position respectively. DODA ,Rajasthan and Akhnoor bagged first, second and third position in the best Food category among Districts, States and Blocks category. The Public Relations wing of Directorate of Information and Public Relations, J&K was also felicitated for popularizing this fair among masses thereby being puvotal in making the fair a grand success. It is pertinent to mention here that Saras Ajeeviak Mela was inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on 4th February 2023. Today’s closing ceremony was also attended by Additional Mission Director, JKRLM Jammu, Mridhu Slathia; Additional Mission Director JKRLM Kashmir, Reyaz Beigh and many other officers and officials from the line Departments.