The Odisha State Government at the annual Toshali National Crafts Mela this year which will kick start from December 15 at the Janta Maidan in the city will be promoting use of natural fibre while making handloom and handicrafts. A theme pavilion has been conceptualised on nature. The theme pavilion is erected centrally, which will depict various forms of natural fibres, used in the State in making crafts and fabrics.

The Secretary of the department, Subha Sharma, said that this year, the fair will accommodate 350 handicraft and handloom kiosks. Around 100 artisans and 50 weavers from various States of the country and 140 artisans and 60 weavers of the State will take part in the fair. Government educational institutions such as NIFT, Bhubaneswar, Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, Baragarh, Indian Institute of Textiles, Choudwar, CET, Bhubaneswar, SIDAC and other institutions will open their own kiosks to create awareness about the scope of fashion, textile education, career opportunities and to address queries among the students.

A food court having 30 food kiosks set by exclusive hotels and restaurants will offer food of various cuisines along with the traditional Odia cuisine. The mela will host cultural programmes each evening. Various eminent artistes and troupes from across country as well as the state in collaboration with Odisha Sangita Natak Akademi and State culture department are set to perform at the cultural events. Singer Javed Ali will perform on 24th December at the fair. It is expected that around 20 lakh people will visit the fair this year and it will make a business worth Rs. 20 cr. Last year, the fair witnessed a footfall of 16 lakh people and business worth Rs. 15.60 cr was garnered.