Art and culture meet food at Saras Mela- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kanakakkunnu has become a must visit destination for city residents thanks to the ongoing Saras Mela. The tenth day of the seventh edition of the mela organised by the Kudumbashree Mission witnessed a huge crowd on Friday. The mela, which offers the best of traditional food and artistry from around the country, has been a success, say the organisers.

Thiruvananthapuram is hosting the 12-day national and cultural expo for the first time. More than 200 food stalls have been set up at the fest. In about 60,000 sq ft, many items such as dress materials, handicraft items and pickles are available. About 24 kitchens have been set up at the food court, which includes 12 stalls from Kerala.

“This year’s mela has been a huge success. We expect sales to reach `12 crore by the end. We have already crossed `7 crore, including the revenue from both the food and product stalls. The food court is turning out to be the main highlight of the festival. As people didn’t have much opportunity to enjoy such events in the past two years, they are very excited to attend the mela. There is good audience even for the seminars and cultural programmes,” says K R Shaiju, Kudumbashree district mission coordinator. 

The stalls feature a paper bookstall from Rajasthan, tribal products from Attapadi and handloom sarees from places such as Thrissur, Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad. Wild honey is also in great demand. “More stocks are being brought at the mela, especially of the dress materials,” said a Kudumbashree official.

Pratibha Deka, a women entrepreneur from Odisha selling bamboo products, says, “All our products are handmade and come in different price ranges. Demand for bamboo lanterns is high among the visitors.”
General Education Minister V Sivankutty will inaugurate the closing ceremony on Sunday. The best three stalls will receive awards.