South India’s Biggest Handicrafts Carnival – SIACF Inaugurated

Sargaalaya Kerala Arts and Crafts Village, an initiative of the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, was established in 2011 as a pivotal component of the responsible tourism project. Sargaalaya situated on a sprawling 20-acre expanse along the banks of the Moorad River, in close proximity to the National Highway in Iringal, Kozhikode, Kerala, India is hosting its 11th edition of the annual crafts expo – Sargaalaya International Arts and Crafts Festival (SIACF). Originally conceived as a venture dedicated to the development of Traditional Arts and Crafts of India, with a specific emphasis on Kerala, it has since evolved into a prominent tourist attraction within the region. Guided by a policy of responsible tourism, Sargaalaya has emerged as a robust force for the empowerment of traditional handicraft artisans across the country.

SIACF Inaugural Ceremony

Acknowledging its significant contributions, Sargaalaya has received several accolades, including the National Award for Best Rural Tourism Project from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and the South Asian Travel Award. Notably, it has secured a position among the 2023 Green Destinations Top 100 Stories of the world. Managed by The Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society Ltd., Sargaalaya hosts nearly 4 lakh visitors annually, including international travelers.

The 11th annual arts and crafts fair at Sargaalaya is currently underway, distinguished by its international acclaim as one of the worlds top 100 sustainable development stories by Netherlands-based Green Destinations. The Sargaalaya International Arts and Crafts Festival, organized in collaboration with the Government of India, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Textiles, Department of Tourism (Government of Kerala), NABARD, and supported by the Department of Forests and Wildlife (Government of Kerala), kicked off on 22nd December 2023, at 6:30 pm. The festival was inaugurated by Honorable MLA – Smt. Kanathil Jameela, with Shri. V.K. Abdurahiman, Chairman of Payyoli Municipality, presiding over the function. Shri. P.P. Bhaskaran, Chief Executive Officer of Sargaalaya Kerala Arts and Crafts Village, extended a warm welcome to the gathering.

The event features various pavilions, including the International Crafts Pavilion inaugurated by Shri. Snehil Kumar Singh, IAS, the District Collector, Kozhikode and the NABARD Pavilion inaugurated by Shri. Mohammed Riyaz, DDM of NABARD – Kerala.

Dr. V. Jayarajan, ICCN Secretary General inaugurated the “Paithrukam” Pavilion, showcasing an array of exquisite Palm leaf umbrellas. Other dignitaries like, Payyoli Municipality Ward Member- Shri. Muhammed Ashraf, Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies Director – Dr. Dileep.M.R, Assistant Director(Handicrafts)-DCH,MSEC, Thrissur – Dr. Saji Prabhakaran, Wayanad Tourism Organisation President & Kerala Travel Mart Managing Committee Member – Shri. K.R.Vancheeswaran, Shri. M.P.Shibu, Shri. Madathil Nanu Master, Shri. Madathil Abdurahiman, Shri. Bharathan. M. V, Shri. K.Sasidharan Master, Shri. Cheriyavi Suresh Babu, Shri. S. V. Rahmathulla, Shri. K.K.Kannan and Shri. U.T. Kareem felicitated the function.

Mr. T. K. Rajesh, the General Manager of Sargaalaya Kerala Arts and Crafts Village, graciously extended his heartfelt gratitude as he delivered the vote of thanks.

The festival spans 18 days, from 22nd December 2023 to 8th January 2024, making it the largest crafts fair in South India and a unique one in the country. This year, Sri Lanka is participating as a partner country, with artisans from 11 countries, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Nepal, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and Uganda, along with 400 artisans from various states of India contributing to the fair.

As part of SIACF, 400 crafts persons are showcasing their artifacts in the Crafts Expo, Palm Leaf Umbrellas Exhibition, Students Crafts Expo by Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK), Kerala Forests and Wildlife Exhibition, various cultural programs, Kerala Food Festival, Uzbekistan Food Fest, House Boat and Motor/Pedal Boat services, and a “Green Mobility Expo” highlighting the importance of electric cars for an environmentally friendly transport system are featured in this edition.

Furthermore, the festival includes a medical support desk organized by Malabar Medical College and Sahani Hospital Nandi, providing free BLS training as part of the fair, along with emergency medical care services.

This content comes to you under an arrangement with NewsVoir. Source

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