A total of about 400 artisans from 22 States and one Union territory are participating in the Fair which will go on till April 23. Some stalls have been allotted to CAPART (Council for Advancement of People's Action&Rural Technology) and TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited).
The Ministry provides Rs 25 lakh for Regional SARAS Fairs in metros and Rs.20 lakh in major cities in the country. During 2006-07, 23 Regional SARAS Fairs were organized besides the IITF SARAS Fair There was a sale of Rs 17 crore in these Fairs against the total expenditure of Rs 6.48 crore. About 25,000 rural Swarozgaris under the SGSY have benefited by these Fairs since 2003-04.
The Ministry has also taken several steps for creation of marketing infrastructure in Delhi to sell the products of rural artisans. Rural Development Pavilion located at Pragati Maidan is being renovated for construction of 39 permanent stalls for giving them to the States on rotation basis. Renovation work has been assigned to NBCC and the construction work is to start immediately.
A space measuring 398.89 sq.mt. at Rajiv Gandhi Crafts Bhavan on Baba Kharag Singh Marg, New Delhi, has been hired for running SARAS Gallery. DDA has allotted 2 acres of land at Jasola, near Apollo Hospital for construction of a marketing complex.
The Ministry has also taken action for purchase of 44 stalls at Dilli Haat, Pitampura, from DT&TDC. Setting up of a National Rural Products Marketing Agency (NRPMA) is also on the anvil.
Minister for Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has said that marketing support will be provided to rural products under SGSY through Fairs like BASANT SARAS. Expressing satisfaction on the progress of the formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) under SGSY in Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP and Uttrakhand, he said efforts would be made to extend the SHG cover to all the BPL families in the country during the 11th Plan.
So far, 25 lakh SHGs have been formed in the country, he added.