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Specially-abled artists set to shine in Varanasi’s Divya Kala Mela 

The Varanasi edition of Divya Kala Mela has 100 Divyang artisans, artists and entrepreneurs participating

With the aim to empower the specially-abled economically, the Central Government has started a unique initiative called Divya Kala Mela. It is a platform for persons with disabilities to showcase their products and skills and also market them.

Started in 2022, the 7th edition of this Mela was inaugurated yesterday in Varanasi by A. Narayan Swamy, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment. Artisans from different parts of the country including Jammu and Kashmir, North Eastern States are participating in this event where their products will be available for sale.

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The fair was inaugurated by A. Narayan Swamy, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment

The 10-day fair, open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. will conclude on September 24 has 100 Divyang artisans/artists and entrepreneurs from 20 States and Union Territories of India. The products that are on display include those from handloom, handicraft, home décor, lifestyle, clothing, stationery, personal accessories, and jewellery categories. There are eco-friendly products, packaged food and organic products, toys and gifts, and clutch bags too. The entire emphasis is on vocal for local.

Apart from display of skills and products, a series of cultural activities, including performances by Divyang artists and well-known professionals alongside have been arranged. Visitors can also enjoy their favourite dishes from a wide variety of food stalls from different States of the country that are present at the event. There are many selfie points too at the fair for the people.

The Central Government has been providing financial assistance to disabled people through various schemes at low interest rates to make them self-reliant. During this fair too, Baroda UP Gramin Bank has sanctioned Rs.25.75 lakh for 29 disabled persons. During the inauguration, loan approval letters were distributed to five beneficiaries by Gramin Bank as a token. Besides this, to encourage the divyangs, assistive devices were distributed in the form of tokens by ALIMCO, a GoI organisation.

Speaking on the occasion, Narayan Swami said that the Central Government has prepared several schemes to promote entrepreneurship and craftsmanship especially among the disabled. In these schemes, training, skills and finance are provided to them.

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An artisan displaying his product to the people at the fair

Further he added that Government has increased the categories of disabled people from 7 to 21 while reservation for them has been increased from 3 per cent  to 4 per cent and reservation for disabled people in government educational institutions has been increased from 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

This fair was earlier held at Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Indore, Guwahati and Jaipur and during 2023-2024 the event will be organized in 12 cities.