Baliyatra 2016

The Grassroots India WISH Network participated in the 2016 Baliyatra in Cuttack, Odisha. The event was a huge success and WISH will continue to participate in more state exhibitions each year.

The Grassroots India WISH Network, in cooperation with ORMAS (Odisha Rural Sales & Marketing), had a stall at Baliyatra 2016 to promote their various homemade products. Baliyatra literally means A Voyage to Bali and is a festival held in Cuttack, Odisha every year at Gadagadia Ghata on the Mahanadi Riverside. The festival marks the day when ancient Sadhabas (Oriya mariners) would set sail to distant lands of Bali and other locations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka for trade and cultural expansion. Baliyatra is celebrated beginning on Kartika Purnima according to the Oriya Calendar and is the largest fair of Odisha state. There are several attractions for children and many food stalls selling Oriya delicacies (Cuttacki Dahivada Aludum, Thunka puri, Barafa pan, Gupchup, etc.) from different parts of the state. Vendors sell a wide variety of handicrafts and there are carnival rides, animal rides, and cultural programs for millions of people from all over the nation who come to experience it.

This was the second year that the WISH girls participated at Baliyatra. The enthusiasm of the WISH girls created an exciting atmosphere at the Hariharananda Vocational Training Center in CDA Sector 10 for the 10 day marathon. Morning activities entailed packing for sale the many items that had been crafted by the girls over the last year, including tailoring,embroidery, spices, and jewelry. New tailoring items, nutritional supplements and kitchen gift items were added this year. Brochures and publications addressing women's health and women's rights were also distributed. It was a great opportunity for these shy girls from the rural villages to interact with hundreds of thousands of customers, and to gain self-confidence in running their own small businesses. Leadership and team spirit emerged throughout the festival and the girls hard work brought successful results. Grassroots India is committed to sponsoring a series of exhibitions for the girls in 2017.




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