THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Santhigiri Fest, set to begin on April 12, will have an exclusive pavilion of the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Federation (TRIFED), sporting the theme ‘Tribes of India.’ The pavilion, one of the largest that is expected to be put up on the ashram premises as part of the two-month festival, will come up on an area of 2,500 sq ft.
The space will showcase artefacts and cultural souvenirs from representing tribal communities across the country. Tribal artists will perform traditional art forms, while visitors can also look forward to live handicraft and painting demonstrations at the pavilion.
Swami Gururetnam Jnana Tapaswi, the organising secretary of the ashram, said that the tie-up with TRIFED will continue after the festival. “TRIFED will be allocated a permanent display space at the ashram. The organisation strives to better the economic condition of the country’s tribal population. By giving a display space to the products that they are marketing, we hope to shoulder a social cause,” he said.
The Swami added that the pavilion at the fest and the showroom that is expected to come up will cater to the requirements of tourists who are on the lookout for authentic ethnic products. “We receive an average of 2,000 visitors at the ashram on a daily basis, many of whom are tourists. They would be more than happy to find genuine tribal art and handicrafts here,” he said.
TRIFED, the apex body of tribal cooperatives, functions under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It seeks to improve the economic status of the tribal communities through sustained skill upgradation and marketing. Various tribal products, including stone pottery, stone jewellery, metal artefacts, textiles, embroidered fabrics and other items from settlements all over the country will be available at the pavilion at reasonable rates.
The Santhigiri Fest, held in connection with the Navaoli Jyothir Dinam, which falls on May 6, will be organised from April 12 to May 31.
More than 80 stalls are expected to be come up under various categories, including handicrafts, ethnic food, flower and agri show etc. The Coirfed will organise a coir festival showcasing a wide range of products at its exclusive pavilion.