By R. Subrata (TNI Siliguri) | TNI Editing Siliguri
Webdesk, TNI Siliguri, 9th March, 2018: The State Handicraft Fair that started from 20th February 2018 at the Biswa Bangla Shilpi Haat (BBSH) of Kawakhali, Siliguri is presently going through both seller and buyer crisis. When you enter the fair, it’s almost vacant as far as stalls and visitors are concerned. Unoccupied stalls are everywhere gives a lonely ambiance even if you attempt to enter BBSH. TNI interacted with the few artists who came to the fair from far of places like Shantiniketan, Burdwan, Murshidabad even from Coochbehar. All of them on the request of anonymity informed TNI that they too are packing off back home due to almost zero visitor condition.
Since the entry is free in this Government Fair hence it was difficult to estimate the footfalls of the fair. However, it hardly will give any enthusiastic feel to the organizers if a simple stroll is made throughout the fair even in the peak time i.e. during the evening hours. TNI interacted with some few visitors in this regard. One of them Smt. Sarala Sinha from Shivmandir told TNI “I was told by some of the neighbors about the fair. But I hardly could find any crowd or the sellers here. I thought it would be like the previous Handicraft mela happened a few days ago.” TNI interacted with the Assistant Manager of BBSH Mr. Sudip Majumdar in this regard. According to him, there are Handicrafts Expo happening elsewhere in West Bengal leading to the shortage of sellers in this fair. He also further said that, despite a little number of sellers present in the fair, yet the sales are happening, courtesy official records. Whatever may be the scenario, it raises questions about conducting such a fair back to back in the same place after the completion of the superhit Handicraft Expo 2018.
Photos: R. Subrata (TNI)