Vinay Kumar Sharma (Chandigarh): Shri V P Singh Badnore, Hon’ble Governor, Punjab and Administrator U T Chandigarh inaugurated the NABKRAFT mela organised by NABARD on 09th January 2020 at Himachal Bhawan, Sector 28, Chandigarh. In the mela, rural artisans, SHGs and FPOs from Punjab as well as from many other states such as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, J&K, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra have put around 60 stalls for exhibiting their various products. The Hon’ble Governor while inaugurating the NABKRAFT took a round of all the stalls and interacted with various participants. He appreciated various products and encouraged the artisans. He lauded the initiative taken by NABARD and emphasized that in order to sustain the livelihoods of artisan and SHGs and encourage them, continuous market support is required and more such exhibitions and melas need to be organised. Shri J P S Bindra, Chief General Manager, NABARD Punjab Regional Office while elaborating on the NABKRAFT and various other interventions of NABARD for rural artisans, SHGs and FPOs indicated that for the Consecutive second year NABARD is organising exclusive mela to promote the artisans and FPOs. He informed that NABKRAFT mela will continue from 09th to 13th January 2020 and will be open for public from 10.30 am to 8.00 pm on 09th to 12th January and from 10.30 am to 2.30 pm on 13th January 2020. He said that the exhibition of products at NABKRAFT will provide necessary visibility, marketing opportunities and avenues and also acts networking platform for these rural artisans, SHGs and FPOs. Speaking on various activities supported by NABARD in Punjab, he informed that, NABARD has, so far, promoted 45,000 SHGs, out of which around 30,000 have been credit linked with the banks for their social & economic needs. To enhance the income of farmers through aggregation model of their input requirements of seeds, fertilizers and smooth marketing, NABARD formed FPOs in Punjab. There are 102 FPOs, some of which are having mandi license. NABARD supports various skill development / upgradation and training programmes for rural artisan, SHG members and others for income and employment generation. The various products being displayed include wooden inlay item, wooden art work, Dhokara handicraft from Odisha, Tribal Jewellery, Wood carving, Angora Shawls, Leather work, White metal minakari work-plates / utensils from MP, home decorative items, handmade applique work, coir work, handloom sarees, hand made wall hanging, handmade woollen clothes like muffler, caps, stolls, Lahauli socks, Kullawi Shawls, handicraft makramdori decorative items, Phulkari from Punjab, Punjabi Jutti, Tweed & Jute Jackets, Jute Bags, Jute items, organic products and various other items from above mentioned states.