The ongoing ten-day fair at HMT Ground, Jalahalli concluded on November 5, 2023, with the distribution of awards to the Divyangjan by the Governor of Karnataka, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot. It is noteworthy that the ten-day fair organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India was inaugurated by Smt. Pratima Bhowmik, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India on October 27, 2023. The national-level fair being organized across the country for the disabled has been named "Divya Kala Mela". The event has been organized in Bengaluru after successful events in Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Guwahati, Indore, Jaipur, Varanasi, Secunderabad.
Shri Naveen Shah, CMD, NDFDC, a Government of India Corporation, Shri Naveen Shah, Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Karnataka State, Shri Das Suryavanshi, Director, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens, Karnataka, Shri Siddheshwar N., Regional Regional Director of Union Bank of India, at the closing ceremony of the Divya Kala Mela. Chief, Trustee of NDFDC Foundation, and Founder, Sneh, Nagda Dr. Pankaj Maru were present. Persons with disabilities and representatives of government and non-government organizations associated with them, representatives of ALIMCO, and media were also present in this fair.
In the coming time, it has been planned to organize such fairs in other big cities of the country also. In all these national fairs, some stalls are also kept for local disabled people. Bengaluru fair also has around 7 participants from Karnataka. During the fair, loans worth more than Rs 25 lakh were sanctioned to disabled people. Assistive devices were distributed to the disabled. Many senior officers of various departments came and encouraged the disabled people. This fair also got a lot of love from the public. A free medical camp for disabled people was organized in the fair on 28th and 29th October, 2023. Awareness programs were also run in the fair on Occupational Therapy Day and World Stroke Day.
On October 3, 2023, an exclusive job fair for disabled people was organized by the National Disabled Finance and Development Corporation in this fair. A total of 125 persons with disabilities participated in this job fair. 12 private sector companies shortlisted 39 disabled people for jobs. Offer letters for jobs were provided to 12 disabled people. Registration of Divyangjan desirous of self-employment loan was done by Union Bank of India, the partner bank of National Divyangjan Finance and Development Corporation (NDFDC). Hindi Kavi Sammelan was organized in the Divya Kala Mela, in which national level poets and poetesses participated. Best buyers were honored every day on the fair stage to increase sales in the fair. Those who did good work in the fair were rewarded under five categories.
A fashion show was also organized at the fair. For the first time on such a large scale, an exhibition/fair named “Divya Kala Mela” was organized in Bengaluru for disabled entrepreneurs and their organizations. This ten-day fair was organized by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India). Around 100 Divyang artisans and entrepreneurs from 20 States and Union Territories showcased their products. The fair also saw good participation from women entrepreneurs/artists. Divya Kala Mela featured home decor and lifestyle, textiles, stationery and eco-friendly Products from categories like products, packaged food and organic products, toys and gifts, personal accessories, jewellery, clutch bags etc. were included. Cultural programs (dance, singing etc.) were organized daily by professional artists to entertain the people visiting the fair. Cultural programs were also presented by the disabled people.
Through this fair, the disabled people have done a business of more than Rs 50,00,000 so far. Persons with disabilities have also received purchase assurances from many companies. Institutions providing vocational training to persons with disabilities also participated in the fair. Artificial Limb Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), AYJNIHH, NIMHANS, Union Bank of India participated in the fair. This fair became a platform to highlight the different types of talents hidden among the disabled people. The fair was visited by domestic and foreign tourists and this effort was appreciated. Visitors enjoyed delicious dishes at the fair. There are plans to organize such fairs in many cities of the country.
The next fair will be held in Chennai (Tamil Nadu) from December 8, 2023 to December 17, 2023. Various government and non-government organizations played a good role in making the fair successful. Apart from print and electronic media, the fair also got a lot of coverage through social media. Full support was also received from local administration, police, administration and Karnataka government.