The interest of IITF visitors of is a reflection of consumer preference for eco-friendly lifestyle. Clearly, there is a growing awareness that kids are vulnerable to harmful effects, when they play with plastic toys. There is a shopping galore of eco- friendly wooden toys as well as handicraft items which beat the plastic ones at the ‘SARAS’ pavilion near Hall 7 at the fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Set-up by the Council of Advancement of People ‘s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) under the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, ‘SARAS’ is an integral part of IITF which has been organized by the India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO).
Educational wooden toys and game accessories in particular in are much sought after by Indian and overseas visitors alike at the fair. From creating mythological figurines and carvings resembling those unearthed at the sites of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, the tribal as well as artisans have gone global with a gamut of item they make for overseas visitors. Not only the wooden bangles and earrings made by the artisans of the villages but there is a wide range of such products which are a range at the fair for their designs and finish. There is a display such eco-friendly toys, accessories and utilities. Lacquer-painted wooden toys, utilities and fashion accessories in ‘SARAS’ as well as in different State pavilions, located at different the hangers have carved a niche for themselves at the fair for their exquisite and innovative craftsmanship, a toy aircrafts and a toys trains from the wood of neem and Indian blackberry (Jamun) are some of their latest creations. Among the artisans’ creations are figures of mythological characters and deities, dolls representing aspects of rural like flora and fauna, office stationery and musical instruments. Their enchanting designs, bright colors, earthly appeal and utility have enhanced the popularity of these artifacts in India and abroad.
Besides, SARAS has a large variety of handicraft and handloom items from various States, some of the special attractions of the SARAS Fair this year are – Bamboo items of Assam, exclusive dress materials from Uttar Pradesh, Sambalpuri Sarees, Grass and Jute material and Tribal Jewellery from Odisha, Jutties and Mojjeries from Rajasthan, Woolen items from Himachal Pradesh, Dress Materials of Punjab, famous Kantha work of West Bengal, exclusive Sarees of Telengana and Kerala, Boad leather Lamps and Paintings of Andhra Pradesh, Terracotta work and Silk items of Chhattisgarh, Madhubani Paintings of Bihar, Shawls and Carpets from Jammu & Kashmir, Bed Sheets, Bandanwar and Artificial Jewelery from Gujarat, Metal work products, Leather items, Fiber Lamps and eatables from Madhya Pradesh and many other exclusive items.
The products are crafted from locally available wood and the dyes are also obtained from indigenously grown plants, trees and flowers. These artisans pick up the art from their ancestors and have sought to revive it in an organized fashion. In doing so, artisans have gone global and have been able to make themselves-sources of rural employment. Be it the procurement of raw materials, the creation of national days, designing, marketing or diversifying the product range, the artisans have structured every process and procedure over the years to meet rising demand.