A 12-day exhibition showcasing self-help groups from across the country, ‘Mahalakshmi Saras’, was unveiled on Wednesday on the occasion of International Women’s Day by Maharashtra Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Girish Mahajan at the Vashi Exhibition Centre in Navi Mumbai.
Opportunity for self-help groups to showcase and market products
The exhibition offers self-help groups an opportunity to market their products and give an impetus to rural business growth.
Organised on behalf of Maharashtra State Rural Development Mission, the show will have 511 stalls, of which 350 are from Maharashtra and 119 from other parts of India, with 50 supported by NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development). A food court with 70 stalls offering vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian cuisines will also be a part of the show.
On display and sale are handicrafts, handloom, wooden crafts, Banjara and Warli art. There’s also women’s jewellery, wooden toys and rare artifacts from various states.
Event aims financial turnover of ₹25 crore
Mahajan said they wanted to host the exhibition earlier but the Covid-19 pandemic stalled the plans. The last exhibition had a financial turnover of up to ₹16 crore. A target of ₹25 crore has been set for this year.
Mahajan said, “Around 59 lakh families have been connected by Mahalakshmi Saras and around 5.97 lakh self-help groups are operational. Banks have distributed loans up to ₹18,000 crore to 4.50 lakh self-help groups so far.” He added that self-help groups can be used by various government agencies for promotion and publicity of schemes, including the health department.
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