October 17, 2011 5:21:22 am
The recently held Yellow Ribbon Fair brought over 100 NGOs and self-help groups together to share their tales of hard work and determination
Several pink boards hung around the premises of Ishanya Mall in Yerwada. The big bold letters declared the Yellow Ribbon Fair. As one drove into the almost full parking lot,the aroma of freshly made paranthas and hot pakodas from the food stalls filled the air. A volunteer passed by,reporting the success of her stall over the phone. Each stall at the Yellow Ribbon Fair had a story behind it. Every face behind the counter smiled back at visitors,telling tales of perseverance and grit. With over 100 NGOs and self-help groups featured this year,the fair,which was on till Sunday,had plenty to offer.
At the entrance,one was greeted by a riot of colours. Diyas,akashkandils,carpets,sarees,pen-stands,pickles and drapes – the fair threw open its doors to talent from all over the country. Conceived by Ishanya Foundation,the event saw participation from organisations like Supriya Mahila Bachat Gat,Bhor,Durga Mata Hatmag Winkar Karagir Sahakari Sanstha and Baleshwari Hastakal Paithani Bachat Gat,Rishikesh SHG,MUSKAAN,IDEAS,Akanksha Foundation,Gandhi National Memorial Society and Schizophrenia Awareness Association.
Ramesh bhai ,from Tribhuvandas Foundation Anand,Gujarat,displayed funky jholas and elegant bed covers to visitors. The stall was quite a hit. The organisation runs a handicrafts programme that involves over 1000 women from 100 villages. The theme of women empowerment was well reflected at the fair. One could see women actively participating in managing stalls,selling and marketing their products efficiently. At her stall,Vandana Pawar from Maza Goan Maza Desh,sat down to take a break. Pawar’s organisation educates women about the need for water conservation and also empowers them to become economically independent.
While several stalls recorded good business,many of them were content with the fact that they were creating awareness about their cause. The Yerwada Prison kiosk was laden with bedsheets,brightly coloured mats and small,furniture pieces. The Nirmalaya Trust put forward bags,chocolates,decorative boxes,paintings and diyas that reflected designing finesse. A group of student volunteers moved around recording information on the fair,carefully tabulating all the details.
But what also made it a huge success was the spirit and passion that the organisations carried with them. Amongst the festive paraphernalia,one could see individual hard work in progress. The painted faces at Akanksha Foundation,the red coloured diyas at Saideep,the elegant artwork at Dhanashri Enterprises showed how sustainability can be achieved. Every spot at the fair had a little tale of determination,waiting to be told.
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