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New Delhi : Aadi Mahotsav (National Tribal Festival), a joint initiative of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India & Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), kickstarted at Polo Ground, Leh-Ladakh on August 17, 2019. The 9 day event from August 17 to 25,  2019 was inaugurated by Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda, in the august presence of Renuka Singh, Minister for State for Tribal Affairs, and R C Meena, Chairman TRIFED.

The theme of the festival is: “A celebration of the spirit of Tribal Craft, Culture and Commerce”. TRIFED essentially is to play the role of a Service provider & ‘Market Developer.

Delivering inaugural address, Munda said that the national object of inclusive development (sabkavikas) includes the development of tribes as an important component. “Our constitution enjoins upon the Government the responsibility of addressing the special needs of the tribals. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is committed for the overall development of tribal people across the country who are deprived of the benefits of the many schemes of the government. The Government plans to setup 3,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK) across the country in 2019-20 which include 13 VDVKs planned to setup in Ladakh,” Munda said. He wished grand success to the Aadi Mahotsav in Leh-Ladakh.

In her address, Renuka Singh said that the Ministry of Tribal Affairs will organise many more such Aadi Mahotsav in all State capitals and in other parts of the country in the near future which will benefit large population of tribal people of our country in all respects. She said that now the products of Tribal artisans are being marketed all over the country through 104 retail outlets run by TRIBES India and to 190 countries across the country through Amazon, with whom TRIBES India has an agreement.

The inaugural event had two reputed local cultural troupes presenting Ladakhi folk dances. The troupes performed Jabro Dance, a nomadic dance and song of people inhabiting eastern Ladakh, and Spawo dance, a heroic song and dance associated with a legendary hero of Himalayan region called K’sar. Further on in the coming days other dance performances like Flower Dance, Abex Dance/song, Ghazal Dance, Aleyyatoo will regale the visitors.

The first of its kind event in Leh-Ladakh will see around 160 Tribal artisans from more than 20 states across the country actively participating and showcasing their masterpieces. The product range will comprise Tribal Textiles from Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal; Tribal Jewellery from Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and North East; Tribal Paintings like Gond art from Madhya Pradesh, Warli art from Maharashtra; Metal craft from Chhattisgarh; Black pottery from Manipur, and Naturals and Organic products from Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, according to a PIB release.

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