SAARC nations to participate in Kerala tourism’s crafts festival

Saturday, Sep 19, 2015,19:24 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | A group of artists and an array of ethnic products from SAARC nations will feature at the International Handicrafts Exhibition in Kozhikode district as a run-up to the ninth edition of Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF), scheduled later this year. Expert artisans from all the eight nations of SAARC will participate in the 18-day mela to be held at Iringal in Kozhikode from December 20 as part of the GKSF, which is being hosted by the Kerala Tourism Department.
The External Affairs Ministry will bring in the artists from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan to the Sargaalaya Iringal International Crafts Festival, which will have the participation of the United Nations as well, Kerala Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao said here today in a release.
The proposal was cemented at a meeting Rao and GKSF Director K M Anil Muhammed had with Gopal Bagle, Joint Secretary to the External Affairs Ministry, in New Delhi yesterday, it said.
We have discussed the matter also with Vinod Zutshi, Secretary to the Union Tourism Ministry, Rao said.
Further, efforts are on under the leadership of Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar and MP Shashi Tharoor to bring in more foreign countries to the crafts fest, which is scheduled to conclude on January 5.
GKSF is an annual shopping event conducted by Kerala Tourism in co-ordination with the state’s departments of Industries and Commerce, Finance and Local Self Government. The festival is aimed at transforming ‘God’s Own Country’ into a hub for international shopping experience and help upgrade its traditional marketing infrastructure.