By Prerna Bhandari
Liv’ED It: It is an ED original style where we write about our personal experiences on experiencing and reviewing any app/place/website which gives us a feeling of coming back for more.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Surajkund Crafts Mela is organised every year in Faridabad but it was the first time that Prayag – Grand Digital India Mela was organised. This is why we thought of bringing a ‘livED It’ from the very first digital fare of India!
Prayag did a splendid job in getting people from different walks of life under one platform this year as well. There was the participation of innovators from 7 South Asian Countries with more than 1000 NGOs and ICT Experts.
How does one get there?
The most feasible way of reaching the Surajkund Mela is via metro unless you live in Faridabad itself. Take the violet line, get off at Badarpur metro station. Since the autowallas will ensure that they loot you by surging prices, the best option is to book a cab to reach the Mela from there.
Day: 25th February 2017
Visiting Hours: 9:30 am- 10 pm
Tickets: No entry cost
(Yep, it was a one-day-affair but hey they’re gonna be back next year!)
Once you say hello to the huge grounds at Surajkund, there is no looking back. Hundreds and hundreds of diverse stalls await your visit. But before you let yourself out on the grounds, an unexpected barrier halts your entry.
What otherwise should have featured in an amusement park welcomes you at the entrance! Well, it’s funnily a MAZE. One has to cross a long path of twisted roads with bumping into dead ends multiple times before you can finally walk past the path!
Value for Money
And then your eyes fall on the colourful display of products. Be it bags or pickles, handicrafts or lamps, you name it and you’d find it. If you love Dilli Haat but hate their prices, you cannot afford to miss Surajkund Mela next time.
With handicrafts and bags whose starting prices were Rs 100, I surely landed up with a lot of shopping bags home!
All about the Digital Movement
And after roaming in the Mela for a while, I surely understood why was it the First Digital Mela of India. Inspired by the Digital India campaign, a vast number of digital pioneers sat there to disseminate recent developments in Information and Communication technology.
They shared and explored ways of integrating much-needed digitalisation in the development sector of our country. Kudos to such initiators for understanding the state of information poverty rural sector, which marks 70% of India’s population.<attach photo 6> Title- Information dissemination desks were put up to promote Digital India.
The beauty of the Mela lied in being a part of a space which acknowledged and celebrated the work of Non – profits and the underprivileged. With stalls held by the government, non-profits, digital start-ups and college societies, it was not just about sales. The Mela was about an emotion, an emotion of empowering the underprivileged through their work.
No pleaser for the foodies
Everything was overwhelming about the Surajkund Mela except food stalls. For all those who turn up for Melas to treat their taste buds, you would have been heartbroken! The only resort left for visitors was Ram Ladoo and the not so asked out “Organic Food.”
There was a bustle everywhere but a chirpy bustle. Unlike most of the overcrowded and chaotic Melas of the past, Surajkund Mela is an exception. Fresh concept and thoughtful execution of the Mela makes it a ” not to miss” event for next year!
So, visiting the Prayag Digital Mela next year, are we?
FI Credits: Google Images
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