Delhi gets artsy and crafty again with the Dastkar Mela that is back in the town. This year’s Dastkar is dedicated to camels and is also known as the ‘Nature bazaar’. As the nineteenth edition of Dastkar the Mela this year is held in Pragati Maidan till the 19th of October. The Mela is free and open to all from 10: 30 am to 8 pm. The entry gate for Dastkar is Gate no. 2 of Pragati Maidan.
The highlights of Dastkar is the innovative concept of holding workshops which educated lay people like me about the intricate details and amount of effort that goes into making the items that are on sale.
People from 20 states across India have come together displaying art forms which are indigenous to the place where they belong. There are over 160 craft groups who have come together at Dastkar to display their art work most of them being NGO’s who are working for the common wellbeing of individuals from rural areas mostly the areas which has the indigenous art form they are promoting.
Apart from the workshops the Artisans dedicate their time demonstrating on how they make their products. Artists from all around India like Akhil Kumar from West Bengal and Jag Ram Devagan from Chattisgarh have been sharing with people who come to the mela the details and the secrets of their trade. One should also catch up on the street plays that are happening around the clock at Dastkar.
If you have an appetite for food from across India, Dastkar has not only brought arts from around India but has successful put up stalls which sell Dosa’s from the south, to Bhalles from the North and the unforgettable and must have Dum Biryani from Hyderabad. Foodies need not worry at all.
If you do decide to visit Dastkar which I do recommend you to do make sure you up with the current performance that have been lined up on their facebook page. Don’t miss the Been performance, the numerous workshops, the theatre performances and street shows.
The workshops that have been lined up are bead products, basket weaving, Terracota, Ground decorative and paper products and bags.
If you do intend to shops, you might have to carry a little cash there is also a little counter where you could withdraw cash from you card. Most of the shops maybe a little too heavy on your pocket so shops intelligently. What I would strongly recommend you to do is make sure you have a conversation with someone at the shop about what you are buying and ask about the profit proceeds.
Check out the camel leather bags from Rajasthan and the Kilmora herbal products from Uttarakhand.
If you do decide to drive to Dastkar finding a place to park could be difficult. The closest parking around Dastkar is at Bhairo Mandir. I would highly recommend taking an auto or even better a metro. The nearest metro station to Datskar is Pragati Maidan.