PATNA: A two-week Saras Mela will open at the Gandhi Maidan in the city on December 12.
Based on the theme 'Udyami mahilayein, khushhaal desh', the fair is being organised by the Union ministry of rural development in association with Jeevika, a World Bank-supported rural livelihoods project in the state.
The fair venue will be spread over an area of three lakh square feet and will house 450 stalls. The fair last year had only 400 stalls. It will also have a 1,000sqft children entertainment centre.
Jeevika manager (non-farm) Divesh Kumar said they were in receipt of confirmation of participation from 20 states so far. "We expect the number of participating states to rise," he said, adding entry would be free to the fair which would open at 10am and close at 8pm every day.
The fair is aimed at patronising rural and small entrepreneurs. Like every year, this year also it will have stalls selling dress material and fabric, furniture, carpet, accessories and home decor items from different parts of the country.
The number of food stalls will also be up from 20 previous years to 30 this year, which will showcase famous cuisines of different states. "Cuisines from Bihar will also be promoted. 'Sattu' will be prepared live on 'jaanta' (grinder) for cooking 'litti' for sale," Kumar said.
Street plays will be staged at the fair to spread awareness about cleanliness. The fair venue will also have an auditorium where cultural programmes will be organised every evening, showcasing folk songs and dance forms of Bihar and stand-up comedy. The auditorium will have the capacity to seat 1,000 people at a time.