This year, UP’s Dewa mela to focus on ‘One District, One Product’
The annual Dewa fair was set on a roll on Friday by the Barabanki district administration at the Dewa Sharif -- about 40 kilometers from Lucknow. Unlike the previous years’ themes, which have revolved around communal harmony and prosperity, this year’s theme is ‘One District, One Product’.
Inaugurating the over 100-year-old fair, said to have started as a homage to Sufi saint Haji Waris Ali Shah, Sheetal Verma, wife of Adarsh Singh, district magistrate of Barabanki, said, “This fair is a perfect picture of our Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb in which people of all castes and faiths meet and celebrate together.”
During the 10-day fest, the message of ‘one district, one product’ and cleanliness would be strongly sent out to the masses, said the organisers. “This time we have bangles from Faizabad, Surma from Bareilly, crockery from Khurja, carpet from Bhadohi, flute from Pilibhit, wooden furniture from Saharanpur, blankets from Panipat, sports equipment from Meerut, and others,” an administrative official said.
Among the various attractions will be soulful qawwalis rendered by ‘faqirs’ on the threshold of the dargah (mausoleum). Other than the traditional delights, this year the fair has dedicated a separate section for highlighting the ongoing welfare schemes of the state and central governments. Besides, different departments have also set up their stalls to talk about the development work they are doing.
Just like previous years, a grand cattle market has also been set up. Besides, the administration has made elaborate security arrangements.
Officials said more than 50 high resolution CCTV cameras have been installed all across the fair area to keep a tab on visitors. Besides, watchtowers have been established.
The shrine of Haji Waris Ali Shah attracts pilgrims of all religions throughout the year. However, during Dewa mela, the crowd turnout is huge, so much so that keeping an estimate of the number of visitors becomes a challenging task for the authorities.