The Bali Yatra menace voyage to Bali (an island and province of Indonesia) fair is organized to commemorate the day when the ancient Oriya mariners or the Sadhabas would undertake commercial sea voyages to the far-off islands of Bali, Sumatra, Borneo, Srilanka, and Java for cultural and trade expansion. This festival unfolds each year, kicking off on the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima and extending over several days serving as a platform for different cultural and commercial exchange. Therefore, people from various corners of Odisha gather along the picturesque majestic bank of the Mahanadi River to partake in this grand event. The festival is also acknowledged as Odisha’s largest open-air fair and it holds the prestigious title of the ‘Largest open trade fair in Asia.
This year Baliyatra spanned eight days from 27th Nov to 5th Dec, where around 2000 stalls were set up on the riverbed showcasing different traditional craft items, handloom, and indigenous items from all over India. This provided a platform for the local artisans, traders, and women entrepreneurs of Self-Help Groups from within and outside the state to showcase their products and craftsmanship and boost their income.
Banki Aromatic Cluster, one of the progressive clusters established under the SFURTI scheme of MoMSME, GOI with the supervision of KIIT-TBI, also showcased its value-added lemon grass products near the ORMAS pavilion. The cluster successfully marketed a range of value-added products, including disinfectants, toilet cleaner, dishwashing liquid, incense sticks, and lemongrass essential oil, resulting in a substantial sales revenue of INR 3,20,000 within the past 8 days. The success of the Banki Aromatic Cluster not only stands as an exemplar for similar clusters under the SFURTI scheme but also serves as a focal point, showcasing the efficacy of the SFURTI scheme in uplifting the rural economy by advancing traditional practices.