Employment opportunities have been generated for over five lakh artisans, craftsmen and people associated with them through the “Hunar Haat” initiative of the government in the last five years, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Friday.

“Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will inaugurate the 24th Hunar Haat of indigenous products of artisans and craftsmen in the state capital on Saturday. Artisans and craftsmen from 31 states and Union territories will participate in the event,” Naqvi told reporters here.

He said the “Hunar Haat” initiative has proved to be immensely beneficial and encouraging for artisans and craftsmen as lakhs of people purchase their indigenous handmade products at the event.

“More than five lakh artisans, craftsmen and people associated with them have been provided with employment and employment opportunities in the last about five years through the Hunar Haat,” the minister said.

About 500 artisans, craftsmen and culinary experts from 31 states and Union territories, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, will participate in the event starting on Saturday, he added.

The minority affairs ministry is organising the “Hunar Haat” at the Avadh Shilpgram here from January 22 to February 4 with the theme of “Vocal for Local”.

Naqvi said Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma and senior ministers will also grace the occasion.

Indigenous products such as ajrakh, applique, art metal ware, Bagh print, batik, Banarasi saree, bandhej, Bastar art and herbal products, block print, brass metal bangles, cane and bamboo products, canvas painting, chikankari, copper bell will be available at the “Hunar Haat”.

Handloom textile, kalamkari, mangalgiri, Kota silk, lac bangles, leather products, Pashmina shawls, Rampuri violins, wooden and iron toys, kantha embroidery, crystal glass items, sandalwood products will also be available, Naqvi said.

People can also enjoy traditional delicacies from different parts of the country at the event, he said, adding that renowned artistes of the country will perform on the theme of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) every evening.

Those expected to perform are Kailash Kher, Vinod Rathore, Shibani Kashyap, Bhupendra Bhuppi, the Mirza sisters, Prem Bhatia and Rekha Raj, among others.

Naqvi said people can buy “Hunar Haat” products from the hunarhaat.org website as well.

In the coming days, the event will be organised in Mysore, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Indore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Ranchi, Kota, Surat or Ahmedabad, Kochi, Puducherry and other places, the minister said.