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Sway to earthy moves of folk dancers at Surajkund Mela
Vibrant folk dance forms bring Surajkund International Crafts Mela alive. The Mela offers a golden opportunity to everyone to watch the folk dances of India up-close for an entire fortnight. The dance troupes from across the country look forward to be a part of this 15-day spectacle. Their riveting performances at Chaupal are so popular that onlookers jostle to find space to catch a glimpse of the performers.

Assam's 'Bihu,' Manipur's 'Pung Cholam,' Andhra Pradesh's 'Lambadi,' Lakshadweep's 'Lava,' Arunachal Pradesh's 'Brojhai, 'Meghalaya's 'Ka Shad Mastie' and 'Singhi Chham of Sikkim are few of the dance forms being presented by artistes from East Zone Cultural Centre, South Zone Cultural Centre and North East Zone Cultural Centre daily at Chaupal of the ongoing Surajkund International Crafts Mela at Faridabad.

The nine-member troupe from Meghalaya, comprising tribals, is presenting dance form known as 'Kishat Mistik.' One member of the group said the dance is usually performed in April as it is meant to mark the harvest season.

"At Surajkund Mela, we definitely get a great platform to showcase our talent. Also, it offers a great interface between dance forms of the world. Coming here has been surely a learning experience for us," said a dancer from Assam.

The group from coastal Odisha is performing 'Gautipua', a dance in the worship of Lord Jagnanath. This dance is also performed by nine artistes in which men are dressed as women. Through their dance, the artistes depict different avatars of Jagnanath like Vishnu, Kali and Saraswati.

From up north, there is a troupe from Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir consisting of four men and four women dancers. Their slow rhythmic moves are a treat to watch in which artistes pose as vendors relaxing after wandering throughout the day to sell their wares and break into dance to unwind.

The 'Brojhai' dance of Arunchal is performed on every festive occasion in this north eastern state. This traditional dance performed by 12 persons is based on themes of relationships, fragrance of soil and green farmlands depicting prosperity. Eight women dance while two sing at the sides and two men play the traditional drums.

Harendra Nath Kumar who specialises in 'Purulia Chhau' dance form of West Bengal said, "Our dance form is unique and no one can copy us. Our dance keeps us on the move. It feels good to be a part of the Surajkund Mela as we receive lot of recognition for our performance. Even youngsters here watch our dances from close quarters and appreciate it."

For a clean cause

'Be the change you want to see in world'. That is the adage followed by Gurgaon-based Non-Government Organisation (NGO), 'Expedition for Cause'. The NGO has been working on the campaign called Do Not litter, Do Not Throw Garbage on Roads.

On Thursday, the volunteers of the NGO were in action at the Surajkund International Crafts Mela along with 45 students from St Anthony School and Rawal International School from Faridabad. The students presented Nukkad Natak at the Mela grounds spreading the message of 'Do Not Litter' as a part of the ongoing Swatchh Bharat campaign. 

The students also took a round of the Mela premises holding a carry bag with the message inscribed on it 'Carry this litter bag with you'. They also distributed these litter bags to people requesting them for disposing their dry waste especially plastics sensibly.

Neeraj Dahiya from this NGO shared that they are working for creating a collective consciousness towards keeping the environs clean. We intend to distribute 1 million reusable liter bags and have already taken our mission to 37 cities across the country. Also we have tea vendor to shoemaker as our brand ambassadors for spreading the message.

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