Delhiites flock to the Diwali Bazar hosted by the city’s Blind Relief Association
With the Festival of Lights around the corner, Delhiites flock to the Diwali Bazar hosted by the city’s Blind Relief Association for a festive shopping spree
With the Festival of Lights right around the corner and the spirit of festivity in the air, the city’s residents are gearing up to go on a shopping spree. As COVID-restrictions slacken, one of the city’s most sought-after events is back with renewed grandeur. The annual Diwali Bazar, a week-long exhibition organised by The Blind Relief Association (TBRA), Delhi, since 1980, commenced on Thursday morning, and will continue till November 1. Organised so as to finance the Association’s varied services and empower the blind community, this exhibition houses a wide range of stalls with vendors from across the country.
Although the scale of the Bazar has been reduced—they’re now hosting only 70 stalls—in accordance to COVID guidelines, the patrons still flocked to the Bazar on a Thursday afternoon. KC Pande, the Executive Secretary of the Association, said that the entire Bazar was organised in just four days. “We thought we would have two small exhibitions this time—on Navratri and on Diwali. However, we needed to keep the legacy of the Diwali Bazar alive. We got the green signal from the Delhi Disaster Management
Authority (DDMA) on Saturday, and then we organised everything within the last few days,” said Pande.
A festive favourite
On visiting the event on the day it commenced, we noticed that the most popular items on sale were the colourful candles and handcrafted diyas (oil lamps) created by the blind trainees and volunteers of the Association. Apart from this, products such as bags, envelopes, papier-mâché plates and cups, along with cloth bags and masks stitched by the trainees were also being sold here. Additionally, a few stalls featured clothing, home decor, traditional crafts by both brands and NGOs.
Hamari Asha, an upliftment initiative for rural women by Raman Kant Munjal Foundation, Sidhrawali, Gurugram, had a stall that catered to handcrafted products made by more than 100 women from the villages in Haryana. Veera Dhawan from Pune, who has been part of the Bazar for the last 20 years, mentioned how happy she was to be back here. Her sartorial label Nergisse & Veera specialises in sarees featuring Zardosi embroidery and the traditional Parsi Gara work. “Earlier, people from Delhi were not aware of this traditional art. I wanted to make it a part of mainstream fashion. Now, it has become popular here. I have a steady clientele thanks to the art as well as the Bazar’s popularity,” she said.
Small yet special
Although it was a weekday, the Bazar witnessed a huge crowd eager to shop for the upcoming festival of Diwali. Neetu Rathi, a Safdarjung Enclave resident, said that the Bazar was her favourite shopping place for the festive season. Anureet Sethi (57), who had travelled from Mumbai for the Bazar, pointed out, “The Bazar is lovely even if it’s smaller than it used to be. But, I must mention that I miss the food stalls.”
Bazar of Delights
What: The Blind Relief Association’s Diwali Bazar.
Where: The Blind Relief Association, Delhi, Lal Bahadur Shasti Marg.
When: Till November 1, 10am to 8pm
A NOBLE CAUSE
The annual Diwali Bazar is a week-long exhibition, organised by The Blind Relief Association, Delhi. It finances the Association’s varied services and also empowers the blind community.