Hamirpur/Bilaspur (HP): Him ira market of Bilaspur is fast emerging as a main market for the people of the Bilaspur district as its products are prepared by the local entrepreneurs especially those belonging to rural areas.
People eagerly attend the Him Ira weekly market on the 5th and 20th of every month to remove local products from the rural vagaries and make them accessible for the availability and usefulness of the residents of Bilaspur city as well as for the strengthening of rural livelihood.
About 15 self-help groups of the district sell local products in the weekly market by the District Rural Development Agency under the National Rural Livelihood Mission.
Along with earning livelihood, this group enhances the taste of the kitchen of the city dwellers by bringing the products obtained from the soil of the village to the climate of the city. Turmeric, Sira, various spices, badiya, different types of pickles, gram flour, amla, jamun and neem powder and many other types of village products are sold in these markets.
The products sold in the weekly market meet the criteria of quality and cleanliness as well as provide full nutrition, due to which the demand and trust of these products has increased among the people.
Apart from this, permanent shops have been allotted to self-help groups under the National Rural Livelihood Mission at Ghumarwin, Jhanduta, and Shri Nayana Devi which has been named as Him Ira Haat.
In order to increase the livelihood of the group, a small counter has been opened in the district post office for the sale of products manufactured by the group. Self-help groups in ITI Bilaspur and Jhandutta provide pure food to the women of the group in the Him Era canteen, says Deputy Commissioner, Pankaj Rai.
Local products were taken to the stalls decorated during various fairs and festivals in Bilaspur as well as other districts of the state. This product is also attracting people from other states. Through Saras Mela, not only the promotion of the product is being done by sending self-help groups to Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh and other regions of the country, but efforts are also being made to recognize the taste and aroma of local products at the national level.
Along with the people of Bilaspur, the women of self-help groups eagerly wait for the 5th and 20th of the Him Era weekly market. Though coming from far away to decorate the haat in the winter season is creating difficulties for the women of Baba Balak Nath Self Help Group Kutheran, the urge to earn profits keeps them warm.
Jagdamba Devi of Shiv self-help group Jhanduta, boasting about the profits made in the market, says, “The sales have increased.”
Sapna Devi of Om Namah Shivay Self Help Group prepares the products to be sold in the market on 5th and 20th throughout the month.
Lata Devi of Jagriti self-help group Panjgai has also found success in increasing her livelihood through this medium.
The Deputy Commissioner claims that the Him ira market concept is not only helping the self help groups but is also giving imputes to the people to start preparing their products and sell them through the haat.