हिंदी खबर
People at AVSAR scheme strore in Surat airport. (ANI/photo)
People at AVSAR scheme strore in Surat airport. (ANI/photo)

AAI provides space to self-help groups at Surat, other airports to empower local artisans

ANI | Updated: May 10, 2022 22:34 IST

Surat (Gujarat) [India], May 10 (ANI): In a unique initiative to empower artisans and familiarise passengers with the local heritage and traditions, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has begun giving space to self-help groups (SHGs) in Surat and other airports in the country to sell their products.
The space allotted to SHGs under AAI's AVSAR (Airport as Venue for Skilled Artisans of the Region) initiative will help women attached to these groups to expand the reach of their products to people in all parts of the country.
AAI chairman Sanjeev Kumar told ANI said the AVSAR initiative "will not only provide a platform to SHGs at airports but familiarise travellers with the local heritage and traditions of the area".

An area of 100 to 200 square feet is allocated to SHGs on a rotational basis to showcase products made by rural women and artisans.
Passengers at the Surat airport lauded the skills of the artisans as also the products on offer. They said they were getting to see quality local products at the airport itself without having to step out.

Bhavika Makwana, a passenger who took snacks from one of the SHG outlets, said the products were fresh and the taste was good.
Jyoti Prajapati, a local seller, said that earlier they could sell their products only in Surat but now can do so to passengers from all parts of the country.
She said 90 per cent of their products were homemade.
"It is a great opportunity. The women in our self-help group prepare products as per their skills. Then we all sell these at the airport premises. The Surat Mahanagar Palika and Airport Authority have given us this opportunity to sell our products here. Earlier we used to sell our products only in markets of Surat but now our products are bought by people from all parts of the country. We have got a good response from the buyers," Prajapati told ANI.

Jewellery, clothes, handicrafts and local snacks were among the products made by women available at the airport.
Surat Airport Director Aman Saini said they were proving SHGs platform so that the women can sell their products and people visiting the airport are aware of local products.

"People are appreciating the quality products. The Surat Mahanagar Palika is helping us with the self-help groups. A particular group is provided with the space on the airport premises for 15 days. After 15 days another group will take over the space. We charge nominal rates from them, not commercial charges," she said.

According to the AAI, a few outlets have already been commissioned at Chennai, Agartala, Dehradun, Kushinagar, Udaipur and Amritsar Airport and SHGs operated by local women are showcasing and marketing their homemade local products like puffed rice, packaged papad, pickles, bamboo-based ladies bag, local artefacts, traditional craft, natural dyes, embroidery and indigenous weaves with contemporary design to the air travellers.
More AAI Airports are in the process of allotting space in coordination with the state governments to such self-help groups.
Self-help groups are considered India's most powerful channels for empowering small and rural communities to move from subsistence to sustainability. The government has been making constant efforts to strengthen the SHGs.
The initiative to strengthen SHGs by allotting space at AAI Airports is expected to provide huge visibility to these small groups in the country as also abroad through foreign visitors. (ANI)