The only way to ensure growth in society is by giving everybody the chance to tap into their talents and flourish. This is the essence of Namma Angadi, an event that stands with the motto, Vocal for Local. The 19-year-old collaboration between the NGO, Namma Bhoomi, and the Manipal Institute of Communication still stands strong. The event is mainly organized by the second-year masters students of Manipal Institute of Communication with help from their juniors. The efforts put in by the organizing committee were evident in the delicately folded origami hanging from the ceiling.
Taking place offline for the first time in two years, the three-day event that started on April 8, 2022, attracted large crowds from in and out of Udupi. The event was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Mr. Kurma Rao (Deputy Commissioner and Chief Magistrate, Udupi district), Mrs. Padma Rani (Director, Manipal Institute of Communication), and Mr. Shivanand Shetty (Assistant Director, Concern for Working Children). As the Chief Guest rightly said, events like Namma Angadi are important for publicizing local handicrafts. He referred to the students of MIC as future opinion-makers.
The event had a wide range of artifacts, which although made with traditional handmade methods kept up with the modern fashion trends. From stylish sarees and bags to comfortable kurtas and shirts, they had something for everyone. Vermicompost and pots for plant lovers, terracotta artifacts for the ones who like their homes to feel earthy. The tote bags were a new addition keeping in mind their recent popularity. For the hungry shoppers, the event had fries, momos, twist potatoes, paani puri; and those with a sweet tooth were given a plethora of tasty options like cakes, milkshakes, and organic ice creams. For those with experimental palettes, a Rajasthani thali was also available.
The Project Manager, Urbi, informed ManipalBlog that the first organizing committee’s meeting was on February 18, and in less than two months they pulled off a near-perfect event. Even when there were obstacles the team was able to get over them together and continue to provide the customers with a good shopping experience. As mentioned by the Creative Head, Poorva, a caterer dropping out last minute would in a usual situation cause frenzy but the MIC team was able to stay calm and get the necessary requirements in order. It was also a learning experience for the organizing team as they learnt skills that they wouldn’t typically learn in a classroom environment, as said by Rashi and Pawni, volunteers at the event. The members also talked about learning team-building skills and personal growth in terms of learning how to manage people of different kinds to work towards a common goal.
Events like Namma Angadi play a key role in spreading the word about Namma Bhoomi and its artisans. Varda, the Media and Publicity Head believes that the banners and the billboards used to advertise the event played a big role in ensuring a great turnout.
Keeping in mind the covid restrictions, the event had a covid department that ensured the safety of the shoppers as well as the vendors. Everybody at the location was requested to wear masks at all times and sanitizers were placed in multiple places.
Ms. Sowparnika, the faculty coordinator for Namma Angadi has been working with the organization since 2015 and repeatedly talked about the efforts put in by the organizing committee in ensuring a good income generation for Namma Bhoomi.
All’s Well That Ends Well
Despite the sudden rains and power cuts, the organizing team ensured that all the customers remained calm. The event was back up and running within a few minutes. As the Head of Finance said, the volunteers and heads of various departments were able to coordinate perfectly to fulfill the needs of the event. At the end of the event, the customers were satisfied, and money was raised for a good cause, the efforts of the organizing committee paid off. So in all a wholesome experience.
About the Authors: Harini Satish and Ishita Jain have jointly covered the Namma Angadi event. They are first-year students at Manipal Institute of Communication, MAHE, who co-wrote this article.