At the three-day Sattvik Food Festival held in Ahmedabad, stalls sell traditional vegetarian fare that is often not commonly found in the city and not known to city folks.
This year, the festival which began on December 23, drew curious visitors to one stall that is something of a rarity these days. What is interesting is that the stall was not selling any edible fare nor any products made of organic material. But what it offered was something that many now know no more – letters!
The stall was set up by the Department of Posts. And what piqued people’s curiosity was its concept urging people to write a letter. Titled ‘Patr lakho” (write a letter) the stall offered people a chance to send a postcard to anyone they liked.
“The department provided the pen, the postcard and even the stamps. We wanted visitors to write a letter or postcard to anyone they knew telling them of their experience at the Sattvik food festival. In fact, we encouraged people to write to the festival organisers too,” said GPO MR Trivedi.
The department had also set up the red post box near its stall so that the people could post their letters at the venue itself.
“We want to encourage people to write a letter. A phone call is forgotten. A mail does not have the same charm as a letter can be preserved for ages and every time you read it, it brings back fond memories. Can an email or SMS compete with that?” questioned Trivedi.
He said many people took the opportunity to write letters. “Some even posted a letter to themselves as they wanted to receive a letter in their name. In fact, some of the kids who came to the stall had never written a letter or posted one in their life,” said an employee who manned the post box.
The festival that also sees sales of organic produce and products made from organic supply also had women farmers coming together to take a look at the potential of organic farming.
In the middle of the food festival, a group of about 30 women farmers sat together discussing how they could go organic and why festivals like these could be a networking place for them to find potential customers.
Shilpa Vasavada, who is associated with the Working Group for Women and Land Ownership, said the idea behind bringing these women to the food festival was to show them that there is a demand for organic products as well as traditional grains.
“We are encouraging many of these women farmers to go organic and it is a must that we show them the potential or organic products,” she said.