‘Showcasing unique identity, culture’: Here's why Indian airports are going local

  • The Airports Authority of India has partnered with self help groups for sale of locally-developed products at airports

In an attempt to promote and help Indian artisans, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has begun offering space for self help groups at various airports to sell their locally-developed products.
Under the AVSAR (Airport as Venue for Skilled Artisans of the Region) initiative, Self Help Groups (SHGs) are have come forward to showcase their products at 12 airports, including at Agartala, Kushinagar, Udaipur and Madurai.
According to AAI, airports at Varanasi, Calicut, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Raipur, among others, in coordination with the respective state governments are in the process of allotting space to local SHGs. Other airports that plan to have SHG outlets are Vizag, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Silchar, Dibrugarh and Jorhat.
Sanjeev Kumar, AAI Chairman said in a statement to news agency PTI, “showcasing the unique identity and culture of the various regions and states, the objective of AVSAR initiative is to not only provide visibility/platform to SHGs at airports but also introduce the heritage and ethos of the place to air travellers.”
Additionally, Kumar has said that the AAI is committed to contributing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of creating an atmosphere for strengthening SHGs and promoting local artisans. 
Interestingly, outlets of various SHGs are already open at 12 airports, including Agartala, Dehradun, Kushinagar, Udaipur, Amritsar, Belagavi, Chennai, Ranchi, Indore, Surat, Madurai and Bhopal.
In the given space, an area of 100-200 square feet, at each airport, SHGs will display the products made by rural women and artisans. The space would be allotted to SHGs by turns wherein each group will get to display their products for 15 days.
AVSAR has been started to help build strong grassroot institutions empowering poor rural women and to provide promising market opportunities and right promotional avenues, AAI said. 
(With inputs from agencies)
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