Representing the Cultural Tapestry of the Indian Handloom Industry: The One Bharat Sari Walkathon  

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National: The One Bharat Sari Marathon, organised by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, curated by brand solution agency Cab Experiences, celebrated the cultural, social and economic relevance of the Indian traditional saree whilst paying tribute to the Indian handloom industry. Union Minister of Textiles Piyush Goyal flagged off the ‘One Bharat Sari Walkathon’ on a lighter note and started the event by making a playful reference to a popular social media trend, ‘by referring to the participants as so elegant, so beautiful, just looking like a wow’. He set the stage for a fun-filled event that helped in uplifting the mood of the crowds. The event was bussing with vibrancy, infectious smiles and togetherness, as women greeted and met one another, with a common goal of spreading the message of cultural diversity and unity.

The larger-than-life event was a brainchild of the Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways & Textiles, Smt. Darshna Jardosh, and ably supported and delivered successfully in Mumbai under the leadership of Hon’ble MP, Smt. Poonam Mahajan. The event celebrated the indomitable spirit of Indian women, bringing together participants from all walks of life in a walkathon that radiated pride and dignity. Draped in sarees, representing different states of India & styled in various captivating ways, the participants showcased the rich heritage of this traditional attire, symbolising a cultural thread that has been embraced by generations of women.

To support this noble cause and amp up the participative spirit of the women, the event was graced by the presence of several distinguished celebrities and influential figures.  Among the attendees were Shaina NC, Sonali Bendre, Sonali Kulkarni, Faye D’Sousa, Anita Dongre, Neeta Lulla, Jannat Zubair Rahmani, Rupali Ganguly, Falguni Pathak, Yasmin Karachiwala, Rouble Nagi and Dolly Jain. Each participant contributed to the event’s significance, showcasing not only their physical prowess in the walkathon but also their commitment to cultural pride and unity. Moreover, the wholehearted support of Mumbai Police made the event a massive success.

The event unfolded on the streets of BKC with 40 female Nashik Dhol artists welcoming the participants, creating a vibrant festive atmosphere with ambient music. The audience walked into the venue, setting the stage for an exciting day ahead. Following this, a dynamic warm-up session by Yasmin Karachiwala ensued, preparing participants for the upcoming activities.  Going ahead, the EMCEE took the stage, extending a warm welcome to dignitaries and celebrities. The event continued with an impactful speech by Hon’ble MP, Smt. Poonam Mahajan followed her speech with an engaging interactive session with the dignitaries and celebrities, bridging the gap between the stage and the audience. This was followed by a sari draping session on two young women by Dolly Jain showcasing the adaptability and modernity of sari through multiple innovative drapes. Following this was an empowering address by Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways & Textiles, Smt. Darshna Jardosh. The One Bharat Sari Walkathon took centre stage, flagged off with enthusiasm by the dignitaries and participants embarked on a spirited walk.

The event concluded with a brief yet heartfelt vote of thanks by Smt. Poonam Mahajan, expressing gratitude to all involved. Following this, attendees enjoyed refreshments, fostering a sense of camaraderie and community. The day extended beyond the main event with dignitaries visiting the Gandhi Shilp Basar Exhibition at MMRDA Ground, organised by the O/o DC (Handicrafts). Simultaneously, a workshop on Sari Draping by NIFT Mumbai added an educational and interactive dimension to the overall experience, making the event a well-rounded celebration of culture and participation.

The event was a roaring success with celebrities and masses mingling with one another like never before and with celebrity social media handles, flooded with vibrant selfies and posts of the event, that showcased the true essence of the event which was togetherness, unity and shared love for one nation – Bharat.