The Annual Blind Relief Association Diwali Mela is the most talked about Diwali mela and once I reached there, I realised why. This year it is on from the 26th of October to the 31st of October. (2436 1376)
This mela is a blend of Dastkar Nature Bazaar and the Akshay Pratishtan Mela
Some stalls by charitable organisations, others purely commercial. Also a lot of stalls by people/companies that do not have shops and showrooms in this country, who mainly export their wares or sell to other companies who then sell these items with a markup for adding their own brandname.
The Blind School itself has a stall which sells candles, diyas and paper products made by their students. This stall has the largest throng of people around it. The second longest line was at the free foot massages being provided by the students (contributions voluntary).
The food available here is all vegetarian, a Rajasthani, South Indian, Dilli and chaat stall sums up most of whats on offer. There are a few kulfiwalas, sweet corn, cotton candy kind of stalls too.
Prices range from extremely reasonable to extremely expensive. But there is something for every kind of shopper. Overheard around the reasonably priced clothes area "Let's get out of this junta area, there are just too many people here and I'm not going to buy anything in this price range!"
My favorite stalls included Antarkranti - a collaboration of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan with the inmates of Tihar Jail with wonderful dhoop sticks (incense cones) and face packs. The Aarohi natural soaps with some unusual fragrances like Saffron, the wonderful diyas by the Blind School, a Rajasthani stall that was selling sari borders, Kumar Industries neem wood combs which they promise will stop dandruff and hari fall (an eternal quest) and Baby's Pride which had pre stitched saris for kids of all ages.
There are Gardening stores, Wonderful terracotta products to decorate your home and garden, some stalls selling unique kitchen gadgets among others.
Entry is free. There is also a free shuttle service from Aman hotel where you can park your car.