While the entire nation is debating Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative to make India a cashless economy, this small hamlet, which is just 32 km from Guwahati, has been conducting cashless trade fair every year.
While the entire nation is debating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to make India a cashless economy, this small hamlet, which is just 32 km from Guwahati, has been conducting cashless trade fair every year. The eye-catching point about the trade fair is that the cashless transaction practice has not been initiated post government’s demonetisation drive, but is being carried out from more than 5 centuries! Yes, you read it right, 500 years. Members of Assam’s Tiwas tribe of Central Assam and neighbouring Meghalaya conduct this three-day barter-themed trade fair in the third week of January in Assam’s Morigaon district.
As per a report published by India TV, the fair that is known as ‘Junbeel’ Mela, which means moon (Jun) and wetland (beel), happens underneath a large full crescent moon. This year, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal attended the fair and has praised the centuries long initiative. Commenting upon the same, he said that people need to learn from such practices as it highlights the cashless drive of the modern day society.
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The Secretary of Junbeel Mela Development Samiti, Jur Sing Bordoloi said,”On the occasion of the mela, a big market is held here where these tribes exchange their products in barter system which is perhaps the only such instance in the country.”
Days before the fair start, all the members from Tiwa, Karbi, Khasi and Jaintia tribes come down from the neighbouring hills with various products. Products such as ginger, turmeric, pumpkin, medical herbs, rice cakes, bamboo shoot etc. are traded during the fair.