Mela team

“ I got a lot of work, suddenly, in bulk. I found out about my capacity to deliver time bound work which has the international customer’s required quality. I spent nights and days to deliver the goods on time. I was surprised at myself as usually we are known for delaying things. I charged an emergency fee and this helped me pay my colleagues and other costs. Because of International customers coming to my small shop, my local prestige has increased, my customers have increased. My customers now have additional confidence as they see people from many countries come to my shop for me to stitch their clothes and requirements. I am waiting for the next Mela."


Chhabbra tailor, neighboring village Lopoke

“ It was delightful. The work we used to second guess, we understood symmetry, alignment, cleanliness and patience. I added four more people to my team and they feel their work improve as well. Working with your time, we understood what overtime work means and we understood time based delivery of work. We flew kites in the mela and we haven’t flown kites since childhood. We flew kites with foreigners and taught them how to fly them. We saw that foreigners are not very different from us. I felt at peace and didnt feel like leaving the Mela to go home."


Prince electrician, Preet Nagar

‘We have never felt this respect for our work. I have not felt the acceptance or recognition as an artist. My community is looked down upon and our work is seen as labour. We work with soot and acid, and this work is hard manual work. We are made to feel shameful.

I have felt a sense of pride and feel that my work is important. To see people from across the country and abroad appreciate our craftsmanship and its history, I am convinced that it is important work.’

Thathera UNESCO heritage brass and copper craftsman, Amritsar, Punjab. 


‘I feel more confident to ask for good price for my handcrafted utensils. We have been at the mercy of exploitation from the groups that want to sell our craftwork. It has been difficulty to make ends meet, and to ask for the right price. We have worked hard and received amounts for only the raw material and number of hours put into work- just like manual labour. I feel empowered and have cut off from two groups in delhi who harassed us and never paid a fair price. Nobody at the mela bargained. Not one person. That means that my work is worth that price. In fact people at the mela expressed that the artwork is worth even more. And that their is scope for my business to grow multifold even if i work independently and find the right contacts.’


Thathera UNESCO heritage brass and copper craftsman, Amritsar, Punjab. 


“ I felt very good setting up on the roof and in the verandah. The quality of artists was great and they helped us with their technical requests. It was beautiful to listen to great music in this home setting. "

Randhawa sound, neighboring village

Artists in Residence


The perfect place to clear your head, go on long walks and get inspired. I took a little piece of Preet Nagar with me and left behind a little bit of my heart.

Rohini Ahuja Shimla 10th February, 2016


Beautiful , tranquil and welcoming. Preet nagar is magical and filled with positive energy !! Everything about it is real and nice. It’s not only a great escape from the city but a place where you wake up feeling brighter and happier each day !

Jasmine Singh Amritsar 10th February, 2016


6 artists residing in Preet Ghar
Clashing energies, Flying sparks,
A faint smell of tobacco in the air.
There was the writer and musician,
Giving in to words and fantasy.
The chubby-ish one who couldn't sit still
Possibilities constantly flooding her mind.
The boy next door, an unusual neighbour,
Expressions seeping in and out of the skin.
A foreigner who felt right at home,
Mind and soul open to give and receive.
And the one responsible for the collective enrichment,
A beauty hunter like me.

Rohini Kejriwal , Kolkatta 2015


The ten days I spent , with four other artists, turned out to be one of the most inspiring and memorable trips I’ve made in 2015. While still a work-in-progress, the infrastructure for a full-fledged residency already exists. As a writer and musician, this helped create the perfect space for me to work on stories and tunes. From the lovely Wodehouse collection to the hospitality and friendliness of the Singh family, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The artists-in-residence involved the local kids in games and activities, making Preet Nagar a great place to work on a creative project while giving back to this charming village in Punjab.

Nicholas Rixon, Kolkatta 2015


Preet Nagar has the kind of creative energy that has been honed in a space for generations. The simplicity and purity of the surroundings work like magic in clearing out your headspace and your thoughts float freely across the open fields .. Samia is a great host! so warm , hospitable.. adding her inspiring energy to the place. . It was the perfect place to create a productive mind set for the new year. The few days I spent in Preet Nagar were beautiful though definitely not enough. Going back soon for sure!

Devika Swarup, New Delhi 2016


Preet Nagar Residency exceeded my expectations. This place is high on warmth and friendliness. The location is perfect to spend time reading, writing, creating, wondering and wandering. The stay was very comfortable, food was homely and healthy, and people were warm and supportive. Preet Nagar has its roots in the field of art and history, which is why the artist residency is very much in-sync and gives one a holistic experience. One can learn more of the place and its history, on arriving as the organizers take you around the fields, ancient ruins and an old building which is being turned into a studio space for artists. Overall, a week well spent, creating and learning along with other artists at the residence. Looking forward to being here again, for a longer period of time.

Vishakha Jindal, Bombay 2016