The 3-day International Kite Festival witnessed a glittering start at the beautiful Sabarmati Riverfront on the morning of Sunday 12th January 2014. Participants from several countries joined the occasion and children performed Surya Namaskar and other cultural exhibits. Shri Narendra Modi extended his greetings to the people of India on the occasion of Makar Sankranti and Uttarayan. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Narendra Modi said that the Patang Utsav demonstrates Prakruti Prem, Paryavaran Prem and Paryatan Prem (love for nature, the environment and tourism). He added that a special energy is derived from festivities such as this.
Shri Modi spoke about the importance of tourism and the need for India to keep pace with the developments across the world in strengthening tourism. Shri Modi pointed that tourism and festival such as this enhance the livelihood opportunities of the poorest of the poor. Giving an example, Shri Modi talked about the kite makers, who would earn a lot of money during Uttarayan. He stressed on the need to integrate the local people with the tourism industry so that the results can be better.
Shri Modi expressed particular joy on the fact the poor children performed Surya Namaskar at the programme. He pointed that their participation makes everyone proud and it shows the wonders these little children can do if they are given the opportunity.
On the occasion, Shri Modi paid tributes to Swami Vivekananda. He described Swami Vivekananda as a source of immense inspiration and a revered figure who taught Rashtra Bhakti through the medium of spirituality. He urged people to get inspired by his message of serving Daridra Narayan.
Tourism Minister Saurabh Patel spoke on the occasion. Present during the programme were top Minister including Smt. Anandiben Patel, Shri Ramanlal Vora, Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Shri Babubhai Bokhiria, Ministers of State, Senior officials and other dignitaries.