Flying start to International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad with participation of 87 kitists from 24 countries, 70 from nine other Indian states
Ahmedabad, Wenesday: The multi-location International Kite Festival coinciding with Makar Sankranti, was off to a flying start on the right bank of River Sabarmati here this morning with Gujarat Governor Dr Shrimati Kamlaji presiding over the function and Chief Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating the show.
A clear sky, mild breeze with nip in the air provided a perfect setting for thousands of spectators to cheer 87 kitists from 24 countries, 70 from nine Indian states and the rest fromGujaratflying kites of different size and shape and myriad colours.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Kamlaji described the festival as a unique experience to watch artistic kites soar high in the sky, taking the glorious culture ofGujaratto greater heights. She said the sports going back to ancient times represents man’s experiments with imaginations and reflects man’s tastes and culture.
The Governor extended a warm welcome to the participants, who will also perform on the long beaches of Mandvi and vast wilderness of the Rann at Dhordo inKutch. She said that kite festivals are now celebrated in Mumbai andDelhialso.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi wished that the kite festival would help us realize our lofty goals and resolutions, and also catapultGujaratto a proud place the international tourists’ circuit.
Talking about the magnificence of Makar Sankranti, he said, the Sun’s movement from the Tropic of Capricorn to the north typifies our ancestors across the length and breadth ofIndiainvoking the solar energy for the welfare of the mankind. It is a festival to mark Man mingling with Nature.
Mr. Modi hoped the festival would help man find a solution to the bane of global warming. He said thatIndia’s largest solar park is up and coming inGujarat, as the state is set to become a global capital of solar energy.
Both the Governor and Chief Minister earlier extended warm greetings to the people ofGujaraton the eve of Makar Sankranti. The festival began with a colourful march past by the kitists and releasing huge bunches of colourful balloons in the sky.
About 500 children belonging to the poorest strata of the society and studying in Ahmedabad Municipal primary schools demonstrated the yogic feats like ‘Surya Namaskar
Gujarat’s Tourism Minister Jay Narayan Vyas said that nearly 300 kitists from 24 countries, besidesIndia, are taking part in the festival this year. It had started with just five international kiters in 1989, even as it has over the years become an annual flagship event of Ahmedabad. He said that nearly 60,000 people get employment in the state generating a turnover of Rs.175-crore in the cottage industry sector.
Prominent among those who attended the function included Chhattisgarh’s Tourism Minister Amal Agrawal,Gujarat’s Ministers Anandiben Patel, Vajubhai Vala, Dilipbhai Sanghani, Fakirbhai Vaghela, Ramanlal Vora, Jitendrabhai Sukhadia, Gujarat Tourism Corporation Chairman Kamlesh Patel, Ahmedabad Mayor Asit Vora, Toursim Secretary Vipul Mitra and other senior officers.