Ahmedabad, Tuesday: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani inaugurated the 31st International Kite Festival in presence of Governor Acharya Devvrat and a large number of dignitaries and enthusiasts at the Sabarmati Riverfront here today. In all, 153 kiters from 43 countries and 115 kiters from 12 states in India are participating in the festival.
Speaking on the occasion, the Governor said the kite festival has over the years deservedly become truly international having drawn global attention to the annual event, reflecting Indian ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, believing in world is a family. It reflects the Gujarat’s development model soaring high in the sky, achieving new milestones.
He said the kite festival which coincides with Makar Sankranti has its scientific basis too, marking the Sun’s marching away from Tropic of Capricorn, with days becoming longer than nights, leading us from darkness to light, as reflected in age-old adage ‘Tamasoma Jyotirgamayo’, celebrating the harvest festival of Spring across the fields, infusing energy and enthusiasm among the people.
The Chief Minister Rupani remembered the contribution of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in promoting and popularising Rann Utsav, Tana Riri Music Festival, Uttarardha Mahotsav at Modhera Sun Temple and Festivals at Somnath, Dwarka and at National Salt Memorial at Dandi with people’s participation. These festivals have put Gujarat in the global tourism map. The world’s tallest statue like Statue of Unity has attracted over 35-lakh visitors during one year. Gujarat Nahi Dekha To Kuchh Nahi Dekha,” he said.
Extending his greetings for Makar Sankranti, he said that Kite Festival coinciding with Uttarayan marks the Sun’s northward journey. The motto is ‘sauna saath, sauno vikas’. Its increasing popularity has resulted in the size of kite making industry increase from Rs.20-crore to Rs.600-crore.
Tourism Minister Jawaharbhai Chavda welcomed the participants, envoys and tourists from different countries and different states of India.
Nearly 200 rishikumars of Ahmedabad-based Bhagwat Vidyapith presented Suryanarayan Upasana, while 1,500 students of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Schools presented Surya Namaskar. They took part in a parde.
The Governor and the Chief Minister released calendar and books on places of tourist’s interest published by Tourism Department. About 150 artists from 19 countries presented global art festival painting on kite festival to the Governor and Chief Minister.
The foreign participants are from Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chili, China, Columbia, Croatia, Curacao, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Turkey, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam and Zimbabwe among others.
Prominent among those present at the inaugural function included Revenue Minister Kaushikbhai Patel, Ministers of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Minister of State for Youth Activities Ishwarsinh Patel, Minister of State for Tourism Vasanbhai Ahir, Ahmedabad Mayor Bijalben Patel, Members of Parliament H.S. Patel, Kiritbhai Solanki, MLAs Jagdish Panchal, Bhupendra Patel, Pradeepsinh Parmar, Suresh Patel, Vallabhbhai Kakadia, Deputy Mayor Dinesh Makwana, Tourism Secretary Mamata Verma, Managing Director Jainu Devan, Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra, Collector K.K. Nirala.