The much awaited Cherry Blossom Festival, India''s first ever kick-started today in the city with Chief Minister Mukul Sangma launching the festival here in Meghalaya.
The four day festival is organised by the Meghalaya government in association with the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) to promote Meghalaya as a favoured tourist destination to many a domestic and international tourists.
Hailing the maiden Cherry Blossom Festival to have ever been organised in the country, Dr Sangma said that the festival is a humble yet wonderful initiative while also stating that the festival represents one added flavour that does justice to the beauty of our wonderful Meghalaya.
Showing his deep appreciation for the organic look that the festival wears, Dr.Sangma said the festival is beautifully conceptualised while expressing that he shares his sense of optimism as the State celebrates the country''s first ever festival of this kind.
Recalling the recent accolade of Meghalaya bagging the pole position in being the First amongst States (Small States) on Environment of the States Conclave held at New Delhi, the Chief Minister took the occasion to applaud all the stakeholders including the public, for being instrumental in realising the feat that the State has achieved.
He also stressed that the Government is trying to convince the people to connect livelihood with nature conservation and that with the unique, exclusive resources in our own backyard, the government shall continue to strive towards achieving sustainable livelihood and prosperity for the people of the state.
The chief minister emphasised that the Cherry Blossom Festival is one component that compliments the other attractions of the state also stating further that the festival would help facilitate the branding of the state to the outside world.
IBSD Director Dinabandhu Sahoo, who conceptualized the Cherry Blossom festival in India, said the event would set the stage for 2017, which has been declared by the UN as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
"This festival would create a number of opportunities for the people of Meghalaya," he said emphasising that collaborations should be developed with Japan so that more international tourists can visit the north-eastern states.
The chief minister visited stalls put up for exhibition and sale by various Government Departments and those put up by other groups and agencies and also planted Cherry saplings at the venue of the festival.
A rendition of the famous Song "We are the World" by the Serenity Choir, cultural dances performed by Khasi, Garo and Jaintia troupes from among others were the added attractions of the inaugural event of the festival.
It may be mentioned that the four-day festival, held across different venues in the capital city, in addition to the exhibition cum sale and food stalls, would also witness Drawing and Painting competition, Food fest, Story - telling sessions, archery, traditional and western music shows from among other attractions.
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-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0214-1022834.Xml