Sangai Fest begins today, state eyes ` 80 lakh revenue

IMPHAL, 20th Nov: Stage is set for the 10-day Manipur Sangai Festival, which defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will inaugurated on Wednesday. The tourism department eyes to collect Rs 80 lakh revenue from the calendar event.
According to tourism director Ibohal, this year’s Sangai Festival will be held at five different venues namely Hapta Kangjeibung, Keibul Lamjao, Lamboikhongnagkhong, Khuman Lampak and Mao and a separate bank account has been opened to assess expenditure and revenue of the festival. The gate money collected from these five venues will be deposited to this account directly and this will enable the organiser to estimate revenue collected from the festival easily, he said, adding that revenue generated in the past editions could not be assessed due to lack of a separate bank account.
Addressing media persons at his office chamber, the tourism director disclosed that around 99 stalls from 10 foreign countries will take part in the festival and this will be in addition to 150 stalls from different parts of India. With the initiative of art and culture department, dance troupes from some foreign countries will also perform during the festival. Apart from this, various events like Sumo wrestling, Muaythai of Thailand and Go Carting which is very popular among children and youth will be introduced for the first time in this year’s edition, he added.
For the first time, this year’s edition will also have a platform entitled ‘Sangai Hashtag, where one can showcase their talents in singing, comedy, monologue, etc. At Sangai Hashtag, local visitors as well as foreigners taking part the festival will have the opportunity to give feedback. Apart from this, Sangai Library will be opened where individuals can donate books which will be handy to students who could not afford to purchase books.
For the first time, this year’s edition will also be held at Mao in Senapati district as per chief minister N Biren’s commitment to include Mao Cherry Blossom festival a component of the Festival. As part of the festival, a tour for prominent elderly people living in different parts of hills and valley areas of the state will be conducted on November 22 and 23. This will give opportunity for interaction among senior citizens settling in different parts of the state and exchange their thoughts apart from bridging gap between hills and valley people, Ibohal opined.
Ahead of the grand opening of the biggest tourism festival of the State, ‘Manipur Sangai Festival’ on November 21, Chief Minister N Biren Singh assessed preparations at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound and at Manipur Trade & Expo Centre, Lamboi Khongnangkhong on Tuesday.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the inspection, the Chief Minister said that this year’s Festival will be creating a history of sort as it will be organised in three venues of both hills and valley districts viz. Imphal, Mao in Senapati and Keibul Lamjao in Bishnupur. Moreover, many foreign dignitaries, including 100 delegates from Myanmar would attend opening of the grand event, he added.
Informing that a Cherry Blossom festival would be held for three days at Mao, Biren said that Sangai Run would be conducted at all the three venues on Wednesday at 7.30 am.
Forest and Environment minister Th Shyamkumar would inaugurate the festival at Keibul Lamjao, while Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as would grace the main function at Hapta Kangjeibung as chief guest. The Defence Minister would arrive here around 3.30 pm Wednesday in a special flight, the CM conveyed.
Chief Minister Biren then appealed to the people of the state to extend the best hospitality to tourists, delegates who would be arriving for the festival and guide them with utmost decency. He also urged the public to extend their cooperation to the Government in keeping the roads, public places and surroundings neat and clean, while appealing to all concerned not to call any type of bandh or blockade during the festival period.
During his visit to the festival venues at Hatta Kangjeibung and Lamboi Khongnangkhong, the Chief Minister, who was accompanied by Chief secretary Dr J Suresh Babu, secretary (Tourism) Nidhi Kesarwani, director (Commerce and Industries) C Arthur Worchuiyo and other high-ranking officials, inspected the beautification works and construction of stalls and stages.
Meanwhile, a team of 35 Manipuris settling in Mandalay (Myanmar) arrived here to take part in the Festival.
The delegates who came along the Indo-Myanmar Border land were accorded warm welcome by Meitei Council Moreh at its office on Tuesday morning followed by another reception function hosted by Meitei Leimarol Sinaishang at Moreh Trade Center and by Mutua Museum.
According to our Moreh correspondent, Narahari, one of the team members, said that the 35 delegates were selected after discussion among inhabitants of four Meetei localities at Mandalay. The discussion was facilitated by 62 Mandalay CO, LTD.
He also expressed gratitude towards Meitei Council Moreh, Meitei Leimarol Sinaishang and Mutua Museum for receiving them with warm welcome.
On the other-hand, Indo-Myanmar Association conveyed gratitude to Sarva Shree Nandan Singh Bhaisora, Consulate General of India and Mandalay for flagging off the journey of 20 Myanmar nationals who will be taking part in the Sangai Festival.
A statement issued by association secretary P Kunjabihari stated that the team has been requested by the association to attend the festival.
While highlighting that Manipur Sangai festival is celebrated every year to promote the state as world class tourism destination, a PRO IGAR (S) release informed that to reciprocate the enthusiasm of Myanmarese participants, Tengnoupal Battalion of 26 Sector Assam Rifles prepared itself for a grand welcome of the Myanmarese nationals. As a gesture of welcome, Commandant, Tengnoupal Battalion alongwith its officers were present at the Permanent Vehicle Check Post (PVCP) at Khudengthabi on Tuesday for the heartfelt reception of the Myanmarese and other foreign nationals to Sangai festival. Around 65 foreign nationals including 47 Myanmarese were received by Tengnoupal battalion. Separate arrangements were made at Khudengthabi for the reception of guests from across the border.
The guests were invited for welcome tea and coffee, alongwith refreshments to shed off their tiredness of journey and also to boost energy for the frenzied participation in Sangai festival. The gesture forwarded by Tengnoupal Battalion of Assam Rifles was well appreciated by the Myanmarese nationals and they conveyed their heartfelt gratitude to Assam Rifles for the warm reception. Such efforts of Assam Rifles will go a long way in enhancing the cordial relationship between both the countries, the release said.
Manipur Sangai festival showcases the best of what the state has to offer to the world in terms of art, culture, handloom, handicrafts, fine arts, cuisines, music, adventure sports and as well as the scenic natural beauty.
The onset of Sangai festival in Manipur witnessed the swarming in of Myanmarese and other foreign nationals in India to celebrate the festival with gusto alongside the locals in Imphal. The festival is a milestone in the augmentation of friendly relationship between India and Myanmar and also fosters the bond of friendship amongst the people of both the countries, th release said adding that citizens from across the border were enthusiastic to participate in the festival to promote the cordial relationship of India and Myanmar.
In connection with the festival, Tulihal Battalion of 9 Sector Assam Rifles conducted security coordination meetings at Mayang Imphal, Nambol, Patsoi, and Tulihal Company Operating Bases. The forum was attended by village secretaries, Youth club members, ward councillors, ex-servicemen, OC of local police stations, school principals and local contractors and vendors. Various issues pertaining to security, maintenance of peace and harmony in the area and high alertness in view of the upcoming Sangai Festival were discussed during the meeting, added another release of the PRO IGAR (S).

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