IMPHAL, Nov 22: The Manipur Sangai Festival, 2010, organized by Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur, kicked off yesterday at Hafta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound, Imphal.
Unlike the previous year the festival was inaugurated without much charm and fanfare amidst poor participation from the general public. The Thai stalls which were the cynosures of last year’s festival could not turn up even on the second day of the Sangai festival. The visitors of the 10-day Sangai festival have to content with some 100 stalls of the state including few stalls from Assam.
The inaugural function of the festival was graced by land, revenue, environment and forests minister Th. Debendra, tourism minister TN Haokip, health minister Ph. Parijat and agriculture minister N. Loken as the chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.
Speaking at the inaugural function, Th. Debendra said that tourism is a prospective industry in the state. It has lots of potential and it can yield great economic value if proper programme and policies are formulated for the development and promotion of tourism in the state.
He further stated that the people of the state can become self-reliant only if they toil to promote more of indigenous handloom and handicraft products.
Debendra also appealed to the people to render utmost help and support towards development and promotion of tourism industry in the state.
Delivering a short presidential speech, tourism minister TN Haokip stated that Manipur is a “little paradise on earth” and everyone should strive to upkeep its values and also promote its rich culture and tradition along with development of tourism industry in the state.
Health minister Ph. Parijat said that Manipur can be included in the tourism map of the world if the people are sincere enough to bring constructive changes in the state. The potentiality of tourism in the state once regarded as the “Switzerland of the East” can be explored to the fullest if the law and order situation is improved.
Manipur is not lagging behind any other state of India. The Manipuris have excelled in almost fields especially in sports, art and culture, he noted.
Some of the main attractions of the festival are cultural shows of different communities, adventure tours, para-sailing, power-gliding, BMX show, fashion show and other entertainment programmes.