By Rajeev Sharma
NEW DELHI, 8 July: The 30th Mango Festival once again brought together thousands of people and their love for mangoes. The three-day festival at the Dilli Haat, Janakpuri was a refreshing delight for people who gathered to see more than 500 varieties of mangoes collected from the Northern parts of India.
The festival was inaugurated by Mr. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Delhi in the presence of Dr. Dilraj Kaur, Secretary Tourism, Delhi; Mr. Shurbir Singh, Managing Director & CEO, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Corporation Ltd. (DTTDC) and Mr. C.M. Arvind, General Manager, Delhi Tourism.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr. Sisodia said, “Delhi Government has been organizing this festival for the past 30 years and it is a great way to know more about the King of Fruits- Mangoes. The enthusiasm of people towards the exhibition as well as the competitions showcases their love for this fruit. I am sure the next two days will be equally engaging with other activities and cultural programmes.”
As summers and mangoes go hand in hand, the Mango Festival was a great way to make Delhi’s swelter summers lusciously endurable. In the course of time, the festival has become one of the major and the most awaited cultural events of Delhi, drawing thousands of visitors every year. Having shifted venues a couple of times, from Talkatora Stadium, Ashoka Hotel, Pragati Maidan to Dilli Haat, Pitampura, the festival has been a favourite among the people.
The main attraction of the exhibition was garnered by two variety of mangoes named, ‘Kejri’ and ‘Sisodia’.
The Mango Festival aimed to showcase the specialties of mangoes from different states of India. A total number of 13 farmers along with nine government horticulture departments and agriculture institutes participated in the event. The farmers from across the country including Uttrakhand and Uttar Pradesh came together to display traditional, hybrid and unique varieties of Mangoes. The various types of mangoes on display include Langra, Chausa, Amrapali, Rataul, Hussainara, Ramkela, Kesar, Fazri, Mallika among other assorted varieties.
The Mango Festival provided a plethora of delights for adults and children alike apart from the opportunity to get acquainted with myriad varieties of mangoes that have marked a journey all the way from the orchards of Northern India to the festival. There was sale of fresh mangoes, mango quiz and slogan writing contest, magic shows and cultural programs among other activities. Bands Like Rock n Raag, Tafri, Kitaab, Swarism, Urooj, Metrocity, Sohail Live and Peprico enchanted the crowds with their soulful performances. Day one was filled with competitions ‘Sau Daam Kitna bhi Khai Aam’ among other performances by bands like Urooj, Gigveda, The Project Raag and Sahitya Kala Parishad.
Jatinder Batra, from Punjab at the event for the first time said, “It is unbelievable to see so many varieties of mangoes. It is surely favorite among everyone. This year’s Mango festival is a must-visit fair, as visitors will be able to witness various varieties of mangoes under one roof,” he said.
Similarly, Tonje was visiting the festival with her family from Norway. She stated, “It is a lovely festival organized by the government. We enjoyed the mango display while gaining more knowledge about the fruit. The cultural activities were equally engaging and we thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Awards to the winning participants under various categories were given by Mr. C. Arvind, General Manager, Delhi Tourism at the prize distribution ceremony on the last day. The participants of the exhibition showcasing different varieties of mangoes at the festival were also awarded among winners of various competitions held during the festival.
The festival drew an estimated 30,000 people from all parts of the city and outside.