Dear friends from the media,
Thank you for the support that you have provided to the Gitanjali Mango Festival. As you all know that with the enthusiasm and support of the teachers, students and partners of the festival and the people of Siliguri, we have taken the step to make this an annual event for North Bengal with East Himalaya, in the process of making this an International festival. As Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore had dreamt of creating a rural Bengal with resources beyond borders and at the same time take forward the deep rooted cultures of rural Bengal far and wide, we wish to implement his philosophies through this festival.
Like tea, mango too is a world renowned food product, but we at North Bengal are still not known for our Mango internationally as much we are known for our Darjeeling and Dooars Tea, and hence this Mango Festival in Siliguri, the centre of North Bengal. Gradually, we hope to make this a base for horticulture and floriculture development.
Tourism and North Bengal are terms that represent each other, and this being more of the manufacturing end of the industry, there has to be more interaction and networking among the destinations, mainly rural tourism which will make the backbone industry of North Bengal. Also, for the people of Siliguri who presently contribute to 20% of the tourists for the region and also for the local travel industry of the region who provide service to the visitors, it will be updating their product knowledge.
The Film Industry contributes in a major way in terms of sustained promotion. We have realized this in the past, but for a long time the region did not get their patronage. Now that the dynamics are reworking, we have already seen some award winning films which were shot at North Bengal, we have taken this festival ground as an opportunity to bring the makers of the award winning films for interaction with the people.
The FUN portion is the biggest attraction of any festival and we have kept all ingredients of fun through our cultural programs, art, handicrafts, cinema, documentaries, seminars, fashion, cookery classes, food and numerous activities with mangoes.
West Bengal’s mango experts like Dr.Abu Hasan and Shri.Samarendranath Khara will conduct the Mango Growers’ Mango Competition and counsel the interested entrepreuners in horticulture.
Internationally renowned Film Directors, Shri. Gautam Ghosh will inaugurate the program and Shri. Shekhar Das will be the special Guest. Both of them will interact with the cinema fans and the interested youths in Film Making from North Bengal. They will be joined by famous Documentary maker Shri. Ajoy Roy. Both Shekhar Das and Ajoy Roy will show their works for the three days of the Mango Festival and interact with viewers.
In the Rural Tourism Bazaar, we shall have stalls from Travel Another India, an internationally renowned rural tourism promoting organization, who have successfully launched rural tourism projects in Gujrat, Kerala and Karnataka. The others are Gateway of Dooars-Maynaguri, Resort Owners’ Association-Lataguri, Jaldapara Lodge Owners’ Welfare Association, Gorumara Paryatan Unnayan Committee, Pedong Village Tourism, Chilapata Ecotourism Society, Pariwar Eco & Tea Tourism-Central Dooars, Darjeeling Teesta Valley Village Tourism, Sikkim Kalij Valley Rural Tourism, Northeast Ecotourism Initiatives, Sunderbans Conservation Tourism Initiative, North Bengal Tours and Travels-Ramoji Film City, Gour Malda Tourism Circuit, Samsing-Jaldhaka Ecotourism Circuit, Shantiniketan Initiatives, Paharpur Bandhu-Bangladesh and Bahundangi Elephant View Resort-Nepal...more following in process. The tourism associations from North Bengal will be giving their projects for village tourism development and interact with the Hon’ble Minister for North Bengal Development and Hon’ble Minister for Forest, Government of West Bengal, who have given their verbal confirmation to attend the Inauguration Ceremony.
The cultural teams from Shantiniketan will dominate the show, but there will be several performances from the North Bengal side too. From classical Indian to Rabindra Sangeet to Folk Songs, all forms of dances, several plays, recitation, dance dramas etc will be the crowd pulling shows. Also, there will be several social campaigns at the festival.
The inauguration will take place at 03:00 PM on the Friday, the 10th of June, 2011, See you all then.
Abhaya Bose, Organizing Secretary