IN A first, a gardener working at the Rose Garden will be the guest of honour in one of the events during the Rose Festival, scheduled to be held from February 19 to 21. To make him feel special for making a contribution to the garden, it has been decided that gardener Budh Ram will arrive for the event in the red beacon car of mayor at the venue.
Being the first festival after the Bharatiya Janata Party mayor took over, efforts are being put in to make the event different. Talks are on with Bollywood and sports personalities to grace the occasion. “After all, it is due to a gardener only that the Rose Garden is maintained. So it is his festival. We have chosen Budh Ram as our guest of honour. To make him feel special, first I will pick him from his house in my car and then take him to the venue where he will distribute prizes with me,” said Mayor Arun Sood.
Among the others who have received special invitations this time is “Langar Baba” at PGI, Jagdish Lal Ahuja, who has been distributing free food to hundreds of poor people for the last 15 years. Honouring the contribution of former chief commissioner M S Randhawa, who passed away in 1988, it has been decided to invite his wife to the function. “The way Le Corbusier is remembered, we want to honour the family of M S Randhawa as well. He had a big role in the establishment of Chandigarh,” added the mayor.
Talks are on with Bollywood and sports personalities too. Abhinav Bindra, Milkha Singh, Dinesh Mongia have been contacted by the MC. Apart from others, actress Mahi Gill has also been approached, though it is said that she is unwell.
Invitation cards have been distributed to all the Resident Welfare Associations, NGOs which made their contribution to the city. MP Kirron Kher is likely to inaugurate the opening day of the fest.
The Rose Festival has been losing its sheen in the past few years with not much crowd being attracted to the fest. “In the previous years, the function has not been of much interest to people. So we have made efforts to make it vibrant,” added Sood.
Like a function for babies, a modelling show for senior citizens, Rose King and Rose Queen, will also be held.