The organisers of the first Switch Global Expo — an exhibition and summit for national and international players in electrical engineering — on Thursday decided to serve only vegetarian dishes in its 50,000 sqft food court as the Gujarat government-promoted event coincided with the Navratri festivities.
The decision was taken days after foreign delegations planning to attend the event had enquired about availability of non-vegetarian dishes, especially beef, and alcohol during the event from October 6 to 10. The organisers have also decided not to serve alcohol to the foreign participants.
“We have conveyed to the delegations that the food served at the venue would be strictly vegetarian as the event coincides with the Navratri festivities,” said Amit Bhatnagar, a member of the organising team. “The organisers will only serve vegetarian food even in the accommodation and the hotels that we arranged for the delegates.”
On Thursday, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal reached Vadodara to assess the preparations for the event and held a meeting with the organisers, Gujarat energy minister Chiman Sapariya, and former state finance & energy minister Saurabh Patel. “They (foreign participants) should also be informed that no alcohol will be served at the event. Letters should be written to all ministers (from foreign countries) stating that only vegetarian food will be served without liquor,” Patel said at the meeting.
The event would also witness an “Innovation Lecture Series” by several speakers, including yoga guru Ramdev, spiritual leader Swami Gyan Vatsal, actor Dia Mirza, writer Chetan Bhagat, and former Army chief General V P Malik.
Bhatnagar said that the decision to invite speakers from other fields was to “generate public connect”. He said, “We were keen to invite Ramdev. Ayurveda has existed for several years, but no one thought of generating a business plan… He has created a successful business model in Patanjali. Similarly, General V P Malik was not fighting a war with Pakistan, but with those who were funding the terrorists… We are targeting the youth. It is the only element in the expo that is not related to electricity.”