Named after Manipur’s state animal, the brow-antlered Sangai deer, the Sangai Festival 2017 got underway on November 21 with the President of India Ram Nath Kovind set to inaugurate the 10-day long tourism extravaganza. Dubbed as the grandest festival of Manipur, the Sangai Festival showcases the tourism potential of the state in the field of arts & culture, handloom, handicrafts, indigenous sports, cuisine, music and adventure sports etc.
Unlike the previous editions of the festival, the 2017 edition of the Manipur Sangai Festival will be organized at different locations in Imphal and Bishnupur District. For the first time, Keibul Lamjao, a unique ‘floating’ reserve situated in Manipur in India’s Northeast, which is home to the brow-antlered deer, will also play host to the festival.
Tourism gets a big boost in this edition of the festival with the launch of the Manipur Sangai Festival mobile application. The Android mobile app which is available in Google Play Store for download is aimed to ease visits to the festival providing easy access to information about the festival. The application will also feature exclusive news about the festival, updated on a daily basis. It will act as a personalised guide for visitors at the multiple venues where the festival will be conducted this year. It will also help the locals and other inbound tourists who are new to the city in deciding places to visit while selecting the events they wish to attend. Google map locations of each venue embedded in the mobile application will also serve as an added advantage to visitors who are new to Manipur. Tourists will also be able to book tickets on the MSF app.
Another first-time feature that this year’s Sangai fest will introduce will be separate toilets for transgenders. The Manipur Tourism Department has assured separate toilets for transgenders at the festival venues acting on a proposal made by All Manipur Nupi Maanbi Association (AMANA). The proposal was reportedly based on the judgement of the Supreme Court in NALSA versus Union of India on the transgender rights.
Combining business with pleasure, the state government will also look to finalise deals with investors during the 1st North East Development Summit, to be held in Imphal as part of the Sangai Festival. The summit, scheduled for November 21 and 22, is being jointly organised by the government of Manipur, Ministry of Commerce and Industries and India Foundation. It will be attended by about 175 delegates including a representative of the United Nations. Delegates of some of the companies expected to sign MoUs with the Manipur government have reportedly arrived at the state.
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