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Eighth essay of annual Chikoo Festival underway at Dahanu’s Bordi Beach
Monday, 03 February, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The eighth annual Chikoo Festival is underway at S R Save Camping Ground, Bordi Beach, Dahanu, Maharashtra. The two-day event, which will conclude on February 2, 2020, has been initiated by the MTDC, supported by the Ministry of Tourism and organised by the Rural Entrepreneurship Welfare Foundation (REWF) to promote tourism in the area.

The Chikoo Festival has been a resounding success ever since its inception in 2013. Last year, the event saw over 1.5 lakh visitors and this year they are expecting a footfall of over two lakh visitors.

With media partner ABP Majha supporting the event, the reach is expected to increase this year. Along with L & T Financial Services and Treat Resort and Spa, Gholvad, Chikoo Festival 2020 is promising both small businesses and tourists a fruitful visit to this year’s event.

REWF consists of a group of well-educated and settled entrepreneurs from the area. They are committed to bringing this region up and creating opportunities for locals. The Chikoo Festival is one of the many initiatives they keep organising throughout the year.

The event is supported by the North Konkan Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture (NKCCA) and the Maharashtra Tour Operators’ Association (MTOA) for development of business and tourism opportunities in the North Konkan region of Maharashtra.

The highlights of this year’s event are:
    • There will be a session on sustainability achieved by a rural entrepreneur, Chikoo chya Kattyavarun by Yogesh Raut between 11:15pm and 11:45pm on February 2
    • There will be a live performance by Folk Masti, an indie pop band from Pune, who will perform original compositions. The storytellers sing about real-life stories of love, peace, passion, and thankfulness to the Almighty between 6pm and 8pm on February 2
    • Saurabh Save will play unplugged Marathi melodies

In addition to the above, there would be a workshop/activity area with such activities as Warli painting and cloth bag making; old-school games such as those played with marbles and shells; caricature and calligraphy artists; pottery classes, and beach games.

There will be a visit to a local Chikoo farm and nursery, termed as Chikoo Safari, which has been designed to give a glimpse of the agro-tourism concept to tourists. A tour, termed the Winery Tour, to the world’s first winery to brew Chikoo has been an added attraction for the last three years.

The festival will also exhibit Maharashtra’s rich folklore, and will be entertaining the guests throughout the day during the festival, with native Warli folk dance and music, as well as a local dance troupe performing several art forms.

Speaking about this, Amol Patil, president, REWF, said, “This year other than our usual cultural and experiential activities we have tried to lay emphasis on sustainable living by introducing sessions with farmers, rural entrepreneurs and NGOs (non-governmental organisations), all standing up for the gurumantra, Reduce Reuse Recycle.”

Apart from being a place to source organic produce for the visitors attending, the stalls are also aimed at enabling the local farmers to explore opportunities and scale their business. There cannot be a more apt platform for them, given that the festival provides global exposure. Above everything, it is an attempt at creating a sustainable economy for the local people of this region.

The festival not only supports local farmers, but also helps women entrepreneurs & other entrepreneurs from the area.

Chikoo fruit is a major source of revenue in this region, and this festival celebrates the same while combining other elements.

To be a part of this festival is to support local initiatives while having an entertaining experience with family and friends.

Last year, the festival saw a footfall of over a lakh in two days and generated revenues worth more than a crore rupees.

Entry to the festival is free, making it a perfect event for both leisure and business purposes. An added bonus is that the Dahanu region also enjoys proximity to metropolitan cities such as Mumbai, Thane, Surat and Nashik, and is well connected by railway, airway, and road.
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