DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Vasantotsav, meant to celebrate the advent of the spring, was initiated at Raj Bhawan premises on Friday with the Governor Dr KK Paul planting a sapling. However, the two-day annual spring festival would be formally inaugurated on Saturday. While talking to the media persons, the Governor said that the objective behind the celebration is not just displaying flowers but also to make people aware of the commercial aspects of horticulture and floriculture. During the inaugural session, the Governor will release a special postal cover on Badri Tulasi, a special species found in Uttarakhand.
This year, the special attractions at the festival will be the Vertical Garden, Herbal Garden, Aromatic Garden and Spice Garden of Raj Bhawan besides the mushrooms being grown there. The cut flower displays, school children’s painting competitions, floral rangoli and potted plants display would be parts of the celebration. This year, philately competition involving the school children would be an added attraction and around 25 schools are participating in it.
“The major objective of holding this event is to make the people of the state aware of the economic benefits accruing from floriculture and growing vegetables and spices at a low cost and in less space. The festival showcasing things would inspire them to explore these avenues to shore up their incomes,” he said.
The Governor further said that that the fruits, vegetables and spices available in the markets had chemicals which were detrimental to health. “The Vasantotsav will encourage the people to grow vegetables and fruits at their homes. If people have adequate space they can do it commercially with good dividends,” he said.
Dr Paul said that this year buyer and seller meets are being organized too to enable them to be acquainted with the commercial aspects.
Replying to a question, the director horticulture said that the volume of lands used for floriculture has risen from 150 hectares in 2000 when the state was formed to 1400 hectares.
In the painting competition, the specially- abled children will also participate so that they would get exposure. “To publicise this, we have been running short documentaries in the multiplexes. As pesticide and fertilizer uses have increased in cultivation of vegetables and other food grains we have also been displaying vertical farming this time,” the Governor said.
During the Vasantotsav, the farmers and the general people would come across the new techniques and the species of floricultures which are commercially viable.
For the past two years, an attractive stamp display (Philately Exhibition) has become an integral part of the Vasantotsav. This year, 25 school children would put up their stamp collections in course of the festival while participating in a contest. Those standing first, second and third in the competition will have cash prizes of Rs. 5000, Rs.3000 and Rs.2000 respectively to be given to them by the Governor.
The Governor said that the horticulture and agriculture departments, FRI, Herb Development Institute (Gopeshwar), THDC, NHPC and commercial banks had been invited here to make it more popular, attractive and meaningful. Stalls will be put up to give people information about schemes and policies for agriculture, horticulture and floriculture. For the first time, children from government Bal Grahs will participate in the painting competition. Besides, a Yoga display will be done by students of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya as part of the celebration. ITBP personnel will also perform Judo Karate and will also give information about techniques/equipments required to ensure safety during the natural disasters at a stall during the celebration.