Festival unites communities through food, song and dance
NERUL: Female infanticide and caring for one’s parents are the themes for the 10-day Agri-Koli festival in Nerul that was inaugurated on Friday.
The festival, organised at Shree Ganesh Ramlila ground in Sector 12, Nerul ( west) by the Akhil Agri- Koli Samaj Prabodhan Trust (AAKSPT), was inaugurated on Friday by state industries minister Subhash Desai.
This is the tenth year of the festival, which showcases the culture and traditions of the Agri and Koli communities. It will conclude on January 17.
The festival began with the distribution of tablets to students. 75 tablets were presented by Desai on behalf of AAKSPT to students of classes 8 through 10. Shiv Sena deputy leader Vijay Nahata and Vijay Chougule, along with other Shiv Sena leaders were present at the funtion.
Desai said, “The concept of distribution of the tablets has been initiated by Shiv Sena under the guidance of Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya Thackeray. The tablets are loaded with educational material that will benefit the students. The
prime minister himself has appreciated it.”
Desai added, “We began this programme in BMC schools in Mumbai and plan to spread it throughout the state.”
He said, “The visitors to the festival seem to be excited. It is great that the tradition of the region is being kept alive through such a programme.”
Namdeo Bhagat, the founder president of AAKSPT and corporator, said, “Our endeavour is to help bring together residents of both the villages and the nodes to ensure a united and progres- sive city rich in culture and tradition.”
Bhagat said, “The Mahotsav showcases the Agri- Koli culture, folk songs and dances, traditions, food habits, clothes, festivals and marriages. The festival will also provide a platform to the residents to exhibit their talent. Besides this, there are various competitions, health camps, and a business guidance camp.”
“These stalls provide authentic Agri-Koli food as prepared by the community. It has a distinctive taste,” said Bhagat.
An artist makes a rangoli at the Agri-Koli festival at Nerul on Friday.