3rd State Level Shirui Lily Festival concludes
Imphal, the 19th October, 2019 (DIPR): The 3rd State Level Shirui Lily Festival 2019, organised by Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur was concluded today at Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) ground, Ukhrul.
On the occasion, Governor of Manipur Dr. Najma Heptulla, Minister of Health & Family Welfare/ Art and Culture/ Law and Legislative/CADA Shri L. Jayantakumar, IFCD/ Youth Affairs & Sports Minister Shri Letpao Haokip, Education/ Labour & Employment Minister Shri Th. Radheshyam Singh and Chairman, Tourism Corporation of Manipur Limited Dr. Ranjan Sapam graced as Chief Guest, President and Guests of Honour respectively.
Addressing the gathering, Governor said that the flower was discovered by Frank Kingdon-Ward, one of the last great plant adventurers during his expedition to Manipur in 1946. He named it after his wife Jean Macklin and the flower won the Merit Prize of the 1948 Royal Horticultural Society. Because of its rarity and beauty, it is now a well-known plant. Organizing the festival at the State level has been a significant step of the State Government as the flower has gained a stronger foothold and has become better known to the people.
The Chief Guest opined that Shirui Lily Festival, if packaged and marketed properly can become a tourist attraction. Going by the increase in footfalls from the previous editions, the festival can lead to a boom in tourism for the district and the State in general. Such a festival will not only create awareness about the need for protection of our environment which needs to be prioritized by our own people but it can attract tourists which will not only improve the well being of the local population but can also bring in advanced knowledge and expertise to improve the environment.
Lamenting on the rising temperature and common sight of small bamboos encroaching on the habitat of the Lily and the latter is losing ground to the gregarious bamboos, she said that there is need for more vigilance on the part of all stakeholders and a proper scientific study on the flower, so that this renowned flower can continue to thrive in its original habitat. Manipur is known for its orchids, flora and fauna and it will be a huge disappointment to all if this wealth is not preserved and used to our advantage. The jhum cycle in the hills is becoming lesser and lesser with the need to feed the rising population and as a result, the soil is getting easily exposed and subject to erosion. Due to forest destruction on the Shiroy range, Ukhrul headquarters is now facing very serious threat on its water supply, she continued.
While giving his presidential address Shri L. Jayantakumar stated that in memory of the World War II and its scenic beauty, the Government will construct a war memorial complex or a tourist spot at Harva Khangai of Ukhrul district. It is a sin to destroy the nature’s bountiful gifts to us. So, he appealed for preservation and promotion of our environment.
Minister added that Manipur as a whole has historical background. Ukhrul district placed a vital space in its history. Among all the hill districts of the State, Ukhrul has lots of potential for tourism. The festival is only in the beginning stage and we need to do many tasks to preserve this rare gift, the shirui lily. Ukhrul’s Shirui lily and Sirarakhong chilli are State’s pride and it is our duty to promote them and the Shirui lily festival is one of its step.
MLA of Phungyar A/C Shri Leishiyo Keishing and Chingai A/C Shri Khashim Vashum, Tourism Commissioner Ms. Nidhi Kesarwani, IAS, DC Kamjong Kengoo Zuringla, number of dignitaries, officials from different departments and hundreds of people from many parts of the State attended in today’s closing function.
As part of today’s programme, Governor and dignitaries released ‘Child Rights Slogan’, distributed cash prizes to the winners including consolation prizes of the various competitions. Cultural programmes were also performed to entertain the crowd.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh along with Union Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (i/c) Shri Prahlad Singh Patel had opened the 3rd Shirui Lily Festival, 2019 on 16th October, 2019.