TODAY -

Looking to 3rd Shirui Lily Fest : Attract more outside tourists
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 30 2018 -



From April 24 to April 28, Shirui village in Ukhrul district was in the news and all for the right reason.

Seldom is it that a place or an event in Manipur make it to the front page of the Imphal based dailies for the right reason, but yes Shirui village was there occupying prime space on page 1 of all the major newspapers published in Imphal, thanks to the Shirui Lily Festival.

As stated earlier here, credit for upgrading the festival to the State level from a village or district level carnival must go to the BJP led Government and just how well it went down with the people of the State can be gauged form the heavy rush to Ukhrul from Imphal to be part of the festival.

Perhaps this is the first time that the stayhome arrangement has caught the imagination of the people in such a big way and this must have been definitely something novel for the people of Ukhrul.

While the first edition in May 2017 was held with the rains lashing Ukhrul district, this time the rains stayed away, as it was held earlier than last year, that is in April, but did the people get the chance to see the Lily blooming in its natural abode is the question that follows.

Well one cannot have it all but it would do well for the organisers of the festival to deeply study whether the festival should be held when it is time for the Lily to bloom but with the rains or whether it should be held at some other part of the year to escape the rain but with no Lily blooming in its natural abode.

Rockfest with bands from the North Eastern States rocking the evening with two US based bands, one opening the show and one closing it gave colour and vibrancy to the festival making it all that more interesting.

A welcome addition to the 2nd edition of the festival was Miss Spring which gave a unique taste to the festival.

How many visitors did come for the Shirui Lily Festival is a question worth asking now.

Tough to say whether any arrangements were made to see how many visitors came to the festival, and if there were no such arrangements, then the district administration or the State Government should see how to keep a head count of the visitors to the festival.

Perhaps this may be initiated from the next edition in 2019.

And talking about visitors, it would be good if the Government can show case the festival to a bigger audience.

Go for publicity drives to attract tourists from outside the State.

Perhaps a leaf or two may be taken from Nagaland, where the Hornbill Festival has been able to attract visitors from outside Nagaland.

If the State Government should be lauded for upgrading the festival to the State level then the contributions of Ukhrul AC MLA in giving his personal touch to Shirock, the musical show must be noted.

It is not often that foreign bands come to Manipur and the fact that two US based bands did come and performed at the festival should be duly acknowledged.

All ingredients to promote the festival to the higher level.

So next time, that is in the 3rd edition of the Shirui Lily Festival, let steps be taken up so that it attracts more visitors from outside Manipur and make a mark at least in the North East region.

Time to showcase the place which is the home of the ‘Lily’ to the whole world.



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