International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad | Photo: PTI
Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Sunday inaugurated the International Kite Festival 2023 here, which will see the participation of around 125 kite flyers from 68 countries based on the G-20 theme "One Earth, One Family, One Future".
Apart from international participants, 65 kite flyers from 14 states in India and 660 from different parts of the state will also take part in the week-long event, which will culminate on January 14.
"Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the kite of development of Gujarat has been crossing new heights for two consecutive decades," Patel said while inaugurating the event at Sabarmati riverfront here.
The kite festival is an opportunity to touch the sky and reach new heights. Kites are a symbol of progress, prosperity, and flight, he said.
Patel further said the kite industry has got a boost under Modi's leadership when the latter was the chief minister, and has grown from a Rs 8-10 crore industry some two decades ago to Rs 625 crore one, and has given employment to 1.30 lakh people.
India is hosting meetings of G-20 countries for the first time, and it has been made possible because the prime minister has made India's image strong on global platforms, Patel said.
It is a matter of pride for Gujarat to get the opportunity to host 15 meetings of G-20, he said.
Under Modi's leadership, India has seen large-scale changes in areas ranging from digital economy to the defence sector. India has become the fifth largest economy in the world and is growing at the highest rate, the chief minister said.
"We have given special emphasis on tourism and employment to keep the journey of development in Gujarat uninterrupted. Today's kite festival is an example of that," Patel said.
Speaking on the occasion, state Tourism Minister Mulubhai Bera said Uttarayan celebrations give the message of preservation of nature.
"The state tourism department has tried to give a unique identity to our culture and civilisation by giving Uttarayan a prominent place in its calendar," the minister said.
Apart from Ahmedabad, the kite festival is also being organised in Vadodara, Vadnagar, Somnath, Rajkot, Dholera, and Dhordo, he said.
The International Kite Festival has increased the footfall of foreign tourists. Celebration of such festivals boost the state's economy and create employment opportunities, Bera said.
Around 125 kite flyers from 68 countries, 65 from 14 states and more than 660 from various districts of Gujarat are participating in the festival.
Australia, Canada, France, Russia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Colombia, Denmark, New Zealand, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Belgium, Bahrain, Iraq and Malaysia are among the 68 countries participating in the event.