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7th Annual Chikoo Festival Draws Crowds at Bordi Beach in Dahanu

Monday, February 11, 2019
By A Business Reporter

(L-R) Dr Rajiv Churi (President North Konkan Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture), Madhav Bhandari (Vice Chairman, Relief & Rehabilitation committee, Maharashtra state) and Amol Patil (President REWF).

The 7th Annual Chikoo Festival was a crowd-puller at the Bordi Beach in Dahanu, Maharashtra which recently concluded and witnessed footfall of over 1.4 lakh alongside several new attractions this year. Initiated by the MTDC to promote tourism in the area, the Chikoo Festival has been a resounding success ever since its inception in 2013.

The festival was inaugurated by Madhav Bhandari (Vice Chairman, Relief & Rehabilitation Committee, Maharashtra state), along with MP Rajendra Gavit (Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Palghar) and other dignitaries.

This year, the event was supported by the Adivasi Vikas Vibhag, Maharashtra Shasan for Tribal Community Welfare in the newly formed North Konkan district of Palghar. Over 250 stalls showcased everything from local produce to handicrafts and local delicacies.

The Chikoo festival, which explored several themes and was an amalgamation of fun, learning, and shopping for local produce, was organized by the Rural Entrepreneurs Welfare Foundation (REWF) -- a group of likeminded individuals from the area that is committed to highlighting this region by creating opportunities for locals. This event is one of the many initiatives they organize throughout the year.

The first day witnessed the release of a book called “The Mystical World of Warlis” authored by Madhukar Vadu, a Warli artist and researcher from Manor. The book, which was originally in Marathi, is translated by Phiroza Tafti, Convenor of Intach Dahanu Chapter, who also sponsored the printing of the book -- a collection of several traditional stories that the author has heard from village elders of Manor in Palghar. Warli paintings painted during the past couple of days as a part of beautification carried out for Chikoo Festival at the Tribal Village Visit to Dhundiyapada.

Over 150 adivasi tribals travelled from across different locations in Maharashtra such as Sindhudurg, Raigad, Pune and Nashik to showcase their prowess at the festival. While on the one hand, there were tribal dance performances such as the Bohada and Tarpa, the Thakar adivasi group displayed an entertaining puppet show. In another scintillating performance, the tribals from Raigad showcased an instrumental game which left everyone spellbound.

Local artisans hired in conjunction with the local tribal art association conducted workshops including ‘soil-less’ farming and how to sustain farms out of organic waste, while around 10 Warli painters described their art form to people.

Masterclasses by top chefs were held including; Chef Smita Hegde Deo in preparinga purple yam cutlet and Chikoo Panchamrut, and Chef Asma Khan making salads out of Chikoo and Bengali style Chikoo chutney with papad and Lucchi.

Interesting activities here included movie screening; bonfire; barbecue with an Indian twist; board games; night walk and star gazing; and Bahroud mountain trek. The night trail and star gazing were conducted by a local venture called The Jungle Farm.. Last year, the festival saw a footfall of over a lakh in 2 days.

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