Maha govt to spend Rs 25 crore for Mumbai Fest to promote inclusivity

Maha govt to spend Rs 25 crore for Mumbai Fest to promote inclusivity

Mumbai, Nov 23 (PTI) The Maharashtra government will spend Rs 25 crore for the nine-day Mumbai Festival in January, state Tourism Minister Girish Mahajan said on Thursday.

The mega event to be held between January 20-28, 2024, is an amalgam of a slew of already popular events like the Kalaghoda Festival and Tata Mumbai Marathon.

The festival is an attempt to cherish the unity and inclusivity of the financial capital, which is often referred to as a melting pot even though it has a history of communal strife.

Mahajan said the city is home to people from all the major religions and has always welcomed people.

Billionaire Anand Mahindra, who has been roped in as the chairperson of the advisory committee, said the city has a long history of using festivals for larger causes like Ganpati for the freedom struggle, and the upcoming festivals also have a larger purpose beyond tourism and fun.

Mahindra said the festival will be akin to a cultural ambassador which will expose the city to the world, and also hoped that it will strengthen the economic underpinnings.

He said a 'bear hug' approach has been adopted by the organisers by embracing a large number of events which are already happening in the city and presenting them under a broader umbrella.

He also thanked the organisers of Kalaghoda Festival for postponing their dates to align with the Mumbai Festival.

Mahindra said that a similar festival had started in 2006 which he was heading, but the attempt fizzled out soon because of individual political interests, and he also stepped down because of a lack of autonomy.

He said the Maharashtra government has formed a Section 8 company and complete autonomy has been given to the team.

The festival will see over 50 events, including music concerts and the organisers are aiming to reach out to 100 million people globally through digital media to take the message forward.

There is also an initiative titled 'Mumbai Walks', wherein icons from sports, Bollywood and other walks will be felicitating under-appreciated but essential professionals like the dabbawalas or police constables. PTI AA SHW

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