Thousands of tribals gathered in their traditional attire to participate in the event that seeks to showcase the region's rich cultural heritage. The tribals performed their traditional dances at the inaugural ceremony, attended by district collector Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav, Koraput MP Jayaram Pangi, who lit the festival torch, Koraput SP Anup Kumar Sahoo and Koraput and Laxmipur MLAs, among others. The fest features a number of competitive sporting events, tribal dances, songs, traditional instrumental music and a mini marathon and cycle rally, which were introduced last year. The festival itself was started in 1996 to showcase the culture of the region. "The aim of the festival is to protect and promote the region's rich cultural heritage. We are confident that this year's festival will make a different statement in terms of participation and vibrancies," the collector said. "The event has already generated a great deal of interest among tourists. We hope to see more outsiders visiting our district this time. In fact, we are working on a plan on how the district could be developed into a tourist destination," he added.
The block and district level festival-cum-competition will be on till November 14, with the grand finale on November 16-18 at the stadium ground of the district headquarters town of
. Source: TOI Koraput