Meet triggers NRK interest in Belgaum

Belgaum has received a pat on its back from the 200 Non Residents Kannadiga (NRK) delegates attending the World Kannada Convention (WKC). They are thrilled by the enthusiasm shown by the people of the City.

The City, dogged by the border dispute and negligence by successive governments, has now been portrayed in positive light. Thanks to the WKC, to which the region played a perfect host, the visitors are now keen to come back.

Describing the event as a grand success, the visitors said they had never seen such enthusiasm among the people.

“We never expected so many people to come. It is a pleasure to see such huge response. The procession on Day One was colourful,” said Sadhana Shankar, a resident of New Jersey. She said she loved the food of North Karnataka, especially the taste of ‘kunda,’ a popular sweet of Belgaum.

Amarnathgowda, chairman of the Association of Kannada Kootas of America (AKKA) and a resident of Detroit, congratulated the government for the success of the event and said it was a massive programme with colourful events, especially folk art performances.

“We never thought people would sit through the late hours and attend all the events spread across 15 venues,” he said.

Ravish Gowda, a hotelier from Dubai, expressing happiness over the arrangements, said he had heard about Belgaum, but was visiting it for the first time.

“I liked this place. The programme was great and weather is favourable. I am even planning to extend my business here, if given a chance,” he said.

The book exhibition and the food were the main attractions for the delegates. “The book expo is huge. We never saw such a huge collection. It is a fantastic experience,” said Dr H Vishwamitra, former secretary, AKKA and a resident of Texas.

Shankar Shetty, a resident of New Jersey and director of AKKA and Amarnathgowda, appreciated the local delicacies, especially ‘kardantu’ and jowar roti. They said, except the regulation of traffic flow, everything at WKC was good.

“The events were planned and organised meticulously and the people also were not bored,” said Amarnathgowda. Shetty had a word of praise for the City police, especially Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil, saying, “I found the police personnel handling things calmly.”

Srinivas, an industrialist from Toronto, felt at home in the city. Having stayed for about a year in the city in the early 80s, he said it had the potential to grow. “This city has grown substantially since then. There is no scarcity of basic infrastructure. But what we need is proper planning,” he said.

However, the delegates have some suggestions for the State. “They should have planned better to avoid the stampede at the entrance on Day One,” said Srinivas.

Ravish Gowda said the government should have ensured that the airfares were kept low as there were many people with lesser income who wanted to be a part of the mega event.

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