New Delhi: Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor inaugurated the National Street Food Festival at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium complex here Thursday, on Christmas Day.
The first day of the four-day fiesta, organised by National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), witnessed several foodies crowding the venue to taste a range of street foods from different regions of the country.
Kapoor was impressed by the event and the turnout, and said "it's high time the street food vendors got their due recognition".
"Despite serving the society, they are still among the neglected lot. Many people's life depend on them, as today, most of the people don't have time to make their own food and balance it with their hectic daily life," Kapoor said.
He thanked the organisers for inviting him.
The annual National Street Food Fest is held "to empower the street vendors as a service provider to the society", said NASVI national co-ordinator Arbind Singh, who anchored the inaugural ceremony.
"Sanjeev Kapoor's presence has certainly encouraged the street food vendors to achieve excellence," he added.
NASVI program manager Sangeeta Singh said that she was "overwhelmed by the response of the Delhi crowd".
One of the major highlights of the first day of the event was launching of an Android application named Street Saathi. The free application enables users to search nearby street food vendors by proximity, popularity and cuisine type. The application has been made by Dheeraj Agrawal, who was a street vendor when he was younger.
Apart from culinary arts, the festival will have special attractions like interactive competitive games for children such as make the poster on the spot, extempore speech, sing your own food song and write slogan on promoting street food.
The festival will end Sunday night.
On the last day, an awards ceremony will applaud master street food vendors in categories like hygiene, nutrition, serving, customer relation, innovation and popularity.