Alappuzha (Ker): President Pratibha patil
on Saturday enjoyed the panoramic beauty of Kerala`s backwaters
and the sporting spirit of the villagers as the chief
guest at the annual Negur Trophy Boat Race held at
Punnamada lake near here.
In a brief inaugural address before the 58th edition of
the country`s premier water sporting event, Patil said the
boat race reflected "the team work in action."
This was a beuatiful sporting event where the victory was
the result of the spirit of competition, co-operation and
co-ordination among the team members, she observed.
She said the tourism potential of the sylvan settings of
Alappuzha district should be harnessed fully based on a
scientifically prepared master plan with its emphasis
on sustainable development.
The President also extended hearty Onam greetings to the
people of Kerala. She was presented with the replica of a
`chundan vallam` (snake boat) by the organisers.
Governor R S Gavai,Union Ministers Selja, Vayalar Ravi,
state Home and Tourism Minister Kotiyeri Balakrishnan, Health
Minister P K Sreemathy and K C Venugopal, MP, were present on
Nehru trophy boat race is held on the second Saturday of
August every year, commemorating the boat ride of India`s
first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru through the backwaters
of Travancore nearly six decades back.
The team emerging as winner in the `snake boat` category
would be presented with the silver trophy bearing the
signature of Nehru.
Competitions are alsos held in various other smaller
categories of country boats, where the men and women
rowers representing various village boat clubs in the
area display their skills of oarsmanship.
Patronised by local gentry in the area in the past, the
event is now organised with the support of the government.
of late, the event has also become a major tourism occasion
attracting visitors from all over the world to the hub of
country`s water tourism.