Games shopping festival kicks off with fervour

September 25th, 2010 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) A decked-up Ajmal Khan Road in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh market resembled a venue for a Commonwealth nations conference as flags of 71 countries surrounded the Indian tri-colour, as the Games shopping festival kicked off here Saturday.
Excited shopkeepers and enthusiastic shoppers cheered as the Commonwealth Games Shopping Festival was launched by Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi.

“It was a great programme and we had a strong turnout of local and foreign shoppers. The mood was upbeat and the first 100 shoppers got attractive gifts,” Delhi Traders Association president Surinder Dhir told IANS.

“This festival symbolizes our support to the Games and also sends the message that we are proud of the fact that our city is the host,” added Dhir.

Officials informed that the festival was generating quite a buzz as they were receiving a deluge of queries on discounts and offers from excited shoppers.

The festival, an initiative of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee and the Delhi Traders Association, is being held for 20 days till Oct 15 across all main markets in Delhi.

Popular markets like Greater Kailash, South Extension, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, Lajpat Nagar, Connaught Place, Kamla Nagar, Ajmal Khan Road, Rajouri Garden and Chawri Bazar, among others, are taking part in the festival.

Apart from the decoration and illumination in the markets providing visitors an insight into the cultural heritage of India, elaborate arrangements, including a free volunteer service, were in place to guard foreign tourists against fleecing.

These volunteers belong to a firm called Personal Shoppers India (PSI) which is an initiative of the All India Traders Congress (AITC), Dhir said.

Launched a year back, PSI will exclusively be working for throughout the Commonwealth Games without any incentive, he added.

“The tourists can also log on to PSI’s website and contact them to arrange customised shopping for them,” Dhir said.

Some 7,000 participants and officials from 71 teams are expected to attend the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games, India’s biggest sporting event after the 1982 Asian Games.

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