Bihar brand to be promoted through its fruits

June 2nd, 2008 - 10:36 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil
By Imran Khan
Patna, June 2 (IANS) Brand Bihar, which is often used as a derisive metaphor for things not working out, is to be promoted through its luscious fruits this summer. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s government has decided to gift baskets of luscious ‘Shahi’ (royal) litchis and special ‘Zardalu’ mangoes to important people in New Delhi, including the president and the prime minister.

The special sweet gifts are also a bid to establish the Bihar brand.

The Shahi litchis of Muzaffarpur district and the delicious Zardalu mangoes of Bhagalpur district are known for their rare taste and delicate flavour, but yet to be marketed as a Bihar brand within and outside the country.

State Cabinet secretary Girish Shankar has directed the commissioner of Tirhut and Bhagalpur as well as district magistrate of Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur districts to arrange for Shahi litchis and Zardalu mangoes to be gifted to very important persons (VIPs) in New Delhi.

The state government has decided to send the juicy gifts by June 15.

The government has prepared a list of 400 important people in New Delhi who will be given the gifts.

Apart from President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Vice President Hamid Ansari, the sweet gifts will also go to Supreme Court judges and central ministers. The ministers include Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, Steel Minister Ramvilas Paswan and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. Senior diplomats of several embassies and bureaucrats in the capital will also receive the goody basket.

The Shahi litchis and the Zardalu mangoes would be packed separately for gifting.

“The Muzaffarpur district magistrate was asked to prepare 400 packets of Shahi litchis. Each packet will contain 2.5 kg of litchis.

The Bhagalpur district magistrate has been asked to prepare similar packets of Zardalu mangoes. Each packet will contain 20 to 25 mangoes,” an official source said.

“Bihar’s Shahi litchis and Zardalu mangoes are set to impress India’s VVIPs and diplomats this summer. It will boost the state’s image,” a government official told IANS here.

While 70 percent of India’s litchis are produced in Muzaffarpur, the region’s Shahi litchis are known worldwide for their aroma and taste.

Nitish Kumar had last year presented Shahi litchis to the president, the vice president, the prime minister and other ministers.

Since he came to power in November 2005, Kumar has been trying hard to build a positive image of Bihar by replacing the negative image of lawlessness, backwardness and a state without basic infrastructure. Till now Bihar is widely seen as an ailing state that is regarded as one of the least developed in India.

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