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A two-day mango fair and Gambhira, Alkap festival was held in Chapainawabganj with much festivity on Saturday. Around 100 local verities of mangoes were put on display at 23 stalls set up by different government private horticulture centers, nurseries and individuals of Chapainawabganj on Horimohon Government High School premises.
Rajshahi divisional commissioner M Hafizur Rahman Bhuiyan attended the inaugural ceremony as chief guest while Sirajul Islam Khan, deputy commissioner of Chapainawabganj chaired the event. CO of 39 Rifles Battalion Lt. Col. Kibria, chief scientific officer Mohammad Golam Mortaza, additional SP Sajjadur Rahman addressed the programme.
The speakers said that locals take pride in the popularity of their mangoes and gombhira, Alkap, Kobi gaan and traditional Kansa and Nakshikantha. They however lamented the fact that huge quantities of mangoes worth crores of Taka are damaged every year due to lack of fruit processing industries. The speakers also urge to government to set up agro-based industries in this district.
A discussion on Chapai-nawabganj's heritage and Gombhira Alkap and Kobigaan were also held on the fair premises. The fair and cultural function attracted several thousand people from different parts of the district. Many of them expressed the hope that such fairs would be a regular feature. "We are in danger of completely losing this vibrant tradition," said, Mohammad Rasikul Islam, a student of Chapainawabganj Government College, adding that all stops must be pulled out to keep this valuable heritage alive.