With the scene of action in the ongoing Nilgiris Summer Festival-2012 shifting to the Ooty Lake at the far end of the town, the Department of Tourism organized a Boat Pageant on Friday.

While the floats of the Departments of Horticulture, Forest, Tourism and the Mahalir Thittam and those of the Udhagamandalam and Coonoor municipalities, the Tibetan Welfare Association and the Tourist Guides Association vied for attention an excellent photo opportunity was provided for hundreds of tourists who were either boating or enjoying the proceedings in bright sunshine.

The painstakingly decorated float of the Department of Horticulture which reflected the importance of the Nilgiris vis a vis horticulture and the role the sector was playing in ensuring the economic well being of the district bagged the first prize.

Inter alia it featured a replica of Fort Saint George made of various grains.

The second prize went to the float of the Forest department which highlighted the unique position the Nilgiris occupied in espousing the cause of conservation. Stuffed leopards and deer formed part of the display.

The Mahalir Thittam which walked away with the third prize had on its float Badaga women dressed in their traditional gear. The focus was on the emancipation of women brought about by various schemes implemented by the Mahalir Thittam.

While a great deal of effort had gone into decorating the floats, the presence of Tibetans added a dash of colour and the enthusiasm displayed by the tourist guides raised hopes of the organizers bringing in more such groups from next year.

The band of the Nilgiris police was in attendance.

The Nilgiris Collector Archana Patnaik distributed the prizes. Among those present were the Superintendent of Police, S. Nizamuddin and the Tourist Officer S. Dorairaj.

A view shared by many of the observers was that henceforth the efforts put in by those without adequate resources should be publicly acknowledged and government departments which are equipped with the wherewithal to put up an impressive show treated as a separate entity.

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