Sattvik food fest moves from under IIMA's shadow

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Annual food festival that begins on Dec 24 grows larger with 200 stalls, organiser SRISTI shifts venue to `spacious' AES ground on Bodakdev; move will de-link it from IIMA, where it was traditionally hosted, and let it flourish on its own merit

It's December and Amdavadis are eagerly awaiting the annual Sattvik food festi val. The three-day festival begins on December 24 but this time, it has a new venue. The traditional food fest, which used to be held on the grounds of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad till last year, will be held at AES Ground in Bodakdev.

Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI), which organises the event, give lim ited space to set up stalls, congested park ing and frequent traffic jams as reasons for ending its 13-years association with the premier B-School. However, those associated with the festival said the shift of venue is an exercise in branding.

“Over the years, the festival has gained a lot of popularity but people often associate it with IIMA rather than SRISTI. The shift in venue is supposed to bring brand SRISTI to the forefront,“ said a reliable source at SRISTI.

FESTIVAL POPULARITY LED TO TRAFFIC JAMS, SPACE CRUNCH

Purvi Shah, a chartered accountant agrees that people assume IIMA hosts the Sattvik food festival. “The food festival has been organised on IIMA campus for so long that people think they are the ones behind the fest. Over the years, the festival has become popular on its own merit and a change in venue will not hurt its popularity,“ she said.

SRISTI's head, IIMA Professor Anil Gupta said the decision to shift the venue was taken keeping in mind issues faced at IIMA's new campus.

“People and police have co-operated with us for 13 years. But as the popularity of the food fest increased, there was space crunch and traffic jams near the venue. This year, we are expecting the ministry of child and women's welfare to set up an additional 50 stalls selling organic products from across the state. This will scale up the event. We are expecting more people to visit the festival this time, so a bigger venue was needed,“ said Professor Gupta.

SATTVIK FEST STARTED 13 YEARS AGO

Sattvik was started 13 years ago by SRISTI to promote conservation of agro-biodiversity and creation of demand for nutritional crops, which are rarely or less cultivated now. This festival tries to bring forgotten, traditional recipes, lesser known grains, vegetables and minor millets from under-developed areas to the urban populace, helping them to adopt healthier food habits and lifestyle.

SRISTI's secretary Ramesh Patel told Mirror that the event will have not less than 200 stalls this year.

“Of these, 100 stalls will be offering innovative delicacies using traditional food. Fifty stalls will have farmers selling foodgrains, another 50 stalls will be from the ministry where organic products will be sold. To bring in diversity, we will not allow popular Gujarati snacks like dhokla, handvo or deep-fried food to be put on offer,“ said Patel.

Keeping the recent demonetisation in mind, SRISTI officials have intimated food stall owners to use mobile wallet applications to facilitate payment. SRISTI has invited around 2 lakh children from various schools to be part of the food festival.

“Children's entry to Sattvik will be free. They will be given a chance to observe problems faced by people and work out solutions for the same,“ said Patel.