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KITE 2017 flies to new heights
17 January 2017
Telangana Tourism, Incredible India and the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad joined hands to launch KITE 2017, Telangana’s second international kite festival, which proved to be more and different, bigger and better than the 2016 pioneer event. Held over the course of a week, from 12–18 January 2017, KITE 2017 attracted over 50,000 people in six districts of Telangana to experience first-hand the sweeping joys of international kite flying. 75+ kite flyers from 27 clubs representing 17 countries flew their giant kites in the warm winter skies over Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Yadagirigutta, Warangal, Karimnagar and Mahbubnagar.
KITE 2017 was inaugurated on Friday 13 January at the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad in the presence of several high-level dignitaries including the Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana Mr. Mohammed Mahmoud Ali, Minister of Excise and Youth Teegulaa Padma Rao Goud, Minister of Cinematography and Animal Husbandry Mr Srinivas Yadav, Minister of Tourism Azmeera Chandulal, and Principal Secretary of Tourism Mr. Venkatesham. Together they launched the first KITE 2017 festival event, an ‘Inclusive Schools Program.’ This was another first for Hyderabad, bringing together 5000+ government school children to be ‘entertained and educated’ and share the experience of kite making and flying along with national and international professional kite flyers. Initially expected to host only 1000 students, the uniqueness of the program attracted the interest of both state and national governments, leading to significant increase in reach and profile.
A ground-breaking ‘curtain raiser’ event was held on the evening of Thursday, 12 January at a central, lakeside Hyderabad location, People’s Plaza. Remote controlled kites were flown for the first time in India by a specialized team from Singapore to an enraptured audience numbering over 5000.
KITE has become a successful annual Telangana international kite festival, established to raise the tourism profile and rich cultural heritage of Hyderabad as a ‘hidden jewel’ of India by attracting renowned international kite flyers to India’s newest state. KITE 2017’s prime event took place at the breathtaking 100-acre campus of Aga Khan Academy near RGI Airport on 14–15 January. Continuous cultural programs featuring regional performance arts by 200 artists; a Hyderabadi food fair; and arts & crafts stalls provided the backdrop to outstanding kite flying displays over an enthralling and festive Sankranthi weekend.
KITE 2017 was proud to have P.V. Sindhu, Telangana State icon and global badminton champion as its official ‘Festival Face’. KITE partners are committed to the social cause of raising awareness of the importance of education and empowerment of girl children. KITE aspires to build solidarity around this critical issue and generate opportunities for gifted girl children from the lower socio-economic bracket by providing opportunities and access to a world class education. To this end, 10,000 KITE caps were distributed to girl children from government schools in all six districts where KITE 2017 took place.
Aga Khan Academy staff and students volunteered to organize and support this growing festival. The main event was manned by over 200 community volunteers which made KITE into the family fun festival it was designed to be. Government departments, Academy suppliers, private vendors and select corporates joined the Academy in raising profile for our social purpose and building our reputation as a not-for-profit presence in Hyderabad and its global mission to raise leaders to change tomorrow’s outcomes across the developing world.