New Delhi: The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh will inaugurate the ‘Destination North East’ Festival at IIT BHU grounds in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on 23 November 2019. The festival is being organised by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India. The Secretary (DoNER)Inderjit Singh and Secretary (NEC) K Moses Chalai will also attend the event.
Singh recently launched the theme song of the festival. This is going to be a four-day event from 23 to 26 November. The previous editions of ‘Destination North East’ were held in Delhi and Chandigarh. Destination North East 2019 will provide live experience to the audience. All 8 states will be present at the event along with their handicrafts, handloom, organic products and cultural troupes.
Singh said that the idea of organising such events is to bring rest of India closer to North East and to have experience of the rich culture of North East. He said that development of North East has been a priority of Government since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge. He added that Modi himself has visited North East more than 30 times during his first term. Singh added that the development of all peripheral states is important for India to grow in a harmonious manner. He said that many initiatives have been taken to bring connectivity in the region.
Singh added that young entrepreneurs are also travelling to the North East to find new avenues and a venture fund has be set up for startups. A Bamboo Park is also being set up in Assam, and a separate bamboo pavilion will be there at the festival in Varanasi. The Minister informed that a business-to-business session has also been scheduled on one of the days for the business communities to explore opportunities in the North-eastern states.
He noted that the Ganga and Brahmaputra basins offer striking similarities in terms of ancient culture, diverse handlooms and silk products, spiritual heritage and vibrant tourist hubs. Therefore Varanasi was the natural choice for hosting the Destination North East 2019.
During the festival, the visitors will have live experiences of the artisans and artists from the North-eastern states working on their looms and crafts, performing their songs and dances in the open stage during the day. Indigenous games will also be performed where visitors can also participate. Live kitchens with recipes from NE and Uttar Pradesh will be serving delicacies throughout the event.
Central Government agencies like North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP), North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd. (NERAMAC), North East Handicrafts & Handlooms Corporation Ltd (NEHHDC), Lalit Kala Academy, and International Centre for Cultural Relations will also be present.
Music is the soul of the North East. The festival will have mega-stars from the North-eastern region as well as other parts of the country lending their voices and talents to the events. Shillong Chamber Choir, Papon, Saurabhee Debbarma, Borkung Hrangkhawl and Rekha Bhardwaj are some of the leading voices who are likely to be showcased there.
Given the importance of North East vis-a-vis organic products, food processing, tourism, water development, seminars will be held every morning on these subjects with the participation of experts in the respective fields.
The North Eastern region has a lot of offer to visitors including eco-tourism, culture, heritage and business. The region is ideal for both passive and adventure forms of eco-tourism with wildlife sanctuaries, parks, good scenic beauty, waterfalls, and forests. The region has much to offer for the active adventure segment including river rafting among others, trekking of various grades and levels, rock climbing and hang gliding.
Culture is an important aspect and has the potential to attract selective culture tourists to the North Eastern Region. The rich tribal heritage and culture is what differentiates North East with the rest of India. Another major differentiator is the rich and varying arts and crafts across the 8 states. Here handicrafts are part of everyday life. One significant aspect is the local community’s active participation in increasing tourist-community cultural interfaces.
Heritage tourism has picked up considerably in the region with a participatory approach where tourists also get to actively participate than just seeing the monuments and old tea estates. The region has many famous and old religious spots, which have been integrated with national tourism circuits for the benefit of the pilgrims.
In view of an attractive natural environment and growing trends of outbound business meets, the North Eastern Region also offers ample opportunities for the business tourism segment. Domestic and international connectivity, high-end hotels, Convention Centres, resort-based convention facilities have all contributed to the expansion of this sector.
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