Destination North East Festival Day 2: Union Min Jitendra Singh interacts with participants

New Delhi: The Union Minister of State (MoS PMO) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said at the Destination North East Festival in Varanasi today that the North East model of development and opportunity is now being replicated across India and this has been made possible by a concentrated effort to familiarize people, particularly youth, in different parts of the country about what North East could offer them.

Browsing stalls and interacting with participants and visitors, most of them young, on the second day of the 4-day Destination North East festival at BHU campus in Varanasi, Singh said that the response to the event has been overwhelming.

Despite ongoing exams in some departments of the University, students in huge numbers were seen visiting the stalls and intermingling with their counterparts from the North East till almost midnight, observed the DoNER Minister.

He said this is a vindication of the contention that he always held, that as soon as the enormous potential and avenues of the North East are made familiar to people living in other parts of India, there would virtually be a beeline of explorers and aspirants heading for North East India.

Making a particular mention of bamboo, Singh pointed out that this is for the first time perhaps that there was an extensive showcasing of the various aspects of bamboo use, including a bamboo idol of Buddha and a bamboo-model depicting the holy Kamakhya temple.

The positive outcome of this, he said, has been that youth and Media persons in large numbers are visiting the venue to understand how best they could also take the benefit of bamboo in supplementing livelihood sources and bringing ease of living.

There are huge reserves of bamboo even outside the North East, including in Central India, but there was little awareness and knowledge about them, and therefore they could not be put to optimum use, Singh remarked.

We have tried to educate the common citizens, particularly youth, about how best each one of them can introduce bamboo into his life routine, particularly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi amended the Indian Forest Act to exempt homegrown bamboo, he added.

In addition to food outlets and traditional cultural performances, the B2B business meetings attracted a large number of youngsters who engaged themselves to explore and ascertain how best they could use the North Eastern pattern to further their entrepreneurship plans.

On Day 1 of the Festival, the DoNER Minister had said that India has much to learn from the NE Region. Earlier in November Singh had visited the site of the North East Convention Centre under construction in Delhi. This Centre will be the information and cultural hub of the NE Region in Delhi.

Singh had also said that the North East Region will pilot India’s collaboration with ASEAN at the India-ASEAN Business Summit in November.

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The ID Staff

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