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 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday. The festival is being organised by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India. The Secretary (DoNER) Dr. Inder Jit Singh and Secretary (NEC) Shri K Moses Chalai will also attend the event.
The DoNER Minister launched the theme song of the festival here Thursday. This is going to be a four-day event from 23rd to 26th November 2019 at IIT BHU grounds, Varanasi. The Previous editions of ‘Destination North East’ were held in Delhi and Chandigarh. Destination NE 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.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the idea of organising such events is to bring the rest of India closer to North East and to have experience of the rich culture of the North East. He said that the development of the North East is on the priority of Government since Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi took charge. He added that Prime Minister himself has visited NE more than 30 times during his first term. Dr. Jitendra 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. He added that young entrepreneurs are also traveling to the North East to find new avenues. He also mentioned about Venture fund for start-ups and Bamboo Park being set up in Assam. The Minister said that a separate bamboo pavilion will be there at the Destination North East festival in Varanasi. The Minister informed that a Business to the Business session has also been scheduled on one of the days for the business communities to explore opportunities in the NE states.
During the festival, the visitors will have life experiences of the artisans and artists from the NE 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. 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. Central Government agencies like NERCORMP, CBTC, NERAMAC, NEHHDC, Lalit Kala Academy, and International Centre for Cultural Relations will also be present.
Music is the soul of NE. Destination NE will have mega-stars from NE regions as well as other parts of the country lending their voices and talents to the events. Shillong Chamber Choir, Papon, Saurabhee Debbarma, Borkung Hrangkhawl, Rekha Bhardwaj are some of the leading voices who are likely to be showcased there. Given the importance of NE 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 offers to visitors including Eco-tourism, culture, heritage, and business. North Eastern Region is ideal for both passive and adventure forms of Eco-Tourism with wildlife sanctuary/parks, good scenic beauty, waterfalls, forests, etc. The region has much to offer for the active adventure segment including river rafting among others, trekking of various grades and levels, rock climbing, hang gliding, etc. 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 are what differentiates North East with the rest of India. Another major differentiator is the rich and varying Arts and Craft across the 8 North Eastern States. Her 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, old tea estates, etc.
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 NER also offers ample opportunities for the business tourism segment. Domestic and international connectivity, High-end hotels, Convention Centers, resort-based convention facilities, etc. have all contributed to the expansion of this Sector.