The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurates the ‘Destination North East’ Festival in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The festival is being organised by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Government of India. The Secretary (DoNER) Dr InderJit Singh and Secretary (NEC) K Moses Chalai also attended the event. The DoNER Minister has also launched the theme song of the festival. This is going to be a four-day event from November 23 to November 26, 2019 at IIT BHU grounds, Varanasi. The previous editions of ‘Destination North East’ were held in Delhi and Chandigarh. Destination NE 2019 provides live experience to the audience. All eight states are present at the event along with their handicrafts, handloom, organic products and cultural troupes.
DrJitendra Singh said that idea of organising such events is to bring rest of India closer to North East and to have experience of rich culture of North East. He said that development of North East is on the priority of government since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge. He added that Prime Minister himself has visited NE over 30 times during his first term. DrJitendra Singh added that 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 travelling to 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 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 live experiences of the artisans and artistes 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 such as NERCORMP, CBTC, NERAMAC, NEHHDC, Lalit Kala Academy, International Centre for Cultural Relations are 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 lending voices who are likely to be showcased there. Given the importance of NE vis-a-vis organic products, food processing, tourism, water development, seminars are held every morning on these subjects with participation of experts in the respective fields.