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Two-day festival in New Delhi to present diversity of North East

Guwahati: All North East stars, from Olympian Mary Kom to cine star Adil Hussain to music sensations Zubin Garg, Papon and Shillong Chamber Coir, will come together to promote the region and its tourism potential before a national and international audience at New Delhi next month.

A two-day carnival showcasing the region’s culture, music, fashion and food is being organized in the national capital from November eight next, which will also witness discussions on trade, development and security aspects of the region. Informing of the North East Festival, organizer-in-chief Shyamkanu Mahanta said here on Tuesday, ‘The Festival will be to showcase the positive aspects of the region, how people have succeeded in spite of odds and earned international fame not just for themselves but for the region.’

‘Entrepreneurs are creating jobs here when traditional job markets are drying up,’ he said, adding that the Festival will highlight such achievers from the region.

Dances from all the NE states, including Sikkim, will be presented during the day, while the evenings will witness programmes by top musicians of the region, including Zubin Garg, Papon, Shillong Chamber Coir and Alobo Naga and the Band.

Starlets of the region, like Adil Hussain, Mary Kom and Arnab Goswami, will also be participating in promoting the region, the organizer said.

Mahanta said the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha are also expected to attend the Festival, though their confirmations are awaited.

‘The chief ministers of NE states and deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia have confirmed their participation,’ he said.

Special one-to-one sessions on Look East Policy and internal security vis-à-vis NE on will held during the Festival, which will be attended by prominent people like Ranjan Mathai, GK Pillai, PC Haldar, Shekhar Gupta, Kaveree Bamzai and Rajdeep Sardesai.

Mahanta said the Festival will be an annual event henceforth and this year’s emphasis would be on Tourism and Culture, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

Sanjay Shreevats, regional director (NE), India Tourism, said about 200 people from 30 countries, including media personnel and tour operators, have been invited for the Festival.

‘There are rich variations in the culture, music, food of NE and that needs to be highlighted,’ he said.

Tridip Sharma, president of Hoteliers and Tour Operators Association of Assam, pointed to the need for NE to have a comprehensive plan and political will to execute it to capitalize on its rich tourism potential, which the region has failed to do so far. UNI)

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