Northeast Festival: Filling in the gaps

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANSlife) The Northeast Festival started out with the aim to cleanse negativity against Northeasterners and educate outsiders about the bountiful region of the East by presenting the diverse culture on one platform.

The 9th edition of the Festival was digitally broadcasted, highlighting the region’s enormous trade and tourism potential. Exhibitions of handloom and handicraft products, organic Agri-Horti products, food and cuisines, start-up culture, tourism attractions, and many more have been seen by viewers.

Northeast Festival

The festival is now the talk of the town, drawing visitors from all over the world with its distinct taste, style and fashion, art and culture, and the majestic beauty of its hills and valleys. Initially, the event which was started to promote the lifestyle of Northeasterners opened the door of opportunity for local entrepreneurs to reach out to a larger audience.

“Despite the odds and shortcomings, we managed to successfully organise Northeast Festival – the biggest festival of the region, which is not just limited to culture but provides a platform for entrepreneurs, investors, and business to connect and grow. Due to the pandemic, we had to face several problems; from last-minute venue changes to restructuring artists and conclaves line-up to managing finances with limited resources. In the course of three days, our event featured a series of Tourism, DoNER, and River Conclaves, along with roundtable discussions and offered a platform for industry players to share their experiences, all in a bid to showcase North-East India as a viable investment hub,” stated Shyamkanu Mahanta, Organizer & Founder The Northeast Festival.

Adding, “Established investors and top entrepreneurs of the region talked about their experiences in potential investments. Popular performers and lesser-known cultural programmes made the festival all the more exciting. We’re extremely thankful for the support from all state governments, private and public organisations, icons, artists, and general public, and I am hopeful that with everyone’s contribution and continued support we will be able to do so much more for the region’s socio-economic and cultural development and growth.”

Over the course of the three-day festival, Olympic medallist Lovlina Borgohain walked the runway wearing an Assamese traditional mekhela chador designed by Bidyut Rakesh.

Northeast Festival

The festival aimed to integrate marketing the entire North East to attract tourists and investments during a B2B discussion on the region’s business, economy, and socio-political issues.

“The work to develop the waterways of the country to fuel the economic progress & development of the country is the vision of the Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government has already started work to develop the National Waterways of the region, as well as other parts in the country. The idea of “Transformation through Transportation” is being implemented to fuel the economic growth of the Northeast region”, said Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. “The dredging of Brahmaputra is a major initiative to make the river suitable for smooth transportation of passenger and cargo vessels. The work has already begun in this regard.”

The Minister also emphasised the need to develop other major rivers of the region so that all states of the Northeast can avail the benefit from the development of waterways. The entrepreneurs of the Northeast will be able to transport their goods using these waterways to reach Haldia port in West Bengal via Bangladesh to gain access to the international market, especially the Southeast Asian region. The Act East Policy of the government will further propel and make a conducive environment for trade to prosper in the northeast region”.

(N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe can be contacted at lothungbeni.h@ians.in)

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