Vice President’s FB post after returning from a 7-day Northeast tour


Vice President’s Facebook post after returning from a 7-day Northeast tour

Today I concluded a weeklong tour of the North East region of India. I am back at my residence in Delhi but my mind is still immersed in the memories of the lush green hills of the northeast, dew drenched meadows, colorful birds, pristine lakes, the warmth and hospitality of the people … Their folk songs and music are still there. echoing in my ears filling my heart with happiness and joy. Seven sisters are truly amazing!

This seven-day trip enriched my experience and understanding of the Northeastern states, as I got to see everything from a new perspective. It was a memorable trip that I will cherish forever.

Northeastern India is blessed with a rich variety of bio-resources. Fertile soils, high rainfall and abundant sunshine have made the region a major biodiversity hotspot with a large number of endemic species of flora and fauna. My visits to the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development in Imphal and to the ICAR National Research Center on Mithun in Dimapur reaffirmed my conviction that sustainable development and the management of its rich bio-resources are the key to socio-economic growth. economy of the region. I was very impressed with the work done by our scientists in these institutions and further advised them to conduct innovative research to protect and conserve the rich bio-resources and livestock of North East India. To their credit, the northeastern states have taken the lead in organic farming – the rest of India can learn valuable lessons.

Vice President's FB post after returning from a 7-day Northeast tour

Northeastern India, with its hilly terrain crisscrossed by countless rivers and streams, faces challenges in road connectivity. This is probably the biggest obstacle to the development of the region. However, a sustained push from the Center and the States led to a considerable improvement in the situation. On more than one occasion, during this tour, my helicopter was unable to take off due to bad weather leading to apprehensions of cancellations of certain programs. I was not in favor of canceling the events because people had been preparing for several days and were waiting for the day of my arrival; it would have been a great disappointment for them, as it would have been for me… and so we continued – traveling by road from Guwahati to Shillong and back to Guwahati from Shillong.

I have to admit without hesitation that these long drives are some of the most enjoyable road trips of my life and will forever be remembered by me. On one of these trips, I made a brief stop at scenic Umiam Lake near Shillong and was mesmerized by its beauty.

Vice President's FB post after returning from a 7-day Northeast tour

In Shillong, I laid the groundwork for the NH-40 Shillong-Dawki Section Improvement / Expansion Project and attended a workshop on “Changing the Role of the Northeast Council in the Development of North-East region ”. There, I expressed my conviction: “If the North-East region is progressing, India is progressing … If the region is lagging behind, India is lagging behind” and unsurprisingly, it found an echo among the academics, analysts and experts present. I have also advised the Northeastern States to share best practices in various areas and derive mutual benefit from them. India should work as an India-Center team, states and local agencies working together on development issues to find solutions.

The availability of quality and affordable health care is an important indicator of human development in a state. During my trip, I am happy to have inaugurated the PET-MRI wing of the State Cancer Institute of Guwahati. What made me happier is that this is only the fourth such MRI machine in India and the first in the country, based on Time-of-Flight technology. I have also been impressed with Assam’s distributed cancer care model and would strongly recommend other Indian states to emulate it.

The Northeast region is renowned for its rich forms of arts and crafts that have been preserved and promoted by communities since time immemorial. Opening an exhibition of looms and handicrafts in Agartala, Tripura, I interacted with artisans and weavers and was touched to see their emotional attachment to their traditional crafts despite the difficulties in marketing their products. Craftsmen from all northeastern states presented their products at the exhibition, organized by the Northeast Council. I was very impressed with the bamboo loom and craftsmanship. It is really important to preserve and protect the traditions, customs and heritage of the different communities in the region.

Vice President's FB post after returning from a 7-day Northeast tour

I urge people, especially young people, to “speak up for the local” and buy Indian handicrafts, looms, Khadi and other products made by our artisans instead of foreign items.

A constant commitment throughout my Northeast tour has been my interaction with successful people from various fields in each state. Almost daily, I took the time to meet people who have made their mark in the fields of sport, science, education, literature, the arts, music and business. These meetings left me full of enthusiasm and joy. On one of these occasions in Manipur, I had the pleasure of receiving boxing gloves from legendary boxer Mary Kom. My tour of the North East region is filled with so many precious memories.

Likewise, each of my evenings over the past seven days has been well spent in the company of local cultural figures and folk artists. The rich variety of dance forms, songs and musical instruments that each of the northeastern states offers, leaves one captivating. Whether it is “Bihu Adoroni” on the banks of the Brahmaputra or the traditional Lotha song sung after the harvest of the rice fields or the Apatani folk dance, “Pakhuitu” describing the behavior of birds and animals in the forest. , each evening was made memorable by the performances of enthusiastic folk artists. I urge people from other parts of the country to visit the North East to appreciate the natural beauty and cultural richness of the region.

But it is disappointing to note that despite being such a wonderful place, the general attitude towards the North East Region to this day is largely characterized by ignorance, lack of appreciation and stereotypes in the region. rest of India. This must change.

I also had the honor of addressing an extraordinary session of the Legislative Assembly of Arunachal Pradesh where I congratulated the state government and other stakeholders for the state’s progress. I was really impressed with the architecture and seating arrangement of the Assembly. It is one of the best-built assemblies in the country. In fact, there are a number of good practices implemented in the northeastern states, which could be emulated by other states in the country. For example, the e-Vidhan paperless system introduced in the Assembly, making it the first Assembly in the Northeast region to implement such an initiative, is truly commendable. Likewise, the devolution of funds and powers to officials of local bodies in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution is also commendable. I had also opened the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly Library, a paper recycling unit and the Dorjee Khandu auditorium in the Assembly.

After my seven day trip, I came back confident that the North East region is witnessing a new era of resurgence. I better understand the people, the subjects, the aspirations, the challenges and the opportunities of the region. A welcome development is the decline of the insurgency in the region. I am confident that the North-East region will become completely insurgency-free in the near future, given the various development initiatives and the people’s strong desire for peace and progress. The point is, seven of the region’s eight states performed better than the country’s Human Development Index (HDI) in 2019. But how many of us are aware of it?

Not many people outside the region know that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report considers Nagaland as the safest state for women in India. Assam is world famous for its tea and silk. Manipur, a state that has only 0.24% of the country’s population, produces a good number of international athletes. True to its name, this “land of precious stones” has given us rare gems like Mary Kom and Mirabai Chanu which have made India proud.

Although I wanted to cover all the states in the region, I decided not to visit Mizoram to allow the state administration to focus more on dealing with an upsurge in COVID-19 cases. Later this month I will be making a three day visit to Sikkim and Darjeeling starting October 20.

We have a lot to learn from the wealthy northeastern states. Some time ago I saw a video of a road in Aizawl, Mizoram and was amazed to see motorists observing strict traffic discipline even though no traffic cop is in sight. It is a rare sight in other major Indian cities.

I urge the media to focus on spreading these positive stories from the northeastern states to the rest of the nation. In the past, media coverage of the region was largely limited to reporting insurgency-related incidents. But a wind of change is now blowing over the northeast. There are so many inspiring things and stories waiting to be explored… and told. Recent coverage of the Olympians of the North East in the national media has been positive and extensive. We need more of this.

Another important point that I would like to stress is the need to include inspiring and positive stories from the North East in our school curriculum. Today our textbooks tell us only a few facts about this region, such as the location of India’s first oil refinery at Digboi, Cherrapunji being the wettest place and the Brahmaputra the longest river. Very little is learned about the glorious history and rich cultural heritage of these states. In addition to correcting this imbalance in curricula, more student visits should be organized in the region and more student exchange programs should be conducted with the northeastern states. Today, technology has bridged physical distances; I urge students across India to make at least one friend from the North East and discover their rich linguistic and cultural heritage. This is the way forward to strengthen the unity of the nation.

I Hind!

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