Successful North East Festival set to become an annual affair in Delhi
– The festival to travel across the country
– The next edition will be bigger & better
– First ever festival showcasing the vibrant future, present & past of North East India
– Thousands of Delhiites enjoyed colourful North Eastern Dance, music, ethnic food, fashion in a Carnival Atmosphere
– A wholesome event wherein key issues faced by the region discussed with policy makers and North Eastern Stakeholders
New Delhi, 13th November, 2013: The two-day North East Festival here ended on a high note. Now, Shyamkanu Mahanta, organiser-in-chief of the Festival promised that the next edition would be bigger and better.
The first edition of the festival was organised by Trend MMS in association with the Eight State Govt of North Eastern States, DoNER ministry, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) , NEIIM etc on 8 and 9 November.
“This festival is organised to initiate a communication between people of the north-east with other states and also among the various communities living in the north-east,” says Shyamkanu Mahanta, organiser-in-chief of the ‘North East Festival 2013’.
Spanning over two days, the festival was organised in the format of a carnival with live music and dance performances engaging the visitors throughout the day in the amphitheatre and serious discussions on business, economy, socio-political issues of the region engrossing the intellectuals in the conference halls. The Festival aimed at Integrated Marketing the entire North East to attract tourist and investments
Probably, it was for the first time all the eight north-eastern states participated showcasing the States, its investment potential and tourism in a festival dedicated to North East. The festival reached new heights with the presence of personalities like Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission) during the opening ceremony, Chief Ministers Dr. Mukul Sangma of Meghalaya, Mr. Nabam Tuki of Nagaland, eminent Journalist Arnab Goswami, DoNER Minister PS Ghatowar, Secretary DoNER, Election Commissioner Mr. HS Brahma. Eminent actor Adil Hussain and Olympian MC Mary Kom supported the cause as brand ambassadors.
People hailing from the region of north-east and other parts of the country, came in from all areas to be a part of the festival. On day one, the seminar on Look East Policy and Internal Security of North East saw attendance by leading lights like Mr Ranjan Mathai, Former External Affairs Secretary, India’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Mr. Gautam Mukhopadhay, Mr. YS Shahrwat, Chairman LPAI, who building ports and export infrastructure in North East, Joint Secretary (Home) in charge of North East Mr. Shombhu Singh, Interlocuter of Peace process Mr. PC Haldar, eminent actor Victor Banerjee, Journelist Mr. BG Vergese all interacted with stakeholders of North East including representatives from North East Political Science Association, media, Student bodies, Entrepreneurs, ULFA publicity Secretary Mr. Sasha Chaudhury etc.
In the afternoon an interaction with north-east students on security and other issues in Delhi saw representation from Delhi Police, DoNER Ministry, Planning Commission remained the highlight during the day.
As the evening approached, the cultural performance by musicians and dancers – Guru Rewben Mashangva (Manipur), Mami Varte (Mizoram), Omak Komut Collective (Arunachal Pradesh), Zubeen Garg (Assam), Alobo Naga and The Band (Nagaland) overwhelmed the audience. The evening turned magical and on day one and set a benchmark for the next day which began with a B2B session on north-east Tourism – Paradise Unexplored. It was attended by representatives from DoNER, NEC, IATA, ATOAI, stakeholders of NER etc. A session on Entrepreneurship and Skil Development seen some successful Entrpreneurs from North East Such as Mr Khanindra Barman, who have set up 17 restaurants in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Mr. Habib Chaudhury who have invested USD 300 Mn in Laos, Mr.Kh Palin who runs Shija Hospital in Imphal, Dr. Dhabali who runs Classic Hotel in Imphal, Mr. Sidhant who have come all the way from London, Mr. Sidhant is an innovator who made a watch which can work like computer and phone, Mr. Basant Khetan, promoter of Kaziranga University also interacted in the session. NEDFI CMD, Mr. BP Muktiah talked about the industrial scenario in the North East. Mr. JP Rai, Director General, NSDA talked about skill initiatives for the region.
Later on the day north-east icons such as Mary Kom, Adil Hussain, Mr. Larsing Ming of Lajong Club, Mr. Pradyot Debbarma interacted with the audience, which came in huge numbers to the venue. In the closing session some outstanding achievers of the region like Mr. Jadav Payeng, the forest of Man of India, Dr. Kh Palin, Mr. Sidhant, Mr. Habib Choudhury etc were felicitated for their outstanding work.
The visitors stayed back to witness a fashion show which showcased north-east handloom and jewellery by North East Designers and models such as Dhiraj Deka from Assam, Garima Saikia Garg from Assam, Yana Ngoba from Arunachal Pradesh, Joy Singh from Manipur, Anu Marbaniang from Meghalaya, Charlie from Mizoram, Anga and Aji from Nagaland where apart from inspiring the masses with their life stories, Mary Kom and Adil Hussain also walked the ramp. The concluding performance was by Kalpana Patowary & Lou Majaw, Alobo Naga and team which made the audience wait in high hopes for the next edition of the festival!
Food stalls and a photography exhibition attracted a huge number of people from mainstream India as well.
Mr. Mahanta informed that support from all State Governments, icons, musicians, general public is overwhelming.
“We didn`t get much private support this time because nobody believed in it. Now, they`ve seen it doing well. Once We get that support, We`ll do aggressive marketing,” added Mahanta, who plans to bring the festival back to the capital in the last quarter of 2014. We need to build up the momentum. Our target is Delhi then Mumbai. We want to get attention first. Mumbai might happen within six months, but Delhi will be an annual event. We will build the brand here, strengthen it, then take it forward to cities like Mumbai and Bangalore,” he said.
Mr. Adil Hussain, the Brand Ambassador said that he is very happy to see the response of the Festival. He said he came for one hour and stayed back both days. He offered his support to make it bigger in coming days.
MC Mary Kom, who got the attention of entire National Media while walking the ramp with Adil Hussain and Zubin Garg is very happy to be able to contribute for the North Eastern region. She said, she would keep supporting the objective of North East Festival.
Veteran actor Victor Banerjee described the region as “the friendliest” one, “”I`ve been to all parts of India and northeast is the friendliest one, according to me. There is no hierarchy over there. Women have rights. They have much more power than average woman in rest of India,” said Victor.”
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