Connecting People, celebrating life
North East Festival – Connecting People, celebrating life is an attempt to create awareness about North East India and to promote tourism. Last two years, North East Festival organised in IGNCA, Janpath, New Delhi attracted lakhs of people and was extensively covered in national media.
India’s North East, comprising 8 states of Assam, Arunachal, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim have enormous potential and tourism propositions. Due to various issues including connectivity issue, the region haven’t progressed to the desired level. However, of late plenty of importance is given from the Government and other agencies to promote the region. .
A colourful carnival of various dance forms of North East, folk music, famous rock musicians of the region, North Eastern food delicacies, Handloom & Handicraft Exhibition, Agro & Horti Exhibition, Exhibition of various tribes of North East, Freedom Fighters etc, colourful fashion shows, traditional sports etc. North East Festival is also the platform to discuss the critical issues of North East, B2B session on tourism, Buyers Sellers Meet, discussion on Act East Policy etc are organised.
To reduce the regional gaps and to celebrate the essence of North East India, NORTH EAST FESTIVAL was organized at IGNCA Ground, Janpath, New Delhi. The event considered as the biggest ever festival on North East Region in National capital aimed to highlight the positive aspects of the region which is so full of talents, resources and success stories. The festivalhas been widely appreciated across all sectors including by the people of the region, thousands of people came to see this maiden festival. Around 100 newspapers in the National media appreciated the event and publicity received in the event is unprecedented in the history of this region which was mostly getting negative media publicity over the years.
Connected by an infinite chain of pearly threads, intricate as a spider’s web the North-East India represents 8 states - Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura which is considered as India’s most distinct and spectacular region. Spread over an approximate expanse of 2,65,000 sq km. north east represents a true collage of colours of ethnic groups with their diverse language and culture but all bound together by a chord of unison.
Create awareness about the region.
Showcase the uniqueness of culture and people of India’s North East.
Connect within the North East amongst various tribes and communities and to connect with rest of India.
Showcase the core competency of the region – Tourism, Handloom Handicraft etc Create Marketing linkages.
Create a platform to discuss the critical issues of North East India..
The First Edition of North East Festival(NEF) was organised in 8th and 9th November, 2013 at IGNCA, New Delhi. For the first time in the history, 8 North Eastern State Governments joined hand to showcase the North East. NEF got widespread publicity across the country and has become a platform for taking up various issues of North Eastern region.
The Fourth edition of North East Festival is being proposed on 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th November 2016.
The third edition of North East Festival – Connecting People, Celebrating Life was organised from 16th-18th October, 2015 at IGNCA Ground, Janpath, New Delhi. Before the main Carnival a Football competition involving top football clubs of NER and NCR based colleges was organised at Jawharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
The Carnival was attended by around 3 lakhs people with people from all walks of life congregating at the sprawling campus of IGNCA, Janpath, New Delhi.
North East Festival have become a talking point in national media with more than 100 news reports in various media, Airlines Magazines etc. It is termed as the one of the biggest festival of Delhi, a major tourist attractions.
The key facets of NEF 2015 1. North East Festival Football Competition: North East Festival football competition was organised from 9th-15th October, 2015 at Jawharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. 20 teams comprising top colleges of Delhi, North East colleges and North East Football clubs based in Delhi participated in the competition. The final match was played between Venketeswara College and Hornbill Club, the match was won by Venkateswara College. The third place was won by Dziku Club.
The competition was widely covered in the national media and became a platform for meeting of young minds of various colleges of Delhi. Various students enthusiastically participated in the competition and a strong bridge was built amongst the students of North East and Delhi.
2. North East Festival Carnival: The Carnival of North East Festival was organised from 16th -18th October, 2015. The major attractions/features are;
a) Music and Dance Forms: Around 40 musical bands performed during North East Festival making it the biggest musical congregation of Delhi. Top bands/musicians of North East performed along with Delhi bands. Some of the prominent names are; the heartthrob of North East Zubeen Garg, Rock legend Lou Majaw, Naga icon of folk fusion Abiogensis, internationally acclaimed Naga band Purple Fusion, Vh1 Chart topper Mizo Band Boomerang, one of the top heavy metal performer of India, Girish & the Chronicles from Sikkim, Manipuri Band Traffic Jam, famous Delhi band The Local Train, legend of rock music of India Parikrama and many more.
Various dance forms of North East like Manipuri, Bodo, Tripuri and other dance forms were displayed.
b) Traditional Sports: North East is famous for traditional sports. During North East Festival, various traditional sports like Archery, bamboo running etc. were presented. Thousands of tourists including foreign tourists actively participated in the traditional sports.
c) Presentation of North East, Tribes, and Freedom Fighters: North East Festival is the platform to showcase the region. During NEF, a presentation of NEF starting from the chicken neck was displayed. Eight states, its tribes, its freedom fighters were displayed. Various tribes, prominent freedom fighters were presented.
The area was also an activity area, wherein a Chang ghar, typical of North East was built. Many Delhities came taken photographs with tribes dress, understood about North East and appreciated the varieties on offer.
d) Art and Photography Exhibition: North East Festival is place for expressing the artistic minds of people. An art exhibition, wherein sketches of NER people was drawn was organised. A photography exhibition was organised with the support of Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon photography clubs aimed at building bridges. The Art and photography exhibition drew thousands of people.
A Cartoon Exhibition was organised wherein contemporary cartoons showcasing the various facets of life drew large crowds.
e) Food Stalls: The Food stalls were the biggest crowd puller during North East Festival. Twenty three food stalls presented the various varieties of North Eastern foods. Top food joints like Nagaland Kitchen, Rosang Caffe, Dzuku the Tribal Kitchen, The Himalayan Taste, Delhi Hut Assam Stall, Ghorua Exaz were present along with new entrepreneurs like Manipur R&R Kitchen, Khasi Food Stalls, Tripura Food Stalls etc.
In the evening cultural programme which drew lakhs of crowd, many watched the programme from LED Screen installed near the food stalls and enjoyed amazing presentation of North Eastern food and music.
f) Exhibition of Handloom & Handicrafts: Around 60 artisans/weavers/textile entrepreneurs presented an amazing exhibition of North East handloom & handicraft products. They came from all parts of North East India and exhibited a wide variety of products which was appreciated in all corners.
Most importantly, the weavers/artisans did brisk business and got orders worth of around Rs.30 lakhs from various customers.
g) State Specific stalls: Various State Governments of North East presented tourism, industry, handicraft and agriculture potentials of the State. Meghalaya, Assam also sold handicraft and agricultural products during the exhibition.
h) Film Exhibition: Various short films produced and directed by young North Eastern filmmakers were presented during film exhibition amongst the critics and media.
i) Fashion Shows: One of the biggest attraction of North East Festival was three evenings of grand fashion show showcasing the best designs of the region. Around 20 NER designers, 30 models all from the North East have mesmerized Delhi audience with quality of fabric and presentation.
Inaugural Session: Hon’ble CM Delhi Mr. Arvind Kejriwal formally inaugurated North East Festival on 16th October, 2015 afternoon. The inaugural session was also attended by Mr. Manish Sisodia, Hon’ble Deputy CM of Delhi, Mr. Kapil Mishra, Hon’ble Tourism Minister of Delhi.
Mr. Kejriwal in his remark appreciated the magnitude at which North East Festival is organised and offered all possible help.
Closing Session: The closing session of North East Festival had the following features;
a) A special presentation was made to create awareness about Majuli, the biggest river island in the world.
b) Some outstanding personalities of North Eastern region was felicitated. They included Mr. Amrit Pritam, IIFA and Filmcard award winner sound engineer, Ms Pronita Swargiary, winner of Dance India Dance show, Restaurateur Karen Yepthomi, Arunachali media entrepreneur Yipee, Prominent Social Worker Linda Newmai, Designer Nabam Aka etc.
c) Few of the most prominent North Eastern youngster working towards solving the racial problems faced by North Eastern people at Delhi was felicitated.
d) The trophy and certificate of the winners and runners of North East Festival Football cup was distributed.
The felicitation was done by Mr. Sanjay Krisha, IAS, Additional Secy(Culture & Agriculture), Govt of India, Mr. AM Singh, JS(Admn), DoNER and Dr. Muktesh Chander, IPS, Special Commissioner, Delhi Police.
Discussion Session: North East Festival is a platform to showcase and highlight the critical issues of the North East. Top policymakers of the country came and interacted with the North Eastern stakeholders on various issues faced by the region. Some of the major discussion sessions are as follows’
a) Potential for Food Processing Industry in the North East: This session was organised with support from Federation of North Eastern Industries and Commerce of North East Region (FINER). The session was chaired by Mr. JP Meena, IAS, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industry, Govt of India. The session was attended by Mr. S.C Sehgal, Promoter of North East Mega Food Park. Mr. S. Bhattacharya, Chairman, Food Processing Committee of FINER and Executive Director of NERAMAC, President, National Association of Food Processing Industries etc. The seminar deliberated on various schemes of MoFPI in the North East, projects like Mega Food Park and facilities available etc.
b) Seminar on North East Strategic importance and Act East Policy: This was one of the most high voltage discussion during North East Festival. The key speakers in the sessions include the following;
1. Mr. Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of BJP.
2. Mr Ravi Capoor, IAS, Joint Secretary, Commerce, Govt of India
3. Mr. AM Singh, Joint Secretary, DoNER
4. Professor N.G Mahanta of Guwahati University
5. Kishalaya Bhattacharya, prominent journalist and writer
6. Prominent young leaders of Arunachal, Manipur, Nagaland
7. Media personalities, intellectuals of NER.
Mr. Shyamkanu Mahanta, organizer at the beginning explained the objective of the session and opined that North East India was a prosperous region pre independence when it has connectivity to the rest of world through Chittagong Port of Bangaldesh, Myanmar and Bhutan routes. The future of North East depends on a great deal how quickly major projects of Act East Policy like Trilateral Highway, Kaladan Multi Modal point, Cox Bazar connectivity comes on the ground.
Mr. Ram Madhav, in his keynote address informed that the present Government is taking North East issues very seriously. He informed that all the critical projects under Act East Policy is being monitored regularly under the direct supervision of Hon’ble PM.
North East India with South East Asia such as Trilateral Highway connecting Moreh in Myanmar upto Maesot in Thailand. He also spoke about the road connecting Dawki upto Bangladesh, Kaladan Multimodal point connecting Sittwe Port and briefed about the present status of implementation of these critical projects.
Mr. AM Singh, Joint Secy DoNER spoke about various initiatives of DoNER in developing infrastructure in the North East especially relating to the South East Asia.
Various students’ leaders, intellectuals of NER raised their concern about the people’s participation in Act East Policy projects and benefits to be accrued to the region. The session was extremely beneficial for the participants especially for the North East stakeholders who became aware about these critical projects.
Seminar on design improvements of North East artisans and B2B session on Textiles: This session was organised in association with DC Handicrafts and Women Entrepreneurship Cell of I am MSME..
The session was attended by many artisans/weavers/textile entrepreneurs of NER. At the beginning designers of NCDPD gave presentation on various modern design techniques to improve the quality of designs of NE weavers/artisans to make it more attractive to the markets.
Officials of eBay a very famous e marketing platform gave presentation about providing marketing linkage to North Eastern fabric. Many entrepreneurs showed interest to take up e Bay marketing platform to promote products from the remote areas of North East.
Various potential buyers interacted with NE weavers/artisans and discussed about promoting NE fabric.
B2B Session on Tourism: Tourism was the key focus of North East Festival. A tourism B2B Session on the concluding day of North East Festival was a major draw. The key participants are;
a) Mr. AM Singh, JS, DoNER, Govt of India was the Chairperson of the session
b) Top officials of tourism deptts of NER
c) Mr. Ashok Gupta, Delhi Tourism
d) CEO of Oyo Rooms
e) Mr. Mehul Atha, famous ad film makers
f) Mr Tridib Sharma, General Secretary of Assam Hoteliers Association
g) Various tour operators, hoteliers of Delhi and North East
h) Tourism Consultant..
The session covered entire gamut of tourism industry in the North East. Tour operators of the NER presented about the various tourism circuits, festivals of the region. CEO of OYO rooms talked about the big plan drawn by OYO to promote tourism in the North East. Mr. Mehul Atha, who was involved in various tourism campaigns of Gujarat and other states talked about branding North East as destination, tourism consultant Mr. Gupta talked about marketing North East as destination. There was wide ranging deliberations on the destination North East campaigns and way forward.
Key Takeout’s of North East Festival 2015: 1. North East India have a very negative publicity as a destination. National media generally covers violence, bandhs in the NER, whereas the situation on the ground have changed drastically. North East Festival’s biggest achievements was extensive coverage of NEF in the national media. More than 100 reports have come out with a very strong positive message about North East India as tourism destination and focus on its fabric, food, heritage etc.
2. North East Festival have given a market linkage to 60 textile entrepreneurs. They got a huge marketplace to sale their products, eBay have tied up with few entrepreneurs for promotion and many buyers have developed linkages. Design improvement progrmmes have helped the designers.
3. New entrepreneurs created. The Food stalls showcased some of the young entrepreneurs, who got huge market response. Many starting their ventures in Delhi with that experience.
4. Many designers are getting invitation to showcase in prestigious fashion shows across the country.
5. Tourist flow to the North East will increase. Oyo, Ola all have firmed up big plan for investments in the NER.
6. Building bridges – many Delhities came and attended NEF. Colleges participated in competition many youngsters from Delhi came to witness North East culture.
The racial issues would be on the decline. North East would get a positive perception which would help in promoting investment and tourism.
As a whole North East Festival have given a strong platform for the region to express themselves. It would go a long way in solving problems in the region.