SHILLONG:

Centre for Development of North Eastern Region (CeDNER) of IIM Shillong recently hosted a group of 12 bikers, from the Falcon group, who are part of the nine-day ‘North East on Wheels Expedition’ that aims to promote the Culture of North-Eastern States.

The programme discussed the potential of promoting North East India’s tourism through impactful yet exciting cross-cultural event campaigns.

Local successful entrepreneurs, prominent personalities, and community leaders were present for the session.

The bikers, coming from different walks of life and from different parts of the country, unanimously agreed upon the fact that the North East has a lot to offer in terms of tourism and cultural diversity.

They reiterated their awe for the scenic beauty of the region and the warmth the people of the region had to offer.

“One has to have the willpower, right temperament, experience and the courage to ride on a journey like this,” said one of the bikers.

Speaking at the programme, Prof D P Goyal, Director IIM Shillong lauded the bikers and the organisers of the expedition for the initiative.

He said, “You have to experience something to really know and feel it, and usually the experience is difficult to put into words. I noticed the bikers facing the same. The experience was so wholesome and spoke for itself, thus rendering them speechless.”

“Events like this will help further to bridge the gap, create awareness and generate interest among people to travel to the North East India and explore the rich and fulfilling experiences it has to offer,” Prof D.P.Goyal, further added.

Talking about initiatives of IIM Shillong, Prof Goyal spoke about the contributions made by the institute to inculcate in the students the spirit of community building and understanding Northeastern culture through multiple projects that demanded them to interact and work with the locals. He also mentioned the MoU signed with Arunachal Pradesh and other initiatives taken to make IIM Shillong, a pan Northeastern institution.

North East India is not just unique but also strategically very important for India’s neighbourhood initiatives. We all know tourism is among the industries that have been hit the most by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Not only is tourism a vital source of revenue, it has the potential to serve as a development ‘tool’ to strengthen supply chains, boost local businesses and even create jobs.

And the good part about the North East India region is there’s something for everyone – nature, culture, history, and adventure.

On April 9, Assam Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma in the presence of Union Minister of Culture, Tourism & DoNER, G Kishan Reddy flagged off the bike expedition from Administrative Staff College Ground, Khanapara, Guwahati.

During the journey, the riders paid tributes to the nation’s heroes, interacted with local communities, and promoted their experiences through social media platforms.