Dr Jitendra Singh interacts with participants on second day of ‘Destination North East’ festival in Varanasi

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said in Varanasi today that Northeast model of development and opportunity is now being replicated across India and this has been possible because of a concentrated effort to familiarize people, particularly youth, in different parts of the country about what all Northeast could offer to each one of them.

Going around various stalls and interacting with participants and visitors, majority of them youth, on the second day of the 4-day  “Destination North East” festival at BHU campus in Varanasi, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the response to the event has been overwhelming and inspite of exams going on in some departments of University, students in huge numbers were seen visiting the stalls and intermingling with their counterparts from Northeast till almost midnight. He said, this is a vindication of the contention that he always held that as soon as the enormous potential and avenues of Northeast are made familiar to people living in other parts of India, there would virtually be a bee-line of explorers and aspirants heading for North East India.

Making a particular mention of Bamboo, Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that this is for the first time perhaps, that there was an extensive showcasing of the various aspects of bamboo use including a bamboo idol of Buddha and a bamboo-model depicting the holy Kamakhya temple. The positive outcome of this, he said, has been that youth and media persons in large numbers are visiting the venue to understand how best they could also take the benefit of bamboo in supplementing livelihood sources and bringing ease of living.  There are huge reserves of bamboo even outside Northeast, including in Central India, but there was little awareness and knowledge about it and therefore, it could not be put to optimum use. We have tried to educate the common citizens, particularly youth, about how best each one of them can introduce bamboo into his life routine, particularly after Prime Minister ShribNarendra Modi has amended the Indian Forest Act to exempt home-grown bamboo from it, he added.

In addition to food outlets and traditional cultural performances, the B-2-B business meetings attracted a large number  of youngsters who seriously engaged themselves to explore and ascertain how best they could use the North Eastern pattern to further their entrepreneurship plans.