‘Special’ celebrations in district headquarters

TURA/JOWAI/AMPATI: World Tourism day was celebrated in districts on Tuesday with fervour and an array of events with a focus on differently-abled people.
Montford Secondary School in Tura celebrated World Tourism Day on Tuesday by organising a drawing competition. Students of the schools also presented a cultural programme.
In a special programme, people residing in and around tourist areas in the district – like Kising Roram, Ganna ramram, Jolding Wari, Gurakol Dare, Na’ka Chikong and Mokma Dare in East Garo Hills – were invited so that they could learn more about tourism development in the district.
Differently-abled children and adults displayed handicrafts like Kotip (Garo turban) Jollongga (Garo bags) Rikgitok (Garo bracelet) Chola (Garo shirts) and other items as part of the industrial, art and culture and tourism promotion.
“There are many historical places in this part of India. But we should be willing and be prepared to receive travellers into our place. We should untiringly provide them hospitality and entertain them as per requirement. I congratulate the line departments for making this celebration a grand success. I wish all the best to citizens to make this district as one of the best tourist districts in Meghalaya,” said Deputy Commissioner S.C Sadhu in his speech at the event.
The tourism office in Tura in West Garo Hills district celebrated the day by promoting eco-tourism in the region. A programme was organised at Rural Tourism Resort at Chandigre in the foothills of Nokrek Peak in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare, Food Craft Institute, IBDLP, UNWTO and ICFAI University, Tura.
Rongram C&RD BDO Rojalinda D. Shira, who was the chief guest at the event, said the potential of the place as a tourism spot “needs to be explored” by showcasing local talents and adopting indigenous innovation. “Promoting tourism sector is not solely the responsibility of the government but people should also an important role to play,” she added.
To mark the occasion, saplings were also planted at the resort by Tourism Officer of West Garo Hills Yvette G Momin, the chief guest and faculty members of ICFAI University, Tura. Baghmara, the headquarters of South Garo Hills, also organised programmes to celebrate the day.
In Jowai, World Tourism Day was celebrated at Highwinds Restaurant on Tuesday based on the theme ‘Tourism for all-promoting universal accessibility’. The best part of the celebrations was that it gave special importance to children with disability.
The welcome address was delivered by S.D Shylla, Tourism Officer and the vote of thanks was proposed by L. Shullai.
In Ampati, differently-abled persons joined the celebrations on Tuesday by participating in games and sports at Kata Beel in Nogorpara village, a popular tourist spot in South West Garo Hills.
The day-long programme was jointly organised by Tourist Officer Trida J.B Sangma and District Social Welfare Officer Linda J. Sangma on the theme ‘Tourism for All’.
Kata Beel, more commonly known as Chimitde by the Garos, is a rectangular lake covering about one hectare, said to be dug by a legendary Garo king named Lengta Raja. The lake is surrounded by palm trees and is a major fishing ground in the district. The place has been developed recently for boating and other water sports.
The Praise and Worship team of Nogorpara Baptist Church livened up the celebration by leading the differently-abled participants in a chorus performance.
Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU) chose to celebrate the day in the quaint village of Sohkha in West Jaintia Hills’ Amlarem. The university organised an awareness programme on sustainable tourism practices that was attended by the headman of the village, Philip Khonglah, students and teachers of a local school, besides those from MLCU.
The MLCU students stressed on environment and economic benefits of sustainable tourism, besides socio-cultural tourism and its importance.

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