Shillong (Meghalaya), Nov 15: The state level celebrations of the Jan Jatiya Gaurav Divas, 2023 was enthusiastically and widely participated through a series of activities and events, held in the state capital. In the morning the Chief Secretary, D. P. Wahlang flagged off the cultural procession comprising of cultural troupes representing art and craft villages, educational institutions, ethnic associations and tableaus depicting the three brave hearts and freedom fighters of the state, including the Mobile IEC van of the Viksit Bharat being launched simultaneously in 75 predominantly tribal districts of the country which include, East Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills, East Garo Hills & North Garo Hills Districts.
The formal programme kicked off with the laying of floral tributes at the life size statues of the three Meghalaya freedom fighters by the Chief Guest, Paul Lyngdoh, Minister Arts & Culture, in the presence of the Guest of Honour P. N. Syiem Deputy CEM, KHADC, Commissioner & Secretary, Arts & Culture, F. R. Kharkongor, IAS, Secretaries and Directors of various Departments, and other stakeholders.
The dignitaries also undertook a walk-through of the open-air museums which depicted the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia kitchens which are the cornerstones of the tribal hearth, and which richly depicted an immersive experience for the visitors on tribal lifestyles and cuisines.
At the beginning, a short video message from the Governor of Meghalaya was also aired. Speech of the Prime Minister, made at the birthplace of Birsa Munda was also streamed at the function.
In his keynote address, the Chief Guest Paul Lyngdoh, Minister Arts & Culture emphasized on the importance of showcasing the state’s unique tribal legacy and heritage, which is being increasingly noticed and celebrated, even at the National level. He drew the attention of the audience to the PM’s interest in Meghalaya’s rich textile heritage in recent exhibitions, held at the national level. He also underscored the importance of highlighting the state’s culture and heritage so that the state and its culture is not confined to a footnote, but its rich legacy should be amplified and should resonate far and wide through events such as the Jan Jatiya Gaurav Divas and the upcoming Tri Hills Ensemble – II which will be held on 24th and 25th November, 2023.
The Guest of Honour P N Syiem, Deputy CEM, KHADC called for more active collaboration between the Department of Arts & Culture and the KHADC in the realm of culture. He also highlighted the role of the District Councils as constitutional custodians of culture and heritage.
Earlier in the programme, the Commissioner & Secretary in his welcome speech outlined the objectives of the 10 day long Jan Jatiya Gaurav Divas which will be celebrated through a display of craft, culture cuisine, folklore, folksong, folkdance in the subsequent days culminating in the Tri Hills Ensemble – II on the 24th and 25th November, 2023, which will be graced by CM and Minister Arts & Culture with the theme of “Stories that matter”. He also announced the names of 6 Art & Craft villages comprising Mustoh, Nongkynrih, Ialong, Babadam, Umladkhur, and Wahkhen as the newly recognized Art & Craft villages which will be awarded on the 24th November, 2023.
He also mentioned that the present celebrations will also act as a platform for enhancing outreach on Viksit Bharat with a focus on beneficiaries-oriented schemes comprising Housing, Health, Social Welfare, and Agri-horti domains. Various stalls of the respective Departments containing IEC materials were also visited by the dignitaries and the public. Other highlights also included musical performances by AROHA Choir on Tirot Sing, winners of the Inter-School traditional singing competitions, performance on the harp by MLCU, besides awards & recognition was also given to winning schools, best performing SHGs and VECs, Social Welfare workers, cooperation workers etc.