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An icon of Toursim

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An icon of Toursim
EVEN chief minister Pawan Chamling’s worst detractors cannot deny that Sikkim witnessed phenomenal growth in the tourism sector only after he assumed office in November 1994, particularly during his second term beginning 1999. It became possible only because the Chamling goverment’s conscious strategic decision to give top priority to tourism and its implementation by a dedicated triumvirate — minister, secretary and chief executive officer, PK Dong. In fact, outside Sikkim only Chamling and Dong, fondly called PK by close friends, are known in the tourism world. With Dong’s retirement recently Sikkim loses a prominent icon in tourism marketing — both national and international. Before joining the Sikkim government, Dong was the government of India’s regional director for Europe, based in Germany, where he spent more than a decade. Before that he served in Malyasia for some years. The association of Dong’s name with Sikkim tourism evokes an image of friendliness, sincerity and excellence in service. The people from the tourism industry, officials from the Central and other state governments, research scholars, media and even members of the general public will certainly miss Dong because whenever they failed to elicit information or assistance from the normal bureaucratic channel, which happened quite often, they would approach him and he was always ready to listen and help. While wishing him a happy retired life, we hope he will also take an active interest in tourism, not just of Sikkim or the North-east but the country and the world as well. Whenever one sees a helicopter flying overhead or a busload of tourists heading for Sikkim, people will remember Dong —an icon of state tourism.

Celebrating togetherness

TO promote a good relationship among different communities of the 21-Mawprem Assembly constituency (Shillong), the Ardhendu Chaudhuri Charitable Trust is organising a two-day (5-6 May) festival of fun and fiesta at Rilbong. This will be the first festival of its kind in the state. According to the organisers, it will provide a platform for the local participants to display hidden talents in wide-ranging fields. The programme will include a baby show, a beauty pageant, games of skill and of strength, a marathon race, music unplugged, dance and antakshari. “The 21-Mawpremfest is, in fact, a unique competition among the 12 major localities comprising the entire constituency,” said Manas Chaudhuri, ACC managing trustee.
The festival is expected to witness the best available talent drawn from these localities who will compete against each other in a tug-of-war, arm-wrestling, games of skill, dance on modern songs, display of traditional attire and a “Miss Mawprem”, “Mrs Mawprem” and “Mr Mawprem” contests. Besides, there will be an exhibition of art and artefacts and a variety of food stalls. Felicitation of some prominent citizens of the localities, attractive prizes, brief fireworks and a grand opening ceremony will be the other highlights of 21-Mawpremfest.
Posted On : 3-5-2007
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