The government of Meghalaya in collaboration with Asian Confluence will organise the 2016 NADI River Festival in the state’s capital on July 15–16, 2016 at Pinewood Convention Center and Sri Aurobindo Institute, Shillong. The Festival is set to be more than a celebration of the rivers criss-crossing the northeast and its neighbouring countries.
The focus of the ‘NADI 2016’ is to celebrate the spirit of cohesion between the Northeastern states of India and her neighbours through the 600 plus major and minor rivers exceed political boundaries. The effort also is an attempt to take carry forward the sentiments expressed in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement to media (June 7, 2015) in the joint press briefing with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that “…connectivity is the catalyst for deeper engagement,….Our rivers should nurture our relationship,..” and that “We should also work together to renew and clean our rivers”.
The festival will feature a policy dialogue on July 15 at the State Convention Centre and there will be a dedicated stakeholder dialogue on tourism, media and connecting institutions across borders for greater sub regional cooperation on July 16.
Asian Confluence director Sabyasachi Dutta said, “Cooperation based on mutual understanding and trust amongst all stakeholders is critical to foster the common goals of member states in key areas such as environmental protection, economical physical connectivity, strong people to people ties, enhanced trade, eco-friendly tourism and creation of peaceful border zones : for lasting regional peace, stability and prosperity.” Thus stakeholders at various levels are expected to explore the possibilities of enhancing cultural viability and amplifying the creative use of river connectivity by accelerates friendly trade and tourism between neighbours. “Rivers don’t follow boundaries. Their health is a measure of how well we care for our environment,” Dutta said.
NADI is a bottom up effort that looks to harmonize the “Third Space” mandate where the spirit of caring and enterprise among diverse peoples of this region is a crucial bond that preserves, protects, and propagates the well-being of our environment and societies. The festival also envisage on fostering connectivity, trade links, cultural exchanges and sharing of environmental issues between North Eastern Region and its immediate neighbours by keeping rivers at the centre-stage.
The Asian Confluence Centre is an initiative aimed at initiating, stimulating and accelerating revival of the shared civilization values between the people of India and South-East Asia to strengthen intellectual, economic, technological, political and security ties. The festival is also aimed at providing a platform for interaction between governments, diplomats, trade representatives and other stakeholders on taking forward infrastructural, cultural and environmental connectivity.
The organizer said that the upcoming event will have a special focus on Bangladesh and the bordering states of Northeast. Observers from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and all North East Indian states are invited and will participate in the policy and stakeholder dialogues.
Representatives from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal have met in Shillong so as to participate in a first ever river festival aimed at fostering connectivity, trade links and sharing of environmental issues.
Diplomats, government representatives, academicians and other stakeholders are all set to use rivers as a model for strengthening bilateral ties between Northeast and its neighboring countries and boost environmental protection, economical and physical connectivity, people-to-people ties and trade at the “NADI 2016, Asian Confluence River Festival”
The list of speakers in the programme titled NADI 2016, Asian Confluence River Festival, includes the names of Union cabinet minister Suresh Prabhu, Bangladesh Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Rashed Khan Menon, Bangladesh Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Shahriar Alam, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, former minister of water resources from Nepal and the former Ambassador of Bhutan.
Cultural programmes specially curated by Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre Dhaka and Sylhet, and the North East Zonal Cultural Centre, Dimapur, networking meets, live exhibitions, crafts bazar, art and photography contests will be held on both the days at Aurobindo Institute premises