The people of Meghalaya were jubilant as Former Lok Sabha Speaker, the late Purno Agitok Sangma has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan, on January 25, 2017. He has become the first recipient from Meghalaya to be awarded India’s second-highest civilian honour. Sangma’s widow Soradini K Sangma attributed the reorganization as an honour for the people of the north-eastern states and especially to the community of Garo tribals that the government has conferred the awards to her late husband, she was speaking over phone from Australia.
Soradini speaking on behalf of her family said the honour is in recognition to his selfless service and contribution to the people and to the nation, while thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the selection committee for bestowing the award.
Over the years, the wine makers from Meghalaya have been producing fruit and ginger wines, which are being sold at the annual Shillong Wine Festival. Earlier Mawngap, a village in the East Khasi Hills district was known for the coffee wine which attracted tourist from all over but this trade is yet to be legalized forcing the wine makers to pursue this passion as a hobby. However, Meghalaya Association of Wine Makers (MMAW) has been demanding the state government to legalize wine making for the past 14 years, stating that wine making if legalized will not only give a boost to the horticulture sector but will contribute to the revenue generation of the state.
According to the Minister in-charge of Excise Zenith Sangma, due consultation with the Law Department is required before legalizing wine making here even as he justified this statement by saying that such exercise is needed because the excise department is connected with rules and laws.
Along with the rest of the sates in the North Eastern region, Meghalaya too is banking on promoting tourism as the main source of revenue where the state government has taken all efforts to promote the industry outside the state. However, most of the tourists were disappointed for lack of infrastructure and facilities as advertised. The recent ban for the use of bamboo rafts at Krang Shuri by Amlrem Civil Sub-division had also resulted in the issuing of safety measures for visitor after the mishap following the death of an 18 year old Trisha Sen Bhattacharjee, as the bamboo raft along with seven occupants, including her mother, capsized on January 19, 2017.
The unfortunate incident in Krang Shuri is definitely not the only incident, in most of the tourist spots in Meghalaya, either the security aspects are not available and when it comes to some of the adventure sports, which the state is promoting, the safety measures are not at all maintained. To add to the dangers, in most river shores or lakes, life guards is not at all visible. Except the diving sports, in the state, the precaution and safety norms are being followed.
Talking about the infrastructure, most of the pay and use washrooms are not maintained well for the visitors, particularly for the foreign tourists.
Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Minister Jitendra Singh last week informed that India has evolved from an era of communicable diseases into an era of non-communicable diseases, to which huge contribution was rendered by the practice of Indian medicinal system Ayurveda, where North-eastern region has huge potential for the organic products having huge health benefits. He emphasized that this unexplored potential needs to be explored. Singh was speaking at the inauguration of two-day International Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic plants of India.
The DoNER Minister expressed his pride that India is the fountain-head and original birth-place of all the aromatic and medicinal plants even as he expressed his regret that in the last few decades, most of the research on the Indian medicinal plants was conducted in other countries and not in India.
As Meghalaya turns 45, just five more years away from the Golden Jubilee of attaining its statehood, the state is yet to exhibit some state-of-the-art infrastructure or landmark policy and legislation. While all that is known to the rest of the world is the society with directionless youth and recently the growing menace of crimes against fairer sex in Matrilineal Meghalaya, this has exposed the decaying foundation of social and cultural institutions, who simply put on the superficial pride as a community with Divinity and Humanism like exhibiting a plaque, while refusing to acknowledge the deteriorating law and order.
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