New Delhi: The Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh chaired a high level meeting with senior officials of the Gujarat Government here to review preparations for the forthcoming Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat. The Secretary, DoNER, Dr Inderjit Singh, Secretary, North Eastern Council, K. Moses Chalai and senior officers of NEC, besides Resident Commissioners/representatives of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur also participated.
Dr Jitendra Singh directed the officials that events including cultural performances, crafts display and food festivals of the NER region be showcased in major cities of Gujarat including Ahmedabad to generate wider interest among the local population. He said the Madhavpur Mela will mark the cultural integration of Gujarat with the North-East under the Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The annual fair is held at Madhavpur Ghed in Porbandar district and the Mela this year will commence on 2nd April, a day after the Ram Navami festival. The eight States of the Northern Eastern Region will participate in a big way during the Madhavpur Mela.
Madhavpur Ghed, a small but culturally significant village, is the place where, according to folklore, Lord Krishna married Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka. Madhavpur lies on the seashore, close to Porbandar. A 15th century Madhavrai temple marks the site. This event is commemorated by a cultural fair held every year, commencing on Ram Navami. A colourful chariot carrying the idol of Lord Krishna circumnavigates the village and the festivities usually continue for five days.
The week-long ‘Utsav’ will see a vibrant cultural trail of art, dance, music, poetry, story-telling and folk drama from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and other North-Eastern States with the aim to integrate the rich cultures of the two regions.
Dr Jitendra Singh later held a Review Meeting of the Ministry of DoNER. He was informed about the progress of utilization of funds by different States under various schemes of NEC and MDoNER with special focus on Manipur, setting up of Bamboo Industrial Park at Dima Hasao district of Assam and digital/virtual classrooms in the NER, student hostels at JNU and Rohini and North-East Convention Centre at Dwarka in New Delhi besides examining viability of introduction of sea plane at Brahmaputra River Front and Umrangso Reservoir under UDAN 3.0 of Regional Connectivity Scheme of the Civil Aviation Ministry. Dr Jitendra Singh stressed on expediting and setting deadlines for completion of projects.
On the occasion Dr Jitendra Singh also gave away certificates and prize money to winners of the Decipher North-East Quiz contest.