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Residents of ‘cleanest village’ invite Modi

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Shillong: Khasi tribesmen of Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong village, who call it “God’s own garden”, have invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit their village after he acknowledged the hamlet as “the cleanest village in Meghalaya”.

“The inhabitants of Mawlynnong were so excited when they came to know that Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged our village as cleanest village in Meghalaya and lauded our work to keep our village clean in his monthly radio talk – Mann ki Baat – on Sunday,” Mawlynnong village headman Thomlin Khongthohrem told IANS on the phone.

“His acknowledgment would further motivate us to maintain the cleanliness of the village, and would also encourage other villages in India to keep their village clean. We are also happy that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched Swachh Bharat mission as cleanliness is very important in human life,” he said.

Mawlynnong, which means “a cluster of stones” in the local Khasi dialect, is located on the southern slopes of East Khasi Hills, and is also cited as “Asia’s cleanest village”. It is about 90 km from Meghalaya capital Shillong and four km from the Bangladesh border.

Khongthohrem said that the villagers also felt that the village should invite Modi to step into Mawlynnong for first-hand knowledge on how cleanliness is maintained in the village.

“A majority of the villagers felt that an invitation should be extended to the prime minister to visit Mawlynnong and to further motivate us and other villages across India on the need to maintain cleanliness and how to keep their surroundings clean and green,” he said.

In his “Maan Ki Baat” programme broadcast through All India Radio on Sunday, Modi mentioned Mawlynnong and appreciated the people of the state and their attitude towards cleanliness.

“Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan wrote to me and mentioned Mawlynnong village. This village has been devoted to cleanliness since several years, he said in his letter. He said this village was awarded the cleanest village in Asia a few years ago,” Modi said in the Mann ki Baat programme.

“I was happy to know that in our country there is such a village in the northeast, in Meghalaya, which is passionately carrying forward the mission of cleanliness for years. All this infuses confidence in us that our country will surely be clean through the efforts of the countrymen,” the prime minister added.

Echoing her village chief, resident Hosanna Mawroh felt that the prime minister should ask his team to come visiting and learn from them about cleanliness.

“It is not only about promotion of tourism alone, but we the people of Mawlynnong also want to educate and encourage other people visiting our village from other states about the importance of cleanliness, preservation and protection of the fragile ecology,” she said.

Former Meghalaya home minister Robert. G. Lyngdoh, who is now the chairman of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum, said that Modi’s acknowledgement would surely be a big boost for the village.

“This should motivate the Meghalaya government and the inhabitants of Mawlynnong to further improve their litter, garbage and solid waste management, and other villages in Meghalaya should also be motivated to get the same recognition,” Lyngdoh said.

He also felt that the government should initiate other green initiatives like water management and alternative sources of energy.

Mawlynnong presents itself as a pretty queen amongst a cluster of rural areas located on a critical micro-watershed of the Wah Khuri (Khuri river). Unlike other tribal villages, where one is greeted with barking dogs and strange looks, Mawlynnong warmly receives tourists with open arms. The villagers are polite and friendly.

Most of the houses are built with traditional material like stone, tin, bamboo and wood. There are a few cemented houses too. Each house is decorated with exotic and ornamental plants, while the courtyards are covered with a green carpet of grass.

The footpaths and lanes within the village have been carefully built with stones and boulders. In each walkway, there are cone-shaped bamboo dustbins. Nobody is allowed to litter plastic or any waste material on the footpaths or in the village premises.

It looks so clean that one would hesitate to throw anything on the ground – and even if there is some litter, it would be cleaned up in no time.

Mawlynnong village was discovered by missionaries of the Anglican church who came in contact with the village to spread the gospel way back in 1902. They later built a church there with the help of the highly-skilled local masons.

The natural beauty and simplicity of the local folk attracted foreign tourists well before the domestic and city visitors began to flow in. The foreigners marvelled at the simple, self-sustained village with its rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. The villagers too were inspired by the adulation of the visitors. They realised that if they could conserve the forest and biodiversity of the area, it could fetch them not only praise but also income from the tourist inflow.

The Dorbar Shnong (village council) makes sure the tourists are comfortable and safe there. There is a tourism management committee in the village that supervises the itinerary of the tourists and their comfort that includes providing tourist guides, accommodation and food.

(IANS)

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Shillong to Host International Cherry Blossom Festival this Year in November

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Shillong will host India International Cherry Blossom
Shillong will host India International Cherry Blossom Festival. Pixabay
  • International Cherry Blossom Festival to be held in India and would be the first to take place in autumn.
  • Shillong is going to host the India Cherry Blossom Festival for the second time from November 8 to 11.
  • Tourists from India and all over the world to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong.

Shillong had made history last year by hosting India Cherry Blossom Festival for the very first time in India. Almost 30,000 tourists had come to commemorate the festival in India but CM Sangma is optimistic of a better turnout this year.

India Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival In Shillong in 2016 (MorungExpress)

Like in all Cherry Blossom Festivals, there will be various community events which include live musical events, stalls showcasing arts, wine, cuisine and crafts of the region, and needless to say, guided night walks under illuminated cherry blossoms. Apart from that, you can expect traditional music, dance forms of North East India, storytelling sessions, a rock concert, choir, a women’s football match, etc.

 

India cherry blossom festival
Shillong will host International Cherry Blossom Festival in November. Flickr

Shillong is situated at an altitude of 5,003 feet and is also known as ‘the abode of clouds.’ Nearly 5,000 cherry blossom trees have been planted on the road leading up to Shillong. The flowering will last for two weeks, said Dinabandhu Sahoo.

 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Greet nation on Diwali

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Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation. VOA

New Delhi, October 19: President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday greeted the nation on Diwali.

Modi said: Deepawali ke pawan parv par sabhi deshvasio ko hardik shubhkamnaye #HappyDiwali to everyone! (On the auspicious occasion of Diwali, greetings to the nation).”

Rajnath Singh said: “Warm greetings and best wishes to you and your entire family on the auspicious occasion of Deepawali. Wishing you a Shubh and #HappyDeepawali.” (IANS)

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PM Modi is Optimistic about NDA’s Reforms to Boost Up Indian Economy

Lashing out at the critics, the Prime Minister elucidated about his government’s firm determination to boost up India’s economy. Admitting the economic plummet witnessed during the span of April-June, Modi declared that his government was devoted to back-pedal the mishaps due to the structural reforms of the economy. Let us look at what PM Modi said in his speech.

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Challenges to Modi Government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

After facing severe criticisms over economic deceleration for a very long time, Modi finally broke his silence while addressing the Golden Jubilee Year Celebrations of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) in Delhi. Lashing out at the critics, the Prime Minister elucidated about his government’s firm determination to boost up Indian Economy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization policy brought down the country’s GDP growth rate to a mere 6.1%. The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) added to the plight of already sick Indian economy.

Admitting the economic plummet witnessed during the span of April-June, Modi declared that his government was devoted to back-pedal the mishaps due to the structural reforms of the Indian economy. Let us look at what PM Modi said in his speech.

On Economic Reforms

PM Modi was very straightforward to acknowledge the economic slump caused. He assured that the BJP government was capable of reversing the trend and would take important decisions in that direction. Further, the Prime Minister informed that a cleanliness campaign has been started to remove the people who try to undermine the nation’s unity and integrity. Under this cleanliness campaign, a Special Investigation Team (STI) has started working ever since the Modi government came to power.

On Critics

Welcoming the constructive criticisms, Modi declared that his government is sensitive enough to accept the prevailing denigrations in the Indian economy and are rectifying their mistakes. The Prime Minister opined that people have the right to criticize the wrong, but one should restrain from fabricating an environment of panic in the country. Further, he added that his government has started working towards the “development of new India, new culture, new celebration, and new traditions.” Some people do not welcome the reforms even though they are good for the nation simply because they are anti-BJP. “People who sleep well only after spreading pessimism about government’s economic reforms need to be combated”, emphasized Modi.

Past Economic Deceleration

After achieving a whopping growth of 7.5% over the last three years, Modi acknowledged that the growth rates dropped sharply in April-June but the BJP government would not sit back until putting Indian economy on firm footing. While addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister recalled a time when Indian economy growth rate was as low as 0.2% under the previous government thereby emphasizing the fact that India can recover from the economic sluggishness.

Mainstreaming Informal Sector

Encouraging the movement from the informal sector to mainstream economy, PM Modi assured, “People coming to mainstream fear that their old records may be reopened. We will not let that happen because earlier their old way of business was necessitated by prevailing circumstances. Nothing is more sinful than blocking those who want to come to the mainstream. Let bygones be bygones.”

On Doklam

Many people opined that the BJP Government would not be able to handle the Doklam crisis. Describing the censurers as hypocrites, Modi elucidated that “when the economic growth is favorable, it is the same people who like the institutes and process; but the moment situation becomes unfavorable to them, they say that the system is not right, the process is not right, people working in it are not right and just accuse people.” The Prime Minister also held the view that before drawing any conclusion, it is imperative to identify these people at once.

On Transport System

Modi made a comparative study of the BJP government with the previous ones. He argued that in its last three years, the UPA government constructed National Highways spanning an area of 15,000km while the period under his government has witnessed the construction of more than 34,000km National Highways. As far as the construction sector is concerned, Modi claimed that the total number of foreign investment has increased by 75% from 2014-2017. The foreign direct investment in the air transport sector has also registered a growth by 69% in the past three years. Likewise, in the mining sector, there has been an increase by 56%.
The Prime Minister also told that the BJP government is trying to increase the speed of development while creating a large number of job opportunities. He added that the government knows the value of the hard-earned money and thus their policies are aimed at improving the lives of poor and middle class. Moreover, most of the government schemes are launched to empower the poor. What affects them the most is corruption and black money estimated Modi.

– Prepared by Mohima Haque of Newsgram
Twitter: mohimahaque26

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