For the first time, Jokai – a community-based tourism festival – is going to be organised on April 29 at Konwar Gaon here. The festival will be organised by the Dibrugarh district administration in association with Sonali Probhat NGO.
All the six communities – Ahom, Sonowal-Kachari, Deori, Kumar, tea tribe and Nepali – residing in the area would be participating to showcase their rich culture as part of the Rongali Bihu festival.
“Konwar Gaon is just 15 km from Dibrugarh town and the festival will bring immense development in the field of Dibrugarh tourism,” said a local resident of Dibrugarh.
“The festival will enable people from the town to interact with the village people and vice versa. It will also enable local tourist thirsting for rural experience to immerse themselves in village life for a day,” Dr Hironmoni Borgohain, Secretary of Sonali Probhat NGO said. She said their main aim is to promote sustainable tourism in Dibrugarh keeping in mind the development of village.
Borgohain added, “The feedback of the festival will help us to understand how the particular village can be developed by fulfilling its lapses in terms of tourism promotion in matters if food supply, infrastructure development, night accommodation for tourist, training in hospitality and presentation or showcasing of items, etc.”
She further said, “For the first time, we are involving the local people to showcase their culture in the festival. Jokai Reserve Forest has lots of potential in terms of tourism and we should preserve the rich ecology of the forest.”
Moreover, the festival will provide an opportunity for people from the town to understand how the grain becomes a jolpan/ breakfast, the different stages of silk worm, the work of the weaving women giving steps to their own attire, the different varieties of herbs having health benefits. In the festival the people can get the feel of traditional fishing.
Dibrugarh Deputy Commissioner Laya Madduri said the festival is an initiative where the communities can showcase their inherent cultures. “For the first time, we are organising such festival in Jokai and hope that the festival will showcase the rich biodiversity of Jokai Reserve Forest,” she said.
“From May 1, we will organise a ten-day workshop on community-based tourism at Dibrugarh University. Potjana Suansri from community-based tourism institute of Thailand and her team will attend the workshop to give valuable advices on community-based tourism,” Borgohain said.