SHILLONG: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on Sunday said that Northeast has been able to overcome many of the historical challenges and play a crucial role in nation building.

Speaking at the Purvottar Swabhiman Utsav in Guwahati on the topic ‘Measures to promote greater integration of Northeast Region with National Mainstream’, the Chief Minister said, “Our national educational curriculum has very little mentions about our war heroes and freedom fighters from Northeast. Towards this, the Government of India has laid focus on promoting stories of our freedom fighters from the region. I believe that this will connect our people from the rest of India towards Northeast”.

He said that more stories from the region should be included in the educational curriculum, which will further promote national integration. He also mooted the idea that from a young age children should be introduced to cultural exchange programmes, so that their vision can be moulded.

He also told the gathering about his visit to holocaust museum in Israel where the Government ensures that children visit the museum to understand what the Jews people went through.

“The content of the museum was so powerful that it ensured that the children develop the feeling of patriotism from a very young age,” he added.

Talking about Northeast and its rich resources which positions Northeast in a strategic advantage as gateway to Southeast Asia, the Chief Minister stressed on the need for better connectivity between Northeast and Southeast Asia through better road and air connectivity, culture and people to people connect.

“Improved Air Connectivity to the Northeastern states, with the rest of India and world, will provide the necessary boost to the tourism sector, investments and overall development of the region,” the Meghalaya Chief Minister said.

He further said that proximity of Northeast to international markets makes this region a potentially important base for foreign and domestic investors.

“It is imperative to take necessary steps to integrate the region better with the international markets through India’s Act East policy,” he added.

Advocating that people of Northeast should also learn about the rest of India, the Chief Minister said, “Not only the people from rest of India learn about Northeast but we from the Northeast should also learn about rest of India.

It is through cross promotion of our cultures and rich heritage that we can build a vibrant India and a country that is inclusive.”

He also mooted an idea that if MPs from different parts of the country make a joint road trip and visit several places throughout the nation, which is documented on cameras and projected, will go a long way in ensuring that people get to learn about the country, its people and its diversity.

He also spoke at length on political will and hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making it mandatory for a Minister to visit different parts of the Northeast.

He said that the move is very important as Ministers from the Government of India are getting first hand information about the region, which is enabling the formulation of better policies and its implementation.

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