ITANAGAR, Oct 29 - The seventh edition of the Tawang Festival got off to a colourful start at Tawang on Monday evening with the US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Ian Juster, declaring the four-day mega event open amid huge fanfare.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the US Ambassador pitched for conducting cultural exchange programmes which strengthen friendship and bonding, while disclosing that the United States has been funding a lot of States in India to preserve culture and traditions. This is one major sector where the United States and Arunachal Pradesh can be partners, he said.
While observing that a study on Arunachal Pradesh would be an interesting proposition, Juster revealed that the University of Florida has collaborated with the Rajiv Gandhi University, the lone Central university in the State, for combined research work.
The US Ambassador revealed that his country has also been funding the health sector in Arunachal Pradesh for its improvement. He said that more health centres in the State would be upgraded with modern technologies so that proper and good health services are provided to the people.
Juster also said that he was mesmerized by the colourful people of Arunachal Pradesh, their dresses, customs and traditions, which offer a scope of learning to other parts of the world.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that the State was fortunate to have hosted two US Ambassadors in a span of three years. He briefed the visiting dignitaries on the strengths, challenges and opportunities in the State.
“Arunachal Pradesh has a huge potential in the form of natural resources. With proper planning and investments, it has the potential to become the most prosperous and happiest State in the country,” Khandu stressed. He added that the State is now ready for investment avenues in tourism, agriculture and horticulture, and hydropower for which he sought the support of the US Embassy to attract investments.
Arunachal West MP and Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju congratulated the people of Tawang on successfully hosting the Tawang Festival for the seventh consecutive year and said that the festival was gradually becoming the face of the hilly State.
Earlier, State Tourism Minister Nakap Nalo gave a briefing on the tourism activities in the State. US Consul General Patti Hoffman was also present on the occasion.