India’s North-East region has immense and so-far largely untapped potential for tourism, especially adventure tourism, a sector which can generate much needed local employment and sustain the local economy through an ecosystem of tourism associated with economic activities. While there are a number of initiatives undertaken by the state governments in this regard, a concerted, synergised and integrated effort was recently made by the Indian Army through a series of adventure activities across most of the border regions from Sikkim to nearly the Easternmost tip of Arunachal Pradesh.
According to the press release the Indian Army and its formations along Northern frontiers , apart from their primary role , have a stellar record in their nation building initiatives as well. The trans-theatre adventure activity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) this year was one such initiative in which adventure activities such as Mountaineering Expeditions, White Water Rafting, Mountain Biking and Trekking were conducted with very active participation from civilian enthusiasts and local talent from the region. The most heartening aspect of this was the unique Civil-Military cooperation in actively promoting adventure tourism across Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in challenging places which were not very well known thus far.
This roughly three-month long series of expeditions started in last week of August and included 6 mountaineering expeditions, 7 treks of more than 700 kms (up to an altitude of 16,500 feet), 6 cycling expeditions over 1,000 km on non-existent roads in six valleys, and three white water-rafting expeditions covering 132 kms along three rivers. Most of these routes along the LAC have never been explored by civilians, due to inaccessibility of these areas.
“11 points along the LAC were contacted during the initiative, with the most prominent being the summit of Mt Jonsong, situated at the tri junction of India – Nepal & Tibet, for the third time in history “, said the release.
The campaign has generated a buzz in the adventure tourism circuit and has improved awareness about the potential of adventure tourism in North-East India. This event, while showcasing the importance of Civil-Military synergy, also helped in highlighting the beautiful pristine landscape, flora, fauna, culture and traditions of these remote untouched border areas and will boost tourism into these locations. Inclusion of the local youth and the experience they have gained here is likely to encourage them in becoming entrepreneurs in the field, raising hopes of creating a sustainable eco-system of such tourism start-ups.
According to a statement , another important facet was inclusion of women in the activities. As a boost to Nari Shakti, approximately 15 female members took part in these activities.