The 9th edition of Baokhungri festival got underway from Tuesday at Harinaguri in Kokrajhar district.
The festival was organised by the BTR government and the Tourism department of BTR, and it marks the celebration of Rongjali Bwisagu by witnessing hill trekking on the last day of Chaitra month.
The chief executive member (CEM) of Bodoland Territorial Region Pramod Boro ceremonially inaugurated the main gate and hoisted the flag of the Baokhungri festival in the presence of BTC executive members (EM) Dr. Dharma Narayan Das and Daobaisa Boro, member of council legislative assembly (MCLA) Madhab Chandra Chetry, BTC secretary Naren Chandra Basumatary and other dignitaries.
Addressing the occasion, Pramod Boro said the Baokhungri festival aims at the promotion of tourism in the Bodoland Territorial Region. He hoped that this festival would be able to enhance the tourism opportunity and integrity of people of the region. “Our focus is to bring communal harmony, promotion of tourism and development of rural economy,” he said adding that festivals reflect tradition, culture, religion and faith, which are the most essential parts of the society.
Boro also said peace was utmost requisite for the all-round development in the region. He called upon all to maintain peace and communal harmony among all sections of society. Terming Baokhungri festival an example of communal harmony, Boro hoped that the people of all communities irrespective of caste, creed and religion would enjoy the festival and share in the growth and development of the tourism sector that would provide opportunities to develop the rural economy of the region.
He also talked about the history and significance of the Baokhungri festival and his willingness to develop the Baokhungri festival site with permanent structures and to make this festival globally popular.
Boro added that the Baokhungri festival is regarded as the biggest festival of Bodoland region.
He also said that the festival has been marking the celebration of Rongjali Bwisagu in the state.
Subsequently, BTC executive member Dr Dharma Narayan Das hoisted the flag of indigenous games, Gunoshankar Wary, general secretary of Bodoland Indigenous Games Association (BIGA) paid floral tribute to the portrait of founder of Indigenous games Ayung Chanakya Brahma.
BTC executive member Daobaisa Boro inaugurated the demonstration of Khomlainai and half-marathon race, Kokrajhar deputy commissioner Varnali Deka, superintendent of police Pratik Vijay Kumar Thube and special director general of police Dr LR Bishnoi inaugurated the ethnic food stalls, VIP guest house and main dais respectively, as part of the inaugural day of the programme.
Cycling, hill trekking and Bwisagu dance competition on April 13, traditional food preparation, Gwkha-Gwkhwi preparation with hundred herbs and Jwo bidwi competition on April 14 along with a food festival showcasing cuisines of different communities, a cultural show showcasing the rich cultural values of the area and indigenous games like khomlainai, gila gelenai, bifang bukhunai, daola swolainai and daobo aithing will also be held during the ongoing festival.
On BPF entry into the state cabinet, Pramod Boro said that he doesn’t know about the development of the political innings of BPF entry into the state cabinet.
“I only saw in the media and do not know about the present development,” Boro said.
On illegal arms recovered, he said that the state government and police administration have been initiating strict steps against the illegal arms across the BTR districts as well as in the state.
He said that the region is now getting healthy integration with harmony among the society and accordingly recovered huge amounts of arms and ammunition in the region.