Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh has witnessed a sea change in the last few decades in terms of both material and human resource development, said Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Sunday, emphasising the need to strengthen the bond among Northeastern states.
Khandu said this in presence of his Sikkim counterpart Prem Singh Tamang (Goley) at the first cultural exchange programme between Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, held at Dirang in West Kameng district, official sources said.
“The culture of our state has evolved with continued interaction and exchange with the entire Northeast region. In this context, considering the long historical relationship between Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh it is fitting we strengthen this bond by increasing the exchange of ideas and the rich culture and traditions that both our states share,” he said.
To bring about ‘mountain perspective’ in the national and sub-national planning and policymaking, we hope to collaborate with the Government of Sikkim to address our common developmental issues and ensure mutual prosperity in our states,” he said.
Khandu cited several sectors that Arunachal Pradesh can learn from Sikkim including tourism, organic farming, education and health and expressed optimism that the government of Sikkim will collaborate with Arunachal Pradesh and move forward on a path of sustainable and mutual development.
As Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are treasure houses of folklore, folk songs, traditional medicine, spiritual healing systems, innate knowledge of mountains, rivers, topography and medicinal plants, Khandu advocated such regular cultural exchange programmes.
He went on to include Ladakh in such programmes citing cultural similarities between the people of Ladakh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. He further said that both Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh hold promises in Agriculture, Horticulture, Hydropower and Sports sectors.
“We are accelerating our efforts to reach the full potential in these sectors. We believe that with common efforts, shared knowledge and active cooperation between the two states, we can bring prosperity and happiness to our two states,” he said.
The Sikkim Chief Minister was accompanied by a huge delegation comprising Assembly Speaker, Ministers, MLAs, officials and cultural teams from Sikkim. Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju was also present on the occasion.
The cultural exchange programme was marked by performances by various cultural troupes from across Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and neighbouring Bhutan, sources added.