New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) The two-day North East Festival here ended on a high note, thanks to support from the government. Now, Shyamkanu Mahanta, organiser-in-chief of the fest, hopes to make the next edition bigger and better and he is eyeing support from private bodies.
"I'm extremely happy. A lot of people from various communities came. I also liked the way icons came. We had such a lively session with (Olympic medallist boxer) Mary Kom and (Assamese actor) Adil Hussain. Original dancers from different parts of northeast participated. Media also came forward positively," Mahanta told IANS.
"I didn't get much private support this time because nobody believed in it. Now, they've seen it doing well. Once I get that support, I'll do aggressive marketing," added Mahanta, who plans to bring the festival back to the capital in the last quarter of 2014.
The first edition of the festival was organised by Trend MMS in association with the North East MP's Forum, North East image managers, the DoNER ministry and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). It ended Saturday.
For the next edition, Mahanta expects more people from the private sector to come out in support of the event.
He said he had received suggestions to host the festival in different parts of the country, but he is in "no hurry".
"We need to build up the momentum. Our target is Delhi then Mumbai. We want to get attention first. Mumbai might happen within six months, but Delhi will be an annual event. We will build the brand here, strengthen it, then take it forward to cities like Mumbai and Bangalore," he said.
The festival provided a platform for the masses to connect with decision-making people of the country.
People like Land Ports Authority of India chairman Y.S. Shahrawat, Indian ambassador to Myanmar Gautam Mukhopadhyay, former foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and former chief secretary of Manipur D.S. Poonia expressed their views on topics such as 'Look-East' policy, the security of northeast students in the capital and tourism.
"Our interactive sessions were packed with people. Hundreds of questions were answered, so this has become a platform," said the organiser.
Mary Kom and Adil shared their life stories too.
There were cultural events like fashion show and dance performances.
The fashion show saw northeast models showcasing creations of designers like northeast fashion designers like Dhiraj Deka, Joy Singh and Garima Saikia Garg.
Apart from inspiring the masses with their life stories, Mary Kom and Adil also walked the ramp.
The guests also enjoyed dance performances and gigs by artists from northeast states.
Food stalls and a photography exhibition attracted a huge number of people from mainstream India as well.
Veteran actor Victor Banerjee described the region as "the friendliest" one.
"I've been to all parts of India and northeast is the friendliest one, according to me. There is no hierarchy over there. Women have rights. They have much more power than average woman in rest of India," said Victor.