The biggest music festival of Northeast India is acting as a catalyst for NGOs to spread awareness on issues and local business communities to generate revenue
Guwahati: NH7 Weekender, one of the most happening music festivals of the Northeast, has over the years managed to attract thousands of music lovers from across the country and abroad. Enthralling performances by popular bands draw visitors and tourists in hordes to the picturesque hill state of Meghalaya.
However, the festival is not just about music and muse.
When EastMojo interacted with some of the organisations who were present at the event, it was like an eye-opener. A Delhi-based NGO, Sarvahitey, for instance, has been carrying out a project called 'Paper Bridge' which is aimed at building 1,000 libraries all across India starting with the tribal communities -- the ones which are geographically or culturally secluded -- to promote a culture of reading, besides empowering women and the youth, and help in cultural exchange, among others.
The NGO’s managing trustee, Prem Prakash, explained how festival goers got a chance to bring some of their books along and donate them at their stall. “This time, we are collecting books not just at the festive venue but also at the various campsites that have been put up, Prakash said.
The NGO is now planning to open a library in the prisons of Meghalaya. “We have already reached out to the state police department in this regard,” Prakash said.
Similarly, the music festival saw the participation of SKRAP, a Mumbai-based organization providing sustainable waste management solutions for events and organisations.
Chetna Sharma, a volunteer of the organisation, explained on the usage of biodegradable items such as plates and spoons in food stalls. “What we do is we segregate the dry waste and the wet. That way, we recycle the dry waste that can be reused and we connect with people and tell them to take the initiative further,” she said.
The festival also helped local businesses to generate revenue with handicraft and other indigenous products.
“We produce handicraft, fruit juice, wine, turmeric (lakadong), ginger. We set up a stall at the festival which helped us in generating money as well as employment. We have training centres where we provide training to those who wish to learn the art of craft,” a member of Women’s Group and Handicraft Multipurpose Cooperative Society said.