Assam: Slice of rural life awaits tourists visiting Golaghat
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Guwahati: Villagers in Assam’s Golaghat district have joined hands to present a taste of their life to visitors, looking to explore rural tourism.

The locals, led by their MLA Mrinal Saikia, have come up with a novel concept of a day-long journey for tourists through the villages by enjoying a bicycle ride along the alleys, angling at the local pond, and eating in the lap of nature.

The initiative, named ‘Destination Khumtai,’ will be pilot-tested on August 14.

We want to showcase village life without any filters, Saikia told PTI about ‘Destination Khumtai.’

The tourists will get the feel of village life from breakfast till late evening on Sunday, with the local people assisted by a few organisations, arranging everything.

The NGOs are helping with registration for car and cycle rallies. The arrangements are being made mainly by the villagers themselves. We are only helping them, Saikia, who is himself into agriculture and a vocal supporter of ensuring the dignity of labour, added.

The day’s events include cycle and car rallies and angling, chess, and speed cube competitions.

A colour of Khumtai programme is scheduled at the end of the evening, in which the locals will exhibit and sell their hand-made products.

The BJP leader said online registration has been good so far and they are expecting a good footfall.

“We have been doing some publicity through social media and have our website. For the rest, we are counting on word-of-mouth publicity,” Saikia said.

A local farmer, Bedabrata Borah said, “It is a unique event that aims to connect city people with rural folks, their crafts, food, lifestyle, and activities in an organic way and at different levels.”

Borah hoped the event will open doors for new opportunities.

Speaking to PTI, Partha Pratim Das, a consultant with Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC), said the Agro and Rural Tourism (ART) initiative is being launched by the ATDC to bring together entrepreneurs in this sector.

“Some people are working in promoting rural tourism at their individual levels. We want to bring them together and help them expand,” Das said.

In the pipeline for over six months now, ART will be formally launched soon and details for rural tourism entrepreneurs as well as tourists will be available on a new website that is being worked upon, he said.

Three rounds of discussions have been held with 18-20 stakeholders so far and suggestions are being taken from them to meet their requirements.

Assam has a lot of potential for rural tourism and we want to tap it in a manner advantageous to all stakeholders, the consultant added.

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