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Assam: 8th Rongali Festival draws record audience, business for local entrepreneurs

25 Jun 2024

Guwahati (Assam) [India], June 25 (ANI): The eighth edition of Rongali, which witnessed a record number of attendees and showcased the ethnic culture, music and arts of the state, concluded on Sunday.

Shyamkanu Mahanta, chief organiser of Rongali, said that the festival witnessed a record number of audience and experienced a footfall of over one lakh people.

"Rongali has become a community movement, with various tribes and communities in attendance. Due to attractive youth components in the festival, a large number of youths participated in all three days," Mahanta said.

All Assam Students' Union (AASU) president Utpal Sharma said that the Rongali has become a cultural movement of the people of Assam and is the perfect blend of modernity and tradition.

Entrepreneurship was the key focus, as more than 100 stalls presented by local entrepreneurs did brisk business.

Rongali Entrepreneurship Awards were given to 10 entrepreneurs. Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Ashok Panchari, Start Up Entrepreneurs' Award was presented to Achitra Borgohain, Nilotpal Chaudhury, Manas Bhuyan and Nameri Tea.

Media and entertainment sector award were given to Smitakshi Baruah, contractor Anil Das, Music Entrepreneur Tersame Mittal, and Nitin Jain for the advertising sector, etc.

Ravi Kota, Chief Secretary of the state, gave away the awards. Kota appreciated the efforts of the organisers to promote entrepreneurship in Assam in this massive festival.

Rongali folk stage was graced by large showcase of various indigenous tribes such as Chutiya, Matak, Moran, Sonowal Kachari, Deuri, Rabha, Koch Rajbonshi, Tiwa, Mising, Bodo, Karbi, Dimasa, Deshi Muslims etc. Ethnic food and a large exhibition of arts and sculpture were major attractions.

Sixteen designers participated in Rongali Fashion Weekend. The main stage was graced by Bollywood singer Divya Kumar, Raghav Chaitnay, popular musician from Soth India, Devi Shri Prasad, India's top Hindi rock band Nalayak, rapper EPR and many more. Priyanka Bharali, Deeplina Deka, Abhishruti Bezbaruah and many others presented along with many young musicians.

Swiggy delivery boy Pranjit Haloi started the Rongali Good Vibes, which is now considered one of the biggest musical festivals in India.

150 artists from North-East India graced Rongali Hip Hop. The Rongali Music Award was the special attraction of the festival this year. Dipen Baruah, the legendary musician, was given Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Assamese music.

The Assam Industries Minister, Bimal Borah, was the Chief Guest of the closing session. Borah appreciated the effort to organise such a massive festival and urged that it should be organised for seven days to encourage exhibitors to create more business.

Assam minister Nandita Garlosa said that Rongali has become a major platform for the talents of the region. A choral music team from Dima Hasao enthralled the audience with their talents.

Actor Prastuti Parasar also participated in the fashion show and stated that Rongali is a reflection of modern Assam.

Singer and songwriter Zubeen Garg, enthralled the audience on the last day. Zubeen said, "I am involved in Rongali since beginning and we are inspired by the large public support. Rongali will be around for a longer time next year onwards and I urge the Assam Government to support, especially in marketing, all over the country to attract more tourists." (ANI)

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