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An Introspection to the Shirui Lily Festival

Over 30,000 tourists – both foreign and domestic visited the Shirui Lily Festival, being organised by the state government for the third time. This is a record stated by Commissioner of  Tourism Government of Manipur while addressing in the closing function held today at TNL Ground in Ukhrul district Head Quarter. She also stated that the number is double from last year , which indicate that the number of visitors in next Shirui festival may be more and People in Ukhrul have to prepare for their stay.
Today the much anticipated extravaganza conceptualized to preserve the only flower Shirui Lily that bloom only in the Shirui Hill of Ukhrul district besides showcasing and promoting the diverse socio-cultural heritage and the rich traditional wealth of the state will be concluded. The best part is that Internationally acclaimed rock band “Extreme” is performing today evening.
That the State Government spared no expenses and efforts to make an impression to the visiting tourists would be an understatement. Most places of Ukhrul district particularly the Ukhrul town were witnessed transformed within an incredibly short span of time into one which can compared to any other mid-sized or tier II cities in the country- well almost, with the support of the people.
Despite the best efforts and undoubtedly noble intentions which had made tremendous improvements in the public facilities and certain infrastructures, a closer look into the activities brings to light various clear indications of the haphazard and rushed nature of it all. With the kind of booms the state need a lot to take up in Ukhrul district .
If previous instances are any indications, we will be seeing a change in inertia and a visible drop in enthusiasm making the whole efforts an exercise in futility. The incredible potential for attracting tourism in the State has been well known and even documented. From the enchanting misty mountains to the incredibly beautiful ethnic handiworks and crafts, from the inherently hospitable people to the excellent climatic condition, the unbelievably beautiful and mysterious caves and lakes- this small state has it all, and in no small measures.
This naturally endowed land has been wasted and neglected for centuries, our inability to see the big picture, occupied as we are in finding ways to secure our own personal lives through means fair or foul being the main reason. With the air connectivity with our neighboring Asian countries a reality now, it would be an act of utter foolishness not to cash in on the euphoria and enthusiasm such a development has created. Without going into the details of the nitty-gritty of tourism and it’s pros and cons, it is an undeniable truth that with proper planning, timely and effective checks and due diligence, tourism would only improve the economy, change the perceptions of the local people towards the visitors and their way of life, adopt a more tolerant view of things and most importantly help in propagating our cultures and traditions throughout the world.
For all these to happen, basic infrastructures and basic amenities must be put in place and make the whole state a tourist friendly one. A lot more needs to be done to be where we want this State to be from where we are now. Only a dedicated, committed and sustained effort can make things possible. Working in fits and starts will get us nowhere.

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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