Non-resident Himachalis to promote hill state

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 26

The government may be bringing together pravasi Indians, but the people of different regions are themselves taking the initiative to strengthen their cultural and social bonding, as the country gets enmeshed into the global village.

A step in this direction has been the formation of “My Himachal‿ group, which is the first such organisation, formed by Himachalis living across the globe. They have probably taken the idea from their next door neighbours in Punjab, who have well established international organisations.

The international forum would aim to preserve, protect and promote the culture, customs, traditions, cuisine, and dialect of Himachal. The forum would also take initiatives for the development of the state by promoting the hill state in business and tourism summits.

The group members include non- resident himachalis settled in USA, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia and Gulf countries.

The need to form the group evolved during an international teleconference held by non-resident Himachalis, where they discussed several issues affecting the state.

They members of the group resolved to mobilise resources, manpower and latest technology to support various ongoing projects in the state and create a conducive atmosphere to promote foreign direct investment in the state in key sectors like tourism, energy, health.

America-based renowned physician Dr Bhugol Chandel was elected first International President of ‘MY HIMACHAL’.

The first international conference of worldwide Himachalis will be held in 2006, said Mr Chandel. We will explore avenues for co-operation at all levels with the people of Himachal and enhance its prestige and glory at the international level, he said.

The idea to start such an organisation was conceived by a young US-based software engineer Avnish Katoch, who started the ‘Himachal Google Group’, two years ago and invited energetic, educated Himachali youths to send their ideas on various issues concerning the state.

It became a big success and took the form of a campaign in which people started sending in their comments and group activities increased manifold.

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