| A collage uploaded on the Facebook page of UNWTO |
Jorhat, Oct. 16: A Heritage Walk undertaken by Khoj, an NGO, at Sivasagar last month has found a place on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) map of events held globally on World Tourism Day this year.
The other two events to find a place on the map from India are those held in Goa and West Bengal.
A photo of Heritage Walk and a few lines of the event have also been put up on UNWTO’s Facebook site.
Inspired by this recognition, Khoj will next undertake a bird conservation walk from Kokilamukh to Neematighat here in November.
Headed by Bijit Dutta, a youth who hails from Kenduguri on the eastern outskirts of the town, Khoj aims to promote known and little-known places in Assam so that they could become part of the tourism circuit.
“A week ago we came to know that our application for incorporating Heritage Walk which covered three Ahom-era monuments in Sivasagar had been accepted by the international tourism body as one of the events held on World Tourism Day and shown as a dot on its map,” Dutta said.
The walk had covered Gola Ghar, Talatal Ghar and Kareng Ghar in Sivasagar district. Khoj had tried to involve as many people living in the vicinity as possible so that they were made knowledgeable about which Ahom king had built the historic monument, on which date and for what purpose.
“After the walk, we had sent a few photos of the event and a small write-up to the UNWTO email at comm.@unwto.org and one of these were also uploaded on its official Facebook site along with a couple of lines,” he said.
In order to get a place on the map, Khoj had to fulfil certain criteria like universally-accessible and environmentally-sustainable tourism, tourism education and awareness creation and contribution to the socio-economic development of the place among others.
Headquartered in Madrid, Spain, the World Tourism Organisation is a specialised agency of the UN.
Dutta said their next programme would be a walk for conservation of migratory birds. “The Kokilamukh-Neemati area along the banks of the Brahmaputra is a haven for migratory birds in winter. It is also a place where a large number of birds are poached. It is imperative that awareness is created in this riverine belt.”
The organisation is corresponding with a couple of ornithologists who will be able to identify all species of birds, their calls, behaviour, places of origin and narrate about their eating, nesting habits.