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Know-NE campaign

New Delhi, Feb. 7: The Centre has decided to launch a special campaign to help people learn more about the Northeast and ensure better “assimilation and integration” of migrants from the region to other parts of the country.

What is needed is to convince people that “young people from the Northeast are as Indian as others”, Paban Singh Ghatowar, the minister for Northeast development, told The Telegraph. “We could approach film stars also to be part of this campaign.”

Ad campaigns in newspapers and on television, using celebrities, are part of the plan. So are a sensitisation programme for Delhi police, and a support centre in Chanakyapuri for people from the Northeast. Delhi police, which can draw recruits from anywhere in India, will also make an effort to invite applications from the Northeast.

Since Nido Tania, a teenager from Arunachal Pradesh, died after being beaten up by shopkeepers in Delhi who had taunted him about his looks, the Centre has taken several steps. Yesterday, the home ministry set up a six-member committee to suggest ways to check violence against young people from the Northeast living in the metros.

The campaign will be run jointly by the ministries for Northeast development and information and broadcasting. Advertisements will be placed in local language papers as well because these reach a large population.

For the benefit of people from the Northeast living in the capital, a support centre is being set up immediately in a guesthouse of the Northeast development ministry in Chanakyapuri. It will be staffed with professional counsellors hired on contract. The ministry will bear the costs, it was decided at a meeting yesterday.

NGOs will be contacted to offer round-the-clock support in shifts. A list of representatives from each Northeastern state who can be reached in an emergency, provided by Delhi police, with their email addresses and mobile numbers will be widely publicised.

The ministry and Delhi police will also educate people from the Northeast about their rights through platforms such as Church Fellowship groups, students’ unions and resident commissioners’ offices of the eight states. Delhi joint commissioner of police, Robin Hibu, will address seminars on safety issues.