Jorhat, June 22: In a first in Assam, the Sivasagar district administration is planning to celebrate district-hood day on July 1.
On July 1, 1983, Sivasagar was declared a district in its present form after Jorhat and Golaghat subdivisions of the district were carved out from the undivided Sivasagar district and were made two separate districts.
Sivasagar, once the capital of the Ahom rulers, has over 500 historical sites, including the famous Rangghar, several dols like the Shiva dol, huge tanks like the Shivsagar in the heart of the town, Kareng ghar and the famous burial ground at Charaideo.
There are 40 monuments under protection of the Archaeological Survey of India and state archaeology department.
Sivasagar deputy commissioner S.S. Meenakshi Sundaram told The Telegraph that the objective of celebrating July 1 as district-hood divas was to highlight the tourism potential of the district and make the people feel proud and bring them together to preserve the rich heritage the district possesses.
To commemorate the occasion, the administration has asked the principal of Moran College and Bihu exponent, Anil Saikia, to compose a special song incorporating the glorious past of the district’s background.
Stating that a committee with prominent persons of the district has been formed to organise the programme from the district-level to gaon-panchayat level, Sundaram said efforts were on to launch the programme by chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
Functions will be organised at the block, revenue circle and gaon-panchayat level.
He said on that day several functions from morning to evening would be organised across the district, which will include launching of books relating to tourism in the district, meeting of tour operators from within and outside Assam.
A book with information and photographs on 551 historical sites of the district, a tourist guide (both in English) and a ready reckoner of development work in the district will be released during the event.
Coinciding with the occasion a training programme for 40 youths, as accredited tourist guide, will be started.
The deputy commissioner said the district administration in association with the tourist department would conduct a 10-day training in the first phase, which will be followed by two more training sessions.
“We will take more such youths as a self-employment venture as there will be a requirement of tourist guides in the future if tourism is properly promoted,” Sundaram said.
He said blood donation camps, plantation drives in 200 schools, torch-lit rallies in the evening across the district will be organised on the day.
The deputy commissioner said work on painting the government buildings with shade of reddish yellow — the colour used by the Ahoms to paint all their buildings — was on. The colour — created from tree bark extracts and called hengul haital — is still visible on historical monuments like the Rangghar in the town.
It is another initiative to promote tourism by painting the district with a particular colour like Jaipur, which is known as the pink city.