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Tree memory for fest guests

The Basar festival venue. Picture by Sumir Karmakar

Guwahati: Nearly 150 tourists from all over the country have left their names behind at Basar, a small hamlet in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, thanks to Basar Confluence, a two-day tourism festival that concluded on Sunday.

The festival was organised by Gumin Rigo Kilaju, a local NGO, set up by a group of retired and serving government officials and residents of Basar. Gumin Rigo Kilaju means a collaboration of positive minds for social growth.

The organisers have decided to plant a sapling each for 150 tourists from outside the Northeast who visited the festival and will update them about the status of the treesby sending photographs so that they visit again or recommend the festival to their friends.

"During the festival, we had put up a stall of organic green tea and made an offer - whoever bought a cup of tea at Rs 100, a sapling would be planted in his/her name. This served two purposes. One is afforestation and, secondly, in a way we are planting memories of the visitors who will remember Basar as they get updates and may want to visit Basar Confluence again," Doni Riba, publicity in-charge of the festival, told this correspondent from Basar on Thursday.

"The saplings will be planted at nearby schools in February and March. We are planning to plant gulmohar and nahar trees," he said.

More than 5,000 people visited the second edition of Basar Confluence this year.Troupes, representing tribes such as Monpas, Singphos, Noctes, Wanchos, Adis and Galos, hogged the limelight at the festival, where singers and bands such as Rewben Mashangva (Manipur), Omak Komut Collective (Arunachal Pradesh), Band of Hurricane Girls and Simanta Shekhar (Assam) performed.

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