North-East region offers a tremendous amount of untapped potential for tourism, especially the adventure tourism, a sector which can generate much-needed local employment and support the local economy through an eco-system of tourism-related economic activities.
While there are numerous initiatives undertaken by the state governments in this regard, the Indian Army recently made a concerted, synergized and integrated effort through a series of adventure activities across most of the border regions from Sikkim to almost the easternmost tip of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Indian Army and its formations along Northern frontiers apart from their primary role have a stellar record in the nation building initiatives.
Besides, the trans-theatre adventure activity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) initiated in 2022, included adventure activities such as – Mountaineering Expeditions, White Water Rafting, Mountain Biking and Trekking, which were conducted with very active participation from civilian enthusiasts and local talent from the region.
Additionally, the most heartening aspect of the Indian Army was the unique Civil-Military cooperation for the active promotion of the adventure tourism across Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
These three-month long series of activities commenced in August and included six mountaineering expeditions, seven treks of more than 700 kms (up to an altitude of 16,500 feet), six cycling expeditions over 1,000 km on non-existent roads in six valleys, and three white water-rafting expeditions covering 132 kms along three rivers.
Most of these routes along the LAC have never been explored by civilians, due to inaccessibility of these regions.
Overall 11 points along the LAC were pointed out during the initiative, with the most prominent being the summit of Mt Jonsong, situated at the tri junction of India, Nepal & Tibet, for the third time in history.
The campaign has generated a buzz in the adventure tourism circuit and has improved awareness about the potential of adventure tourism in North-East India.
It demonstrated the importance of Civil-Military synergy, and highlighted the serene landscape, diverse flora & fauna, rich culture and ancient traditions of these outlying border areas, thereby encouraging tourism along these locations.
Inclusion of the local youth and the experiences they have gained is likely to inspire them to establish their own businesses in the tourism industry, boosting hopes for the development of a sustainable eco-system of such tourism start-ups.
Another important facet was inclusion of women in the activities. As a boost to Nari Shakti, approximately 15 female members participated in these activities.