An overwhelming 87% professionals can't name all the states of North East India, a survey of 458 people from sectors like the media, communication, advertising, public relations, human resources, finance and marketing -- whose media consumption is considerably higher than an average Indian -- has revealed.
The online survey was conducted by North East India Image Managers (NEIim), a group of media and communications professionals hailing from the Northeast and working in metros.
The respondents from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and were not from northeastern part of the country.
"If majority of our respondents didn't know basic facts about the North East, how can a common man know more about the region," said Abhijit Borah, president, NEIim.
Probed as to why the respondents failed to have much information on North East India, a startling 61% said that they did not see much of north east India on national media.
Interestingly, a whopping 89.7% believed that the New Delhi should give special attention to North East India than what is being given now.
That people from the region have been its best ambassadors is confirmed by the fact that 51.6% of the respondents have known what they know about the Northeast from their interaction with colleagues or friends from North East India. This challenges the stereotype view that northeasterners don't mingle with others.
Also, about 52% of the respondents have a 'negative' perception about this region with their immediate recall of it as "a region riddled with insurgency and most unsafe place in the country" or "people with mongoloid features and weird food habits and an alien culture".
That there is still hope is revealed by the fact 93% of the respondents wanted to know more about the region while 56% felt that government should run special awareness campaigns using various media vehicles at national level to educate people about Northeast, while 43% suggest that school/college curriculum should include more information pertaining to history, geography, culture and economy of the region.
Northeast India is a collective term used to denote the eight (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Sikkim) states.
1. 52% have a highly negative perception about North East India
2. 76% have no idea about any peace talks going on between govt and any militant group of NE
3. 91% have no knowledge about Northeast Industrial Policy
4. 70% respondents won't believe it if one states the fact that three NE states have higher per capita income than the national average
5. 30% of professionals will never go and work in NE even if that best suits their career interest
6. 75% respondents don't know that the current UPA govt has ministers hailing from Northeast
7. 42.7% advocates changes in the educational curriculum to provide more information about NE
8. 56.3% wants government to run mass awareness drive nationwide to educate people on NE.