NCR villages set to welcome guests
Bhanwar Singh, a Zila Parishad member from Tila-Shahbazpur village near the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, is upbeat.
His village and many in the nearby areas wear a new look and are gearing up for more — metalled roads, solar lighting, proper sanitation facilities and implementation of social welfare schemes to give the villages a semi-modern look.
As part of the plan to attract foreign visitors to Ghaziabad villages during the Commonwealth Games, the local administration officials are busy developing pockets of villages in specific areas, to be presented as model villages to the visitors.
The selected villages/ pockets have varied specialisation in handlooms, dairy farming, proximity to River Ganga, effective implementation of Central and state government schemes, proximity to places of historical importance, etc.
“We plan to advertise comprehensively during the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and would also provide luxury travel facilities to foreign visitors and make them have a feel of what a present Indian village looks like,” said Ghaziabad Chief Development Officer (CDO) Z.B. Sagir.
“This would help us showcase our local talents and would also benefit from visitor's suggestions for improvement.”
The areas near the Ganga on NH-24 would also be given a clean look to attract visitors for 'Ganga Darshan' and selected village heads would be trained in hospitality to have a meaningful interaction with the visitors.
“The common interaction would help us to know about foreign villages and would also get an exposure to the world. Our local talent would also get a chance to prove itself on a bigger platform,” said Anwar Ahmed, head from Atsaini village.
Pockets of villages have been identified in areas like Garhmukteshwar (close to River Ganga), Pilkhuwa, Hapur (famous for handlooms),
Atsaini on NH-24 (famous for cane furniture), Niwari (famous for mango farming), among others.
“We would showcase an exemplary picture of rural India. Our country has made a lot of progress and so have our villages. We would welcome foreign visitors,” said Raj Kumar, the Pradhan (head) of Sultanpur village.
Officials from the local administration said they have also been assured support from the state’s tourism department for the initiative.