Shillong, Jul 7: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma today launched the ‘Meghalaya Rafting’ initiative in Umtham village, Ri-Bhoi.
The primary objective of this programme is to promote rafting as a popular sport in the state.
For several years, the Ri-Bhoi Water Sports and Tourism Cooperative Society and the Meghalaya Canoe Association have been actively involved in promoting rafting in Umtham village and collaborating with the government. Recognising the immense potential of rafting, the government has taken the initiative to launch the ‘Meghalaya Rafting’ programme.
Umtham has hosted numerous national and international events organised by the Ri-Bhoi Water Sports and Tourism Cooperative Society and the Meghalaya Canoe Association to create awareness and interest in the sport. Local youth, including both boys and girls, have received training in rafting and are actively participating in various national and international competitions.
The Megha Kayak Fest held at Umtham has garnered international acclaim, with the village’s natural beauty and the river being highly appreciated. Local organisations aspire to develop the course into the world’s most exhilarating perennial slalom event.
During the launch event, Sangma applauded the pioneering efforts of the team behind rafting and canoeing activities in the area. He assured the organisations that the government would provide full support to elevate and promote rafting to new heights.
“As a government, we believe in promoting innovative ideas and interventions. Rafting in Umtham holds tremendous potential, and it is our responsibility to support and go the extra mile to leverage this thrilling sport, empowering our youth and attracting global attention,” the CM said.
Highlighting the potential of rafting and the passion of the state’s young enthusiasts, Sangma expressed confidence that they will bring pride to Meghalaya in the future.
Regarding the promotion of Umtham as a tourist destination, the Chief Minister emphasised its enormous potential. He pledged to address immediate challenges, improve network connectivity and explore infrastructure enhancements and also assured that Umtham will be developed as part of a tourism circuit, introducing programmes to enhance the overall experience for visiting tourists.
The event was attended by Umsning MDC Macdalyne Sawkmie Mawlong, Director of Sports & Youth Affairs Isawanda Laloo, Ri-Bhoi Deputy Commissioner Arpit Upadhyaya, Ri-Bhoi Superintendent of Police Giri Prasad and others