Shri Yogi Adityanath

Turning Uttar Pradesh into Uttam Pradesh

Starting his political career by becoming the youngest Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur to be elected to the 12th Lok Sabha at the age of 26, Shri Yogi Adityanath has been consistently ranked as one of the most popular Chief Ministers in India. Dedicated to the selfless service of the nation, he has been leaving no stone unturned in turning the wheels of progress and prosperity in Uttar Pradesh with his unswerving dedication and relentless persistence


Q. Sir, we, at AsiaOne, appreciate the fact that under your able leadership, the Uttar Pradesh government has achieved a drastic improvement in law and order, investments, and infrastructure development in the state over the last four years. Your efforts to promote spiritual tourism with focus on Ayodhya, Prayagraj, Mathura and Varanasi are appreciable so are the various upcoming infrastructure projects such as 354-km Bundelkhand-Purvanchal Expressway project and 1050-km Ganga Expressway from Meerut to Prayagraj – the largest expressway in India. We also appreciate your goal of making Uttar Pradesh a $1 Trillion Economy.’ Please throw light on some of the other sectors on your government plans to focus with the agenda of making Uttar Pradesh as ‘Uttam Pradesh.’ In fact, it is a matter of great pride that Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji lauded you and your government for the pace of the development despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

A. You have aptly mentioned about our government’s effort in transforming the law and order situation, tourism and industrial sector of the state. In the coming 5 years we will have completed the construction of the Noida International Greenfield Airport and half the work on Ganga Expressway. We have further boosted the health infrastructure and education infrastructure in the state.


Q. Sir, what are your views on Hon’ble PM Modi ji’s call for ‘vocal for local’ and ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’? How is your government planning to further this agenda?

A. “One District One Product (ODOP)” launched in 2018 is the flagship programme of Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP). The objective of the programme is to preserve, develop and promote local arts, crafts and traditional skill of communities spread across each district of Uttar Pradesh. For example, the artisans’ of the old wood carving industry of Saharanpur needed training. Now under the ODOP initiative, we are providing training facilities to them. This will not only improve the products, but will also improve efficacy. Additionally, the programme aims to add to the income and local employment and is in line with Hon’ble PM’s clarion call of ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Loans to the tune of Rs 10,390 crore to 3,54,825 MSME units and tool kits to 5,000 artisans under ODOP were given during a special online loan mela organized by the government. 3,24,911 new MSME units have been given loans of Rs 9,074 crore under various central and state government schemes like PM Rozgar Srijan Yojana, CM Yuva, Swarozgar Yojana, ODOP, Mudra Yojana and Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Under Atma Nirbhar Bharat, 29,914 existing units were given Rs 1,316 crore in loans.


Q. Sir, owing to your dedicated efforts, Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the biggest contributor to employment generation in the country. The state has ensured employment to more than 57 lakh unskilled workers who are now engaged in various projects under MGNREGS – contributing 18 per cent of the total employment in the country under the scheme. In fact you are a role model for the youth of the nation who identify with you and look up to you for inspiration. What’s your message to them?

A. My message to the youth is to keep working hard, take pride in being from Uttar Pradesh and become brand ambassadors of the state. I would further like to encourage them to not just be a job seeker but also be a job generator i.e. learn about entrepreneurship.

The Uttar Pradesh Government is focused on generating employment and achieving its goal of reaching $1 trillion economy. Our special campaign “Mission Rojgar” aims at providing jobs to 50 lakh youth by March 2021 and so far has employed 21,75,443 youth in the state. In the past 4 years, more than 4 lakh youths have been given employment within the government. Uttar Pradesh has been ranked first in the country for generating 10 crore man days under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to support migrant labourers who came back to the state during the pandemic.

The Uttar Pradesh government did not only manage the return of about 40 lakh migrants from all over the country but also took up the onerous task of providing them employment. In a first, the state government did skill mapping of about 36 lakh migrant labourers/workers to enable them get job as per their skill set. 4 lakh youths have already got government jobs and about 15 crore youths got self-employment by way of various schemes of the Centre and the State.

Uttar Pradesh has also found place among top five states of the country for providing employment under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) during Corona pandemic. In a recent report of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Uttar Pradesh has secured a place ahead of Karnataka, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Telangana in the list of top 10 states.

The state government also signed MoUs with various industries for creation of 11 Lakh jobs within a year. While FICCI and IIA will account for three lakh jobs each, realtors’ body NARDCO and the Laghu Udyog Bharti have agreed to provide jobs to 2.5 each to migrant labourers.


Q. Your government has been promoting tourism with the tagline of “UP nahi dekha, toh India nahi dekha” (If you have not seen UP, then you have not seen India too). Please elaborate.

A. Uttar Pradesh has a myriad of tourism attractions spread across wildlife & nature, historical monuments, heritage & culture, vibrant cities, cuisine, art & craft, music & dance, adventure, spirituality and religion. Such diversity spread across all districts of Uttar Pradesh makes for an unforgettable tourism experience. And therefore, the tagline because Uttar Pradesh is a must visit place. Uttar Pradesh emerged as the top destination for attracting the highest number of domestic tourists in 2019. The Indian Tourism Statistics (ITS), 2020 announced that as many as 53.6 crore domestic tourists visited Uttar Pradesh in 2019 which was much higher as compared to 2018.

With the objective of improving the basic tourism infrastructure across all our destinations (popular and new), development projects to the tune of INR 630.45 Crore are being implemented under the ‘Swadesh Darshan & PRASAD Scheme’. In addition, infrastructure development projects of INR 857.20 Crore are also being implemented from the state government funding.

The projects sanctioned under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme includes the:

  1. Development of Sravasti, Kapilvastu and Kushinagar under the Buddhist Circuit;
  2. Development of Kalinjar Fort (Banda), Maghar Dham & Chauri Chaura under the Heritage Circuit;
  3. Development of Ayodhya, Chitrakoot & Shringverpur under the Ramayana Circuit;
  4. Development of Gorakhpur, Devipatan, Dumariyagunj, Banda & other tourist sites across the state under the Spiritual Circuit. Mathura and Varanasi are also being developed under the PRASAD Scheme, along with new ‘River Cruise’ project at Varanasi.

Major works include development of tourist facilitation centre, façade lighting of monuments, signage, landscaping, drinking water kiosks, solar lighting and toilets. In addition to the above, Uttar Pradesh Tourism Policy was launched in February 2018, to attract private investments and develop tourism infrastructure.

Till now, the state has received multiple project proposals for new hotels, resorts, convention centres, wellness centres, adventure tourism projects and other facilities with investment intent of approximately INR 18,753 Crore. Tourism destinations have been categorized across 12 tourism circuits like Ramayana, Braj, Buddhist, Wildlife & Eco Tourism, Bundelkhand, Mahabharata, Shakti Peeth, Aadhyatmik, Sufi, Jain, Craft and Swatantrata Sangram.

244 tourism investment proposals have been received in these tourism circuits, which will assist in the overall tourism infrastructure development of the region. One of the major fiscal benefit offered under the tourism policy is the ‘Capital Investment Subsidy’ in the range of 1020% of the eligible capital investment, which encourages the private entities to establish new tourism units. Furthermore, the state government is planning to develop camping infrastructure and adventure activities at various eco-tourism sites. As part of public & private sector collaboration to train local young community, over 200 young people in Ayodhya were trained by sector specialists, under the ‘Ayodhya Guide training Program’.


Q. Your Government has recently announced a film city of over 1,000-acre plot located just about 6 km from the proposed Jewar International Airport. The latter will be the first net-zero emissions airport in its class, setting a new standard for sustainable aviation. Please throw light on the vision behind these initiatives.

A. Uttar Pradesh has played a pivotal role in the rise of Indian cinema. The idea behind the Film City in Noida is to develop the state as an important centre for the production of films and promote our tourist destinations. We already provide huge subsidies to film makers and lately, UP have been buzzing with film shooting activities in the past few years. The Uttar Pradesh government last year cleared subsidy worth over INR112.4 million for 16 Hindi and six Bhojpuri films.

The Noida International Greenfield Airport will become a global brand and the pride of India and will cater to 12 million passengers. The site clearance for the airport has already been done. Over the past three years, various clearances, including security, environment, bidder, etc followed and international organisation Zurich Airport International AG will be developing the airport.

Architecture firms Nordic Office of Architecture, Grimshaw, Haptic and consultants STUP will design a carbonneutral terminal. A goal of carbon net-zero and a LEED Gold standard certification has been set for the airport terminal, which will have the capacity to serve 30 million passengers per year. Carbon net-zero, also known as carbon-neutral design, is a term for buildings that seek to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they put in.


Q. Please throw light on the Mission Shakti initiative launched by your government for boosting gender equality in the state.

A. Mission Shakti is working aggressively for empowerment of women. Notable steps have been taken for success of the Mission Shakti campaign that aims at ensuring women security, self-reliance and dignity in Uttar Pradesh. Distribution of dry ration among women is being done by Bal Vikas Evam Pushtahaar Vibhag and Food and Civil Supplies at the anaganwadi centres in the state. And to raise awareness about several welfare programmes of the government and also about the helpline numbers such as 1090, 1076, 1098, 108, 102, 112 and others. The SHGs also used rangolis as a means to spread the message about women empowerment and helpline numbers among the villagers.

Efforts are also being made to help the most underprivileged women of the groups through the welfare schemes of the government so that they are able to support their families. The police officers make it a point to interact with the women to inform them about their rights. Under the welfare schemes, the women are told in detail about the Kanya Sumangala Yojana, Ujjawala Yojana, Ayushman Bharat, how to open bank accounts, Pradhanmantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, and Pradhanmantri Suraksha Beema Yojana.

The Mahila Shakti Kendra team of Rupapur, Pratapgarh reached out to women and girls to spread the message of women empowerment under the Mission Shakti campaign. The WCD department has sensitised more than 5 crore citizens of the state about issues women face. Platforms like Shakti Samvad and Haq Ki Baat are being used to redress the grievances of both rural and urban women. To acknowledge the contribution of women and girls in different fields, events such as Nayika Mega Event, Gender Champion are being held on regular basis. The government has helped 27.95 lakh women through the Nirashrit Mahila Pension scheme while 5.80 lakh girls have received the benefits of Kanya Sumangala Yojana. As many as 51,25,579 girls have got the direct benefit of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme. Through the Rani Lakshmi Bai Mahila Evam Samman Kosh Yojana, 4,937 victims of violence have been supported.

The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition Of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Ordinance 2020 was passed as well. The ordinance was passed as in recent times a lot of cases were being registered where the women complainants complained about how they were being forced to change their religion and on refusing to convert, were being harassed. We realised that this situation had to be dealt with in order to protect the interest of women/ minors and ensure safety and justice to them by giving them the right to complaint against any deceit and harassment. It is a duly constituted law and law per se isn’t discriminatory. The law isn’t a means to stop any inter-faith marriages from happening but rather to protect the marriages whereby the woman has been duped/lied by the man into an inter-faith marriage.

The law aims to prohibit unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misinterpretation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage. The law aims to make inter-faith marriages null and void if, upon investigation, they have been found to involve forced conversion or harassment. The law also looks to impose a jail term of between two and seven years where forced conversion involves minors or women belonging to a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.


Q. Please shed light on some of the initiatives related to welfare and the growth of the agriculture sector in Uttar Pradesh. Please state some of the measures undertaken by your government for the welfare of farmers during the lockdown and the various schemes launched for the prosperity of farmers.

A. Farmers are the backbone of the Uttar Pradesh economy and their welfare and the growth of agriculture sector has been the state government’s top priority since 2017. Prior to 2017, farmers in Uttar Pradesh faced innumerable challenges and were distressed as government procurement was low and realisation of MSP was low and therefore, the income was meagre.

The new government in 2017 under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath realised the distress which farmers were facing and immediately waived off farmers’ loans worth INR 36,000 crore that benefited more than 56 lakh farmers and chartered a holistic strategy which established longterm goals and guided the intervention which included providing new technology and other complementary farming assets. Yogi Adityanath’s deft knowledge of farming methods (at Gorakhnath math he was responsible for ‘farm to shop’ sale of the produce) has proved as an asset.

The agriculture budget of the state registered a record hike from INR 4,096 crore in 2017-18 to INR 10,378 crore in 2018-19 and settled at INR 6,231crore in 2019-20 afterwards.

About 58 percent of the population is dependent on the agriculture sector but agriculture and the allied sector contribute only 26 percent to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP). On the basis of the data, the focus of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was to increase agricultural production in the state and to give the farmers a fair price for their crops via farmer-friendly policies. In order to empower farmers economically, the underlying causes were addressed by the government.

Uttar Pradesh remains the top state when it comes to sugarcane production. Over 47 lakh sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh have been paid overdue payments of the last government of more than INR 1,15, 000 crore between 2017-2020. This cane price payment is much more than the cane price payment of INR 95,215 crore paid during the five year tenure of the previous government from 2012-2017. The previous government sold 21 sugar mills at throw away prices in Purvanchal wherein the current government has opened sugar mills in Gorakhpur and Basti which were closed in 1999 and can now process four times more sugarcane. The government currently operates 119 sugar mills in total.

Previously, water wouldn’t reach till the canal tail end and farmers were forced to draw water from tube wells. The state’s irrigation department ensured that the water reached till canal tail end to help farmers. The irrigation projects which were stalled for past 10-15 years were restarted and completed. Water has reached every farm under the Prime Minister Agriculture Irrigation scheme.

Also, the government decided to empower farmers by ensuring power in the villages for 18-20 hours. Furthermore, PM Gram Sadak Yojana has completed several phases and most of the villages have been connected via this scheme which has eased the commuting of the farmers. Recently, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also inaugurated various projects under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.


The state already has four agricultural universities. Recently, a central agricultural university was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji in Jhansi. Presently, 89 Krishi Vigyan Kendras are working in Uttar Pradesh with a resolve to double the income of farmers with the help of new concepts and technologies. The previous government had refused to take these 20 Krishi Kendras from the center.

More farmers have been provided ‘Kisan Credit Card’. In 2016-17, 100.42 lakh farmers had KCC but as of October 30 this year, 161.08 lakh farmers have the KCC.

A centre of the International Rice Research Centre, Philippines, has been opened in Varanasi and efforts are also being made to open a centre of International Potato Research Centre. In the last three years, about INR 300 crore has been given to Krishi Vigyan Kendras and other agricultural institutions.

Weather-based crop insurance for protection of crops is being provided at a mere 5 percent premium and mandi fee has been reduced from 2 percent to 1 percent. At least 50 percent grant is also being provided on construction of poly houses.

In addition, 80 percent subsidy is being provided on agricultural equipment like sprinklers under the `Per Drop More Crop’ scheme. Such equipment saves water and also increases the production of crops.

With the aim to promote horticulture, vegetable and fruit farming in the Purvanchal region as it is very effective in doubling the income of farmers of this region, the government has given vegetable seeds free of cost to over 20 lakh farmers.

The horticulture sector has immense potential in Purvanchal. In this region, while cereals are ready in six months, vegetables take 2-3 months to reap. Farmers are being made aware of such technology so that they can earn maximum income from horticulture.

Boosting Farm Exports

The UP Export Policy 2020-25 has been approved by the state cabinet which aims at doubling the income of farmers and increasing exports from the agricultural sector.

Chandauli, known as the rice bowl of the Purvanchal, is now exporting black rice to countries, including Australia and New Zealand. Two mango packaging houses have been constructed in Amroha and Varanasi at a cost of INR 9.90 crore each. During the coronavirus times, about 2,000 quintal mangoes have been exported from this region.

Eastern Uttar Pradesh is one of the potential areas for export of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as green chillies, okra, bitter guard, green peas, brinjal and mango and guava etc. and they have been exported to countries like Dubai and Europe.

Under ‘One District One Product’ initiative of the government 45 districts have been identified. Agricultural products will be selected on the basis of agro-climatic zone, product quality, taste, aroma, nutritional and medicinal properties, and export potential. Farmers of the respective districts have been recommended about growing specific crops.

Products like ‘Kalanamak rice’ of Siddharthanagar, banana fibre of Kushinagar, banana of Kaushambi, jaggery of Ayodhya, aamla of Pratapgarh, pulses of Balrampur and Gonda, desi ghee of Auraiya, handicraft made of wheat stalk in Bahraich, wooden toys of Chitrakoot, wooden artifacts of Saharanpur, Basti, Bijnor, Rae Bareli etc. are included in the ODOP scheme.

The government is working to ensure global branding of Kala Namak variety of rice on the lines of Basmati rice. A project for promoting Kala Namak rice had been prepared in association with the International Rice Research Institute at Varanasi, Indian Agriculture Research Institute and Acharya Narendra Dev Agriculture University of Ayodhya.

Attracting Industries

UP is the largest potato producing state in the country. Potatoes are sown in an area of 6.1 lakh hectares in the state. Last year, UP produced 147.77 lakh tonnes of potatoes till November 2020 and farmers received a good price of potatoes. It is predicted that this time the state will set a new record in potato cultivation.

It has been estimated that at least 26.50 to 27.50 tonnes per hectare of potatoes have been cultivated. The figure is expected to reach 30 tonnes per hectare next year.

Till a few years ago, potato farmers did not get fair prices for potatoes, but now potato farming in UP started to be a profitable deal for the farmers as the quality of the yield has improved. Not only here, multinational Food and Beverages company ‘PepsiCo’ is also going to set up a new (greenfield) potato chips production unit in the state with an investment of INR 814 crore.

The unit will be set up on about 35 acres of land provided by the State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA) in Kosi-Mathura. Starting in 2021, over 1000 people will get direct and indirect employment from this chips factory. This is the first time that a greenfield project is being set up by PepsiCo itself in Uttar Pradesh and by the time production starts from this factory, Uttar Pradesh will also become the first state in the country in terms of potato production.

During the COVID19 lockdown when globally farmers suffered, farmers produce procurement was carried out directly from their homes by the government and it was made sure that shop selling seeds and other farming items remained open. As the Rabi crop in UP got ready for harvesting amid the lockdown, the state government set up 6,000 procurement centres to help farmers sell their produce and these centres functioned successfully adhering to all precautions. These centres procured 36 lakh metric tonnes of wheat.

Even during the corona pandemic, when all the industries were facing closure, the sugar mills of the state continued crushing operations. It was the commitment of government for safeguarding the interest of farmers, that the supply of their sugarcane remains uninterrupted during the lockdown period. Though the sugar sale remained negligible during the lockdown, but in spite of that, cane price payment of Rs 5,953 crore was made to farmers in that period.

Farmer-friendly Initiatives

Soil health cards were provided to millions of farmers by the state government. Thousands of farmers have been provided 40 to 90 per cent subsidy through a custom hiring centre for purchasing agricultural machinery — this amount has been transferred directly to the farmers’ bank accounts. The government has already announced a policy for FPOs (farmers producers organisation) and the process of constituting the FPOs at block level was underway.

Farmers also needed assistance to develop the capacity necessary in order to increase their incomes. For this, a vital first step is to provide them with training as well as agricultural inputs and credit so that they can produce more, aggregate their crops, and market them collectively. It is noteworthy that through “The Millions Farmers’ initiative farmers have been given training in improved farming at the Nyaya Panchayat level. MFS, also popularly known as Kisan Pathshala, is an extension program that the government of UP initiated in 2017 with a view to encourage the use of modern farming techniques, to make farming more profitable, sustainable, and resilient.

Unlike traditional extension services, MFS integrates various facets of agricultural knowledge into a packaged format, and delivers it through village-level trainings across all districts in the state. Printed materials—booklets, pamphlets— with such information are also distributed among participants.

The key objective of the MFS is to impart agricultural knowledge and techniques to farmers, which in turn can enhance agricultural production, improve soil health, and promote integrated and diversified farming systems.

Fourteen new Krishi Vigyan Kendras have been established in the state. Six new science centres are proposed. The minimum support price, which was a far-fetched dream during previous governments, has been implemented and farmers have been given benefits at the grassroots level for pulses and oilseeds along with wheat and paddy.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, INR 22,000 crores has been sent directly to the accounts of farmers. During the lockdown, the government ensured proper channels where they could sell their produce as well. Generally, around 5 to 6 lakh metric tonnes of wheat/paddy sale happened in UP annually but as soon as we came into power, we put a system in place and within 4 months there was a sale of 35 lakh metric tonnes.

During the last 3.5 years of Yogi’s tenure, the state government has bought 180 metric tonne of paddy and 162 metric tonne of wheat from the farmers, transferring more than 60000 crores to their accounts on accounts of these purchases. We have also included Battadars (share croppers) also in the beneficiaries list of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.

Previously, farmers were being used as ‘vote banks’ but after assuming power, my government has been working on ensuring ways to ‘double farmer’s income.’ The UP government has reduced the Mandi tax and has strengthened government procurement as the leadership understands that only if the state’s rural economy is strong, the state can become strong. Moreover, the government has continued its outreach program and has reverberated its willingness to always resolve any issues faced by the farmers of the state. The cobwebs of lies and misinformation which the opposition is trying to constantly impose on the innocent farmers of our state are being removed now. Our government recently launched the Kisan Kalyan Mission for farmer welfare to double the farmers income of the state.


Q. Please state some of the schemes and initiatives launched by your government for senior citizens, destitute and differently-abled and needy sections of the society.

A. The state government is committed in ensuring welfare for all its citizens especially those who need special attention. Uttar Pradesh has created a record of giving assistance to 51 lakh senior citizens under Vriddhawastha pension. Furthermore, we are planning to link workers and labourers with the Ayushman Bharat Scheme and CM Jan Aarogya campaign to ensure a social security net for them. 27.95 lakh women have availed the benefits of the Nirashrit Mahila Pension Scheme.

Shri Manohar Lal Khattar

On 26 October 2014, Shri Manohar Lal Khattar, scripted history as he took the oath of office and secrecy as Haryana’s first Chief Minister (CM) from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Owing to his massive popularity, he was re-elected as the CM of Haryana in 2019. Under his exemplary leadership, Haryana has been witnessing unprecedented growth trajectory in varied spheres. A follower of the dictum ‘Seva Pratham,’ he has always been at the forefront of social causes and has been passionately working for the elevation of those in the lowest rung of society through various schemes and measures implemented by his government.


Q. Sir, you hold the feat of becoming the first BJP Chief Minister in the state of Haryana and owing to your massive development works and popularity, were also re-elected to the post. Under your exemplary leadership, Haryana set itself on an unprecedented progress path and is ranked favourably on the Ease of Doing Business in India. Please throw light on some of the policies and measures undertaken by your government in this regard with special reference to Haryana Enterprises Promotion Policy 2020.

A. The day I took over as the Chief Minister of Haryana, I decided to undertake development works uniformly in all Vidhan Sabha constituencies with the principle of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and One Haryana, One Haryanvi.

During the last two years, Covid was a big challenge to keep the growth and the progress going on, particularly in the industrial sector.

Meanwhile, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave a vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” and set the target of making the nation’s economy worth five trillion dollars. We subsequently took many steps to make the prime minister’s vision successful.

So we not only set up a separate MSME department but also introduced the Haryana Enterprise and Employment policy, 2020 under which a large number of incentives were announced for the industry. A provision for free power was made for the industrial units for 20 years.

The Haryana Enterprise Promotion Centre has been set up to provide all clearances to the upcoming industrial units under one roof and also to promote ease of doing business in the state.

We are making a logistic hub in the NCR. An integrated multi model logistic hub is being set up on 886 acres of land in Narnaul, Mahendragarh.

A pharmaceutical policy has also been put in place to promote the pharmaceutical (medicines) industry in the state.


Q. Sir, what are your views on Hon’ble PM Modiji’s call for ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’? How is your government planning to further this agenda?

A. It was in order to revive the national economy that the Prime minister gave the slogan “vocal for local” and “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”. The purpose was to breathe a new life in the enterprises which engaged local talent and entrepreneurs. The Centre launched an economic package of Rs 20 lakh crores for the purpose.

India should stop looking for assistance from other countries and the youth should hone their skills in whatever best they could do.

In Haryana, in order to realise the dream of the prime minister we have strengthened all the 5 pillars of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”- economy, infrastructure, demography, demand and supply.

We have started a portal called “Haryana Atma Nirbhar portal” under the “Atmanirbhar Haryana- Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign in the state.

We have also started a campaign in colleges and universities to train the youth with the spirit of enterprise. Under this incubation centres are being set in the educational institutions to train and enable the youth to undertake startup enterprises. For this a concerted startup policy has been implemented following which Haryana has become a leading state in the nation to implement the Startup India campaign. More than 5000 youths have so far registered themselves under the Startup campaign which is four times the number in Punjab and 14 times more than what we see in Himachal Pradesh.

We undertook a skill development mission and set up a separate university for skill development as well.


Q. Sir, under your exemplary leadership, the state government has brought about many reforms to improve farm productivity and make agriculture profitable. For this, your government rolled out many programs such as Meri Fasal, Mera Byora, the portal “,” “Krishi Kiosk” at Panchkula, ‘Suchana Rath,’ and Kisan Haryana Apps among others. Please elaborate.

A. The welfare of farmers has been our topmost priority as under the “Beej See Bazar Tak” programme farmers are provided subsidies on the purchase of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.

Haryana is the first state in the country to provide MSP on 14 crops and payments are made to farmers within 72 hours of buying their crops. Many schemes that the Prime Minister has implemented for reforms in agriculture like the Prime Minister crop insurance scheme, the Prime Minister’s Kisan Samman Nidhi plan have been guiding us as well.

“Meri Fasal, Mera Byora” scheme has helped farmers get quick assistance from the state government as a result of which the economic condition of farmers in the state has improved considerably. Haryana stands third in the country as far as farmers’ condition is concerned. According to the national survey, by 2019, per capita family income of farmers in Haryana was Rs 22,841 which was almost double the national figure which stood at Rs 10,218. In order to compensate farmers after they suffered losses in their kharif crop in 2021 we raised the compensation from Rs 12,000 per acre to Rs 15,000 per acre and approved compensation of Rs 945 crores under the Prime Minister’s crop insurance scheme.

The state government has also launched the “Mukhya Mantri Bagvani Beema Yojna” and the “Bhavantar Bharpai Yojna” for 21 horticulture crops.

Various portals have been launched to make facilities available to farmers at the doorstep. To promote horticulture three centres of excellence have been approved for Bhiwani, Nuh and Jhajjar district while 65 per cent subsidy is being given to farmers undertaking vertical farming. At the same time agroforestry has been made part of the “Mera Paani-Meri Virasat” programme. A target of developing fisheries over an area of 57,550 acres has been set up for the current financial year.


Q. Sir, you have recently inaugurated various adventure sports such as Parasailing, Paramotor and Jet Scooter in TikkarTaal, Morni Hills under the comprehensive plan on development of adventure sports activities to promote tourism in Haryana. Please throw some light on this.

A. Yes, in Morni Hills we have started various adventure sports which not only promote tourism but also provide jobs to the local youth. This area provides a lot of natural beauty and is expected to become a tourism centre.

I feel that adventure sports cultivate more physical and mental strength in the youth as we are making concerted efforts to romote it in the state. In Gurugram, a foundation stone has been laid for adventure tourism centre on Damdama lake where a basic infrastructure would be created comprising camping site, facilities of aero sports etc.

At Morni, sports trekking tracks are being prepared along with facilities for paragliding and all-terrain vehicle ride. An adventure sports club has been also set up in the memory of international athlete Milkha Singh where we have set the target of training at least 1000 youths in adventure activities.

In addition, a proposal has been prepared to begin water sports and adventure activities at Tilyar lake in Rohtak and Hathnikund barrage.

Moreover, to promote rural tourism we have started the Home Stay scheme, 2021, under which farmers are being persuaded to construct two or three rooms each for providing facilities to tourists who wanted to have a view of Haryana rural culture and lifestyle. It would not only help boost the economic condition of farmers but would open a new avenue of tourism.

In Panchkula, for instance, we have started a Scenic and Religious Day tour package for conducting the tourists around to the scenic places in the region by a special tourist bus.


Q. Under your able leadership, the state has been successfully addressing the issue of the safety and security of women. In fact, Haryana holds the distinction of being the first state to adopt the initiative of Mahila Police Volunteer at Karnal and Mahindergarh District on a pilot basis under the Nirbhaya Fund. In this regard, please throw light on schemes such as Mahila Police Volunteer (Gram Sakhi), launched to bridge the gap between Police and civil society for the safety of women.

A. Right from day one, it has been our earnest endeavour to ensure that women in the state felt not safe and protected but were afforded adequate opportunities to fulfil their dreams and ambitions.

The Mahila and Kishori Samman scheme was launched for adolescent girls and women in the age group of 10-45 years coming from BPL families. Under the scheme six-piece packet of sanitary napkins is given every month. About 22.50 lakh women and girls have been benefiting from the scheme.

Similarly, the Mukhya Mantri Doodh Uphaar Scheme has been operating in the state under which fortified flavoured skimmed milk powder is provided to pregnant and lactating mothers at about 26,000 Anganwadi centres.

For their safety in public places a Durga App has been launched, besides the formation of Durga Shakti Vahini, a force that is dedicated to the protection of women. The strength of women in the state police has been hiked from 10 per cent to 15 per cent. In addition, round-the-clock helpline number 1091 has been functional to provide emergency assistance to girls and women.

In order to expedite disposal of cases of crime against women, the government has set up 16 fast track courts so that such incidents did not become examples of “justice delayed is justice denied”.

As many as 31 new women police stations have been set up in the state raising the total number of women police stations to 33. The government has also decided to increase the strength of women police personnel from 10 per cent to 15 per cent
in the state.

Q. There has also been a remarkable improvement in the sex ratio of the state which has risen to 913 in 2020. Please state some of the measures and policies adopted by you in this regard.

A. The National Family Health Survey-5 (2020-21) released recently recorded a 57-point rise in the ‘sex-ratio at birth in the last 5 years (females per 1,000 males) for infant girls in Haryana. The empowerment of women in Haryana has been extensively covered in schemes like “Beti-Bachao, Beti-Padhao,” “Aapki Beti-Humari Beti” and “Ladli.” It not only led to the empowerment of women but also soon saw women excelling in sports like hockey and wrestling and has finally turned the tables on the declining sex ratio in the state.


Q. Please shed light on some of the initiatives undertaken by your government to ensure the promotion of “E-governance” in Haryana. How accessible are these schemes for the common man and the weaker sections of the society?

A. Haryana has taken big strides in e-governance to make the governance accountable, sensitive and corruption free. It has started more than two dozen portals to help people avail themselves of the services provided by the Haryana Government. Haryana is the first state in the country where benefits of 572 government schemes run by 42 departments could be availed of at 18,552 Atal Seva centres and 117 Antyodaya and Saral Seva centres. As many as 30 new portals were initiated in the first year of the present government which included the practice of e-appointment for registration of lands.

For the selection of new government staff, a provision of one-time registration has been made for youths for Group C and Group D jobs. On the CM Window portal, more than 8.12 lakh complaints have been received so far of which 7.76 lakh grievances have been redressed. For farmer E-NAM portal connecting 81 mandis and 225 farmer producers groups.

For school children “Sampark Baithak” mobile application has been initiated to help them study from their homes. An AAS (Auto Appeal System) has been evolved linking 546 services to ensure efficiency and transparency in the delivery system. We have also launched “Web Halris” for the revenue records, besides “Samarpan” for the delivery of services. Such initiatives have been taken to make governance more efficient and transparent.


Q. Please state some of the schemes and initiatives launched by your government for senior citizens, destitute and differently-abled and needy sections of the society.

A. Our government has been following the principle of Antyodaya as enunciated by Shri Deendayal Upadhayaya ji. Under the Mukhya Mantri Antyodaya Parivar Utthan scheme, we have decided to ensure that every family in the state has at least Rs 1.80 lakh as its annual income; and for this, we have already identified 50,000 families.

Under the Mukhya Mantri Parivar Smridhi scheme about 27 lakh poor families have been given Rs 5 lakh annually as medical assistance. During the Covid times, the state government provided free of cost treatment. The Mukhya Mantri Bal Seva scheme for children has been a big success. In the state, there is a facility of free of cost 228 operations and 70 types of the medical test even as 500 medicines are provided free to the patients in various government hospitals. The social security pension has been enhanced to Rs 2500 whereas under the Mukhya Mantri Vivah Shagun scheme Rs 71,000 is offered as a shagun by the government.


Q. Sir, under your visionary leadership, the Haryana government has been very upfront in bringing out the schemes to expand the ambit of its social security cover. Please share in detail.

A. It’s moral and constitutional duty of the government to uplift life standards of poor and backward classes so that they join the mainstream and contribute to the growth of the state This has been the Antyodaya principle of Shri Deendayal Upadhyay ji. To achieve this target the Mukhya Mantri Antyodaya Parivar Utthan scheme was launched under which skill development is undertaken for giving employment opportunities to the needy people.


Q. Under your visionary leadership, the Haryana government has launched a 24×7 portal called ‘Har Samay’ (through which anybody can register the compliant online) for improving the responsiveness of the policing system. You have also started the concept of Zero FIR. Please elaborate.

A. It has been our topmost priority to provide security to people. We have started ‘Har Samay’ portal whereby one can lodge complaint sitting at home. Special steps have been taken to provide security to women for which a special helpline has been launched. FIRs can be registered anywhere in the state while the complainant can monitor progress in follow-up action online.

Building State-Of-The-Art Industrial Infrastructure

Q. Sir, please throw light on the various initiatives undertaken by your government to boost infrastructure in the state.

A. In consonance with the vision of Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi, Haryana has been making diligent and dedicated efforts to develop infrastructure so that the economy gets a boost and moves towards the goal of ‘Atmanirbharta.’ Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (H.S.I.I.D.C.) has played a vital role in promoting all round economic development in the State by providing state-of-the-art industrial infrastructure. H.S.I.I.D.C. has established 36 industrial model townships and industrial estates in an area of 28,540 acres. These include developed industrial, residential, commercial and institutional sites of various sizes comprising several sector specific/theme parks like Badi, Rohtak, Mega Food Park in Rai R Saha, Panchkula and IMT. IT in Manesar Park, Footwear Park in Bahadurgarh and Textile Hub at Panipat are included.

Many new important projects are being developed. These include Global City in Gurugram, Integrated Multi Modal Logistics Park at Narnaul, IMT. Electronics Manufacturing Cluster in Sohna, Vision City in Gurugram, etc. Apart from this, there are many more projects under consideration, including Bulk Drug Park in Hisar, In-Decor City and five new cities under Panchagram region along the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway.

An international horticulture market is being established on 537 acres of land at Ganaur in district Sonepat, where international level facilities for infrastructure, technology, communication and marketing will be available. A Horticulture University is being established in the State to promote the cultivation of fruits, flowers and vegetables. Under this, 4 research centers are also being established. Food parks are being set up in Badi located in district Sonipat and Samalkha of Panipat. In this, an investment of Rs 300 to 400 crore will be made.


Q. We, at AsiaOne, really appreciate the fact that your government has been launching various schemes and policies to boost entrepreneurship in the state. Please elaborate.

A. The government has given many facilities, incentives and discounts to the entrepreneurs to keep the wheel of industries moving with full speed in the state. We know that the Hon’ble Prime Minister had announced that “special focus has been given in the budget to strengthen MSMEs through credit facilitation and technology upgradation initiatives.” Haryana Enterprise Promotion Center has been set up to provide approvals to entrepreneurs under one roof. Now more than 100 industrial clearances of 20 departments can be obtained through portal. All types of permission are being given through this center within 45 days.

To promote micro, small and medium industries, a separate ‘MSME’ has been established in the state. The Department of Foreign Cooperation has been formed to promote employment and investment. By implementing schemes like Saksham Yuva Yojana, Startup India, Skill India, Standup India etc. Haryana has been made a favorable destination for industries and investors.

Haryana has excellent connectivity by air, rail and road. Law and order situation is best. There is enough land in the state. There is no problem of power availability. Haryana has efficient banking and financial services. Hardworking and skilled human resource is available.

The National Capital Region of the state is being made a warehousing and logistics hub. Under this project, implementation of initial ambitious projects like Global Smart City and Mass Rapid Transit System in Gurugram has been started.

Haryana has reached the second position in the Logistics Ease Across Different States Index. Integrated Multi Modal Logistics Hub is being developed in Narnaul, Mahendragarh in an area of 886 acres. It will cost USD 700 million and is being developed in collaboration with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project.

Haryana has excellent connectivity by air, rail and road. At present there are 17 national highways in the state. Today there is no such district in the state which is not connected by National Highway.

We have implemented ‘Haryana Enterprises and Employment Policy-2020’ with the objective of promoting industries on a large scale, creating 5 lakh new jobs, creating investment opportunities of more than Rs 1 lakh crore and exporting to 2 lakh crores in the state.

Haryana Gramin Udyog Vikas Yojana has been started for the development of micro enterprises in rural areas. In order to reduce the ‘Cost of Doing Business’ of the industries, we have implemented a special leasing policy for industrial plots. The State Government has started ‘Padma’ scheme for exporting 140 products in 140 blocks of the state to country and abroad in the direction of uniform industrialization. Under this scheme ‘One Block-One Product’ will be encouraged, which will fetch good price at national and international level for quality products made by skilled people in many villages of the state.

Recently, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited (SMIPL) and Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited have launched I.M.T. An agreement has been signed for allotment of total 900 acres of land in Kharkhoda. This will open a new path of prosperity and prosperity of Kharkhoda and the surrounding region.

Maruti-Suzuki India Limited will set up its new car manufacturing unit on 800 acres of land. The total cost of this project is estimated to be Rs 18,000 crore.

The first phase of this new plant with a manufacturing capacity of 2.5 lakh units per annum is likely to be commissioned by the year 2025. The plant will generate employment opportunities for 11,000 skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled youth.

Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd has also purchased 100 acres of land to set up an integrated manufacturing facility for two wheelers including engines.

The total cost of this project is estimated to be Rs 1,466 crore. This will create employment opportunities for 2,000 skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled youth.

The first phase of this new plant with a manufacturing capacity of 2.5 lakh units per annum is likely to be commissioned by the year 2025. The plant will generate employment opportunities for 11,000 skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled youth.

Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd has also purchased 100 acres of land to set up an integrated manufacturing facility for two wheelers including engines. The total cost of this project is estimated to be Rs 1,466 crore. This will create employment opportunities for 2,000 skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled youth.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Gurudev’s emphasis on mental health has acquired all the more relevance in the ongoing pandemic. In today’s world torn with stress and conflict, edging towards a potential pandemic of mental health illnesses in the times to come by (as per the global estimates), the contribution of an Indian leader in bringing happiness and peace in the lives of millions of people is revolutionary and commendable.


Born in a small village called Papanasam, 25 kms from the city of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu on 13th May 1956, Gurudev was a prodigious child. At the age of 4, he astonished his teachers by seamlessly reciting verses from the ‘Bhagavad Gita,’ an ancient Hindu scripture. His Sanskrit teacher was Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. His peaceful brilliance drew teachers and students alike, to him even at school, who would often seek his guidance and support. Owing to his academic performance, he received double promotions too. But sports and movies did not interest him much. From a young age, he would be found deep in meditation. He would often be seen resolving fights among children, who were sometimes several years older to him. Gurudev studied at St. Josephs College, Bengaluru. As a scholar in Vedic literature with a degree in modern science, he has always maintained that science and spirituality were never in conflict with each other in the orient.


Gurudev’s commitment to peace and conflict resolution, a glimpse of which we see in his childhood, led to several meaningful interventions. Gurudev has endeavoured to foster peace and hold space for dialogue across nations, organizations and communities. He has lead conflict resolution and trauma-relief programmes in many countries, including Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Mauritius, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the United States of America. Gurudev emphasizes that “the first thing in a conflict is a communication breakdown. Second, there is a trust deficit. If we can bridge these somehow, then the process begins. Inside every culprit is a victim crying for help. If you heal the victim, the culprit disappears.”


His teachings can be experientially integrated into life, working through exploration instead of imposition. This explains why they work well especially for those in the heart of a conflict. They have benefited the genocide facing Yezidi community in Syria, eased inter-communal tensions in Iraq, and stopped gang wars in Ivory Coast. Gurudev has found global acceptance across wide political spectrum, working continuously with people on all sides of a conflict, the victim and the perpetrator, the law enforcer and the outlawed. In Kashmir, Northeast India, Ivory-coast, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Colombia, Middle East among other places – Gurudev has created safe spaces for dialogue to flourish, in spite of stiff uncomfortable resistance. He is renowned for his caregiver approach to mediation which finds trust among stakeholders. To cite an example, when tension in Iraq soared in 2008, Gurudev met leaders on all sides (Shia, Sunni and Kurds among others). Peace observers say that he is one of the very few world leaders to have been able to do this at the time of conflict. “In any long-drawn conflict, the victim tends to turn an oppressor and the oppressor becomes a victim. A broader vision and spiritual understanding alone can break this vicious cycle,” he says. His efforts helped end a bloody 52-year-old conflict between the FARC and the Columbian establishment. He has hosted a series of trust enhancing interventions in J&K, providing all the stakeholders to voice their opinion in an effort to restore peace in the valley.


In 1981, Gurudev established the Art of Living along with the first free school ‘Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth’ in Bengaluru. In 1982, after 10 days of silence, Gurudev cognized one of the most unique offering to the world – Sudarshan Kriya, a powerful breathing technique that simplifies – mental, emotional and social wellbeing. He says, “In sleep, we get rid of fatigue, but the deeper stresses remain in our body. Sudarshan Kriya cleanses the system from the inside. The breath has a great secret to offer.” The first Art of Living program was conducted in Shimoga, Karnataka in 1982. Nurtured by his care and contribution, the Art of Living has rapidly grown in 156 countries, spreading peace and happiness to over 450 million people. He has designed 57 exclusive courses that empower individuals and cater to the social, material and spiritual needs of each social strata. To bring up a generation of peace-loving and well-educated individuals, Gurudev has worked towards bringing holistic education to every corner of the country. In the area of education, what started with reviving a single school has grown to a movement involving 702 free schools under ‘Gift a Smile’ program which provides free education and food to more than 80,000 children in remote, rural and tribal parts of India. 90% of these children are first generation learners.


During the onset of an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, thousands of people lost their loved ones. To help millions move through the trying times during the pandemic, Gurudev launched the World Meditates campaign and personally conducted online guided meditation twice daily touching the life of millions by bringing solace, helping people build mental resilience, find semblance of peace and keeping the hope alive. The Art of Living also pioneered the ‘I stand with humanity initiative’ – providing more than 80 million meals to the daily wage earners in over 170 cities across India. The service initiative during the pandemic included the distribution of 6000 tons of food to 5 million families. It helped set up 7 covid care hospitals and provided over 2000 PPE kits. Trauma relief programs were also conducted for more than 1 million migrant laborers and covid warriors to bring mental relief to combat stress and anxiety during such times.


He has received numerous awards from all over the globe including the highest civilian award of Columbia, Mongolia and Paraguay. He is also the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards & 23 honorary doctorates globally.



We all know about Tunisia’s wonderful beaches, but do you know about its fascinating culture and wealth of history? In fact, Tunisia is like an open-air museum, with ancient treasures to explore wherever you look. It’s a great choice for combining a beach holiday with sightseeing

By His Excellency Mr. Nabil Ben Khedher, Ambassador of Tunisia to the United Kingdom

No matter whether you prefer a pure beach holiday or wandering around monuments from the Roman times, Tunisia the northernmost African country has it all. It is an oasis of historical sites, beautiful landscapes, picturesque beaches and rich in culture. The country has remained alive in history for thousands of years with many UNESCO World Heritage Sites just waiting to be explored. It’s time to plan your holiday in Tunisia!


1. Several UNESCO World Heritage

Sites Tunisia has no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are all well worth visiting. These are: the Amphitheatre of El Jem (1979), Kerkouane, (1985), Dougga (1997), Kairouan (1988), Medina of Sousse (1988), Medina of Tunis (1979), the Site of Carthage (1979) and Ichkeul National Park (1980).

2. Legacy of diverse cultures through the ages

 Due to its strategic position,Tunisia has been home to many great civilisations, throughout its 3000- year history. These include: the Berbers (the original inhabitants of Tunisia), Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Ottomans and Europeans.

3. Discover the great Empire of Carthage

Tunisia was the cradle of the Empire of Carthage, founded in 814 BC and the homeland of Hannibal, the famous hero who challenged Rome. It was also the birthplace of Magon, the first agronomist and winegrower, whose legacy is still in use today in Tunisia’s wine industry..

4. Kairouan: The first capital of the Maghreb

Away from the coast, in a landscape of steppes, Kairouan is a fascinating city still anchored in a distant past. One of Islam’s holy cities, it was the first capital of the Maghreb. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, it conceals several marvels: the medina, the venerable Great Mosque, the Aghlabid Basins, the stunning mausoleum of SidiSahbi decorated with ceramic tiles… And of course it is impossible to forget the numerous workshops where the most famous knotted pile carpets in Tunisia are made.

5. Explore Roman sites and see beautiful mosaics

Tunisia thrived under the Romans! They stayed in the country for 6 centuries. Their majestic remains are well preserved, such as the coliseum of El Jem, the third largest in the Roman Empire, the opulent city of Douggaand the brightly coloured mosaics, which are on display in the Bardo Museum

6. Experience the Berber culture and way of life

The indigenousTunisian people, the Berbers, always lived on the edge of the space of those who invaded the country, but lived peacefully alongside them. Still today, they live in the rocky desert in the south east, following the lifestyle and traditions of their ancestors. They are famous for their troglodyte houses, hilltop villages and collective, fortified granaries known as Ksour, which stock their scarce food supply.


Tunisia has pretty much something for all its guests, especially families. Tunisia is one of the perfect family holiday destination. All the leading operators to Tunisia include family options.


Spa facilities are now something of a holiday essential. A wide range of treatments are available and there is plenty of quiet relaxation and luxury pampering.


Dynamic seniors represent an important niche for Tunisia especially during low & shoulder seasons. They are looking for:

  1. An affordable winter in the sun while escaping the British cold winters. Winter in Tunisia is mild. 17C is average temperature. Excursions to different places of interest become popular. For some, Tunisia becomes a second home during their long stays.
  2. Outdoor activities: all hotels in Tunisia are beach front and very close to activity spots such as Golf courses If you’re staying in Hammamet there are 2 fabulous golf courses ( Yasmine & Citrus) about 5 miles away , Green fees are very reasonably priced dotted with comfortable clubhouses. They can play golf all year round.
  3. Many of them love Nature! There are 17 natural parks and 27 natural reserves which continue to stir the curiosity of visitors among them Ichkeul National Park which has been added to the World Heritage List since 1980. Tunisia is a haven for a large number of migratory birds from Europe and Africa. This makes it as a well-known Birdwatching destination. Also, among the uniqueness of Tunisia is that a very visible landscape contrast from the green mountains of the North to the Sahara Desert compressed in a tiny piece of land called Tunisia


The uniqueness about Tunisia’s desert is that visitors rarely have to travel too far to get there. They can take a two day trip excursion, spend an overnight in a desert inn or opt for a longer stay under a bivouac tent or in a camp The Saharan scenery will certainly live up to everyone’s image of a desert landscape! It could be rocky where the incredible Berber villages, which have been carved out of the rocky crags they hang to and strange fortified Ksours granaries built by nomadic tribes to keep their food supply in. Or it could be sandy characterised by the golden and soft sand dunes. There is also bizarre salt lakes as Chotts which are seasonal lakes – dry for most of the year – The most famous one is Chott El Jerid. There are also, three types of Oases, Maritime in the North East of the desert, the Sandy oases planted with palm trees and mountain oases in the North West of the Desert.


Tunisia has a rich cuisine, inspired by the many diverse cultures that have lived over its long history – from the Berbers and Carthaginians to the Romans, the Ottomans to the French. This journey is not only a journey around Tunisia, but also a voyage of discovery, basking into its rich past. The capital of Tunis is a great place to start our gastronomic journey. The ancient medina, with its labyrinth of narrow streets and entrancing souks, is the ideal place to sample one of the bespoken Tunisia’s street food speciality – brik a l’oeuf, egg encased in flaky filo pastry, its runny yolk providing a perfect contrast to the crisp pastry. Wine making in Tunisia dates back some 2000 years to the famous Carthaginian agronomist, Magon, after whom one of the country’s most famous wines is named. There has been a recent resurgence in wine making and you can try delicious local tipples including light rosés, sparkling whites and rich reds – the perfect way to reflect on a busy day’s sightseeing or a lazy day at the beach! Nabeul, close to the popular resort of Hammamet, is famous for its peppers and, therefore, one of Tunisia’s most important culinary delights – harissa – introduced by the Berbers. This Tunisian chilli paste is used to flavour everything from couscous to spicy seafood pasta, and is often served on its own as a condiment or as an appetiser with freshly baked bread with a dash of olive oil. Wherever you choose to visit during your holiday in Tunisia, the local cuisine is sure to be a highlight – as well as an introduction to the rich history of the country


By Paola Martani

My formula for a human achieving greatness is amor fati: the desire to accept things as they are, now, in the future, in the past, and for all of eternity. My formula is not only to bear, and certainly not to conceal, what is necessary (after all idealism is only mendacity in the face of what is necessary), but to love it.”

With these words, Nietzsche references a concept that unifies time and space, flies over snow capped mountains and salty seas, and encompasses centuries of different traditions. An invisible chain of these ideas can be traced from ancient Greece, during the first century after Christ, across the Asian steppe, and to the Japanese islands of the Heian period. However, this knowledge exists not only in the past, but surrounds our present and elongates itself into all our futures. It is like a life preserver thrown to us lost in the constant tide of events of modern life, in which merely stopping and breathing for a moment feels like an impossible luxury.

Modern society is like being on a racetrack where the minimum speed required is 100 kilometers per hour, and where the minimum requirements to stay in the race are achieving unattainable perfections of one form or another: a perfect body, a perfect career, and a perfect family. There is no forgiveness of any imperfections or missteps in this insane race. While change in all things is an inescapable law of the universe, this fundamental postulate of Mother Nature is in direct opposition to the unreachable ideals of the societies we have created.

While the notion of ‘perfection’ denotes a state of completeness, the continuous and perpetual movement of nature is testament that nothing can ever really be complete. In other words, all things are impermanent, incomplete and above all, imperfect. Consider the beauty of the passage of the seasons in the painted dance of colours, shapes, and emotions; the moments of inner sadness that allow us to see happiness; the tears that give meaning to smiles; the strangeness and peculiarity of the ‘inaccurate’ choices made an artist’s brush to attempt to capture the rarity of an entrancing flower. It is these smears of life, and the impossibility of perfection, that tell a story worth listening to.

The narrative repeatedly imposed on us by modern society to achieve the phantom of permanent happiness distracts us from the joy of savouring the gloriously imperfect journey of life. A futile search for an unobtainable complete happiness, in which we imagine we can finally feel complete, causes us to lose days, months, years, and sometimes our entire life; wasting our time to achieve the impossible only results in profound dissatisfaction and frustration. What then is the answer? Is there any way to achieve the happiness we desire so much?

One approach could be that instead of praying for perfection, it would be better to understand that achieving the chimera of completeness is a natural impossibility. Furthermore, wasting a life in an attempt to achieve an imagined utopia actually crushes the thrust and joy of existence which should actually stem from striving for a state of contentment in the here and now. This contentment comes from an acceptance, rather than a sense of dissatisfaction, of what life actually provides us with, even if sometimes it does not conform to what we would like. We should instead glorify imperfection as a natural condition that allows us to burst into smiles of happiness after moments of tears, in the awareness that to achieve genuine completeness we should strive to be as we are in each distinct moment. Instead of wishing for an unobtainable perfection, we should strive for the ability to love each other on every step of our journey. The key word is acceptance. We must accept life as it is; accept ourselves; accept the air that enters the lungs and allows us to breathe.


It is this philosophy of acceptance that I want to write about today. These are ideas that stem from the mountain paths of Japan, which run over the peaks of Dewa Sanzan where everything is silent except the chirping of birds and the gurgling of streams. The philosophy stems from a place of pilgrimage for those in search of rebirth of body, spirit, and mind, where in the steep paths one can hear the unbroken whispered mantra ‘Uketamo’ – ‘I humbly accept with an open heart’.

The Yamabushi, the wandering monks who submit themselves to a harsh mountain life in their search for truth, immerse themselves in nature and hours of walking. By foregoing speech, they are more completely immersed in the experience of the moment that surrounds every nuance. Whether it is the tiredness of their muscles in each step of their climb, the refreshment that the icy water of the waterfalls brings to their tired bodies, or the relief they feel when they arrive at the shukubo, or ancient huts, each moment is considered a chance to breathe the pulse of existence and to embrace the truth that the sooner one can learn to accept the good and the bad that comes one’s way, the sooner one is able to reach freedom and true growth.

Profound awareness and acceptance of the present moment that the Yamabushi strive to achieve allows freedom from the suffering produced by the constant desire to be better. The Yamabushi understand that true individual growth comes from complete immersion and involvement in the challenges that are encountered on the path of life.

That said, it should be made clear that Uketamo, as with the stoic notion of amor fati and the essential characteristic of Nietzsche’s superman, does not merely denote a simple acceptance of destiny or fate. In other words, there is no sense of just resigning oneself to what happens, and neither is the concept just suggesting we should necessarily say ‘yes’ to a path designed by others or by a superior entity. Instead, Uketamo represents an unconditional love for life, for one’s being, for one’s choices. It is love for being part of a world full of mistakes, attempts and imperfections. It is the love of living through moments of joy and moments of chaos and shadow. It is the affection we feel for ourselves. It can be seen in the gaze that a mother has for her child as she learns by experiencing life in successes and difficulties with tenderness and understanding. It is self-acceptance and acceptance of one’s position in the world by both striving to continuously improve our lives, but also being proud of every step we take. It is saying yes to life in all its forms, and understanding that the much-desired enlightenment and completeness, the famous ethos of Zen, is not a state of total tranquility, but rather a living through every single moment within the terms of that moment: an acceptance of the imperfect flow of life.

The lesson of Uketamo is to accept and be grateful for where you are at all times. It is a process of building a better future through the liberation of pandering to the illusion that you will only be happy tomorrow. Through Uketamo, the goals set are achieved through a constant process of rejoicing and constructing the dream in the present.

This idea is not new, or connected only with one part of the world, but is narrated in every global latitude and longitude throughout history. However, due to being overwhelmed by the constant lie promoted today that leads us to believe that we will be happy ‘only when….’, this truth is continually being lost in the illusionary fog of the belief that there will be a day when we will reach perfection. This fixation on a mirage of an imagined better future means we live through the gray of a series of ‘mediocre’ days. By not paying sufficient attention to the present, we lose the bright colours available to those who know how to stop and enjoy them.

Thus, mindful of the teaching that permeates this land, I fly through history and from West to the East. I pause in a Ryoanji temple in 17th century Kyoto to contemplate an ancient inscription on a tsukubai stone. Four characters that by themselves are meaningless, but when truly seen their intended context, and when combined with the edges of the central square, reveal their meaning ware tada taru wo shiru (I only know contentment).


Contentment granted by the acceptance of what I am in the present as I truly look at myself and feel gratitude for what I am and have.

Uketamo teaches us that the root of all unhappiness arises from spending all our waking hours gazing into the distant future and so looking ‘out of our lives’. We search for what we are missing, instead of opening our eyes to the present and realising what we already hold in our hands.

Acceptance of what one is creates gratitude. This gratitude creates contentment, and this contentment creates a desire to improve oneself with full confidence that one can grow more by becoming aware. Accepting includes the intention to action in the future, while constantly and continuously finding true happiness in the present. Perhaps there is such a thing as perfection and complete beauty, and perhaps that perfection is every moment of every day.

Uketamo is a smile that no longer needs to be saved for a chimeric tomorrow. It is living today for today. It is because my heart is beating at this moment. It is because I want to hear those beats at the moment.



Located in the North West of Africa, the Kingdom of Morocco covers an area of 710,850 square kilometers along with over 3,500 km coastline overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Mediterranean in the north. Landscape diversity, local colour, and artistic heritage make the country a mosaic of distinctive cultural regional features

By His Excellency Mr. Abderrahim Rahhaly, Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco to the Kingdom of Thailand

A Land of Diversity, Morocco enjoys a wide range of architecture with traditional tile work available in such long-standing historical cities as Fez, Meknes, Salé, Rabat and others. Despite its modern transformation, Morocco has never lost sight of its deep-rooted traditions. The magical Medina (old city) is a testimony of the traditional Moroccan heritage embedded in people’s daily life. Cities such as Rabat, Fez, Tetouan, Essaouira and Marrakech, have been registered as World Heritage by UNESCO.


Tourists travelling to Morocco can enjoy a wide range of historical monuments such as the outstanding Mausoleum of Mohammed V built opposite to the remarkable Hassan Tower that dates back to many centuries. Standing in Casablanca, Hassan II Mosque is the largest worshiping facility in Africa, half of which is built on sea water over the Atlantic Ocean.

Throughout monuments such as Volubilis (Roman city), Lixus and Chellah, the visitor will experience moments of ancient history of long-lived civilisations with different cultural influences. UNESCO has listed Volubilis and Chellah archeological sites as World Heritage.

Morocco also has a tremendous geographic variety of mountains, beaches, desert and sand dunes. Thanks to its situation in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, Morocco enjoys mild weather in the West and a fairly warm climate southward. The Atlas chain of mountains offers rainy and snowing seasons.

Deep in the South, the city of Dakhla offers an overwhelming combination of golden sand dunes and a magnificent beach that surfers from all over the world visit to practice kite surfing. Nowadays, the city is hosting kite-surfing contests and World Cup Championships.

Merzouga city is known worldwide for its Sahara landscape where tourists can experience a magically unique sunrise in the desert.


The Moroccan identity encompasses a broad spectrum of blended cultural backgrounds of Arab, Berber and Saharan-Hassanic components, nourished and enriched by African, Andalusian, Hebraic and Mediterranean hallmarks.

The Kingdom is home to vivid culture and traditions. Many Moroccan cultural celebrations take place in different regions in Morocco, such as Tan-Tan festival, which is an annual gathering of people. During the festival, people from many areas come together to socialise and enjoy local music (Guedra), local dancing choreography (Ragues) and Camel race. UNESCO listed the Tan-Tan Festival as an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005, and it was placed on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.

The amazing Cherry Festival is celebrated each year in Sefrou, a town close to the city of Fez, to appreciate the natural glamour of Sefrou, where the Moroccan “Cherry Queen/beauty pageant” is selected among many young ladies of the region. Sefrou is known for its cherry fruit grown by local farmers.

The Marrakech International Film Festival is one of the outstanding cinematographic and cultural events that take place in the city of Marrakech. The film festival welcomes and pays tribute to national and international movie stars and actors who made great artistic performances during their career. The festival jury also gives a special recognition to young movie directors for their short films.

Traditional craftsmanship and design are one of the deep-rooted cultural heritages of the Kingdom of Morocco. Multiple materials are finely hand woven using traditional tools and techniques to make decorative commodities such as table, furniture, jewellery and clothing. Rabat, Fez and Tetouan are some of the cities that offer a wide range of Moroccan handicrafts, including rugs and carpets for different purposes.

Morocco is known for its authentic farming products such as argan oil, saffron, the prickly pear, rosewater and orange blossom water. UNESCO in 2014 listed the Moroccan know how relevant to the Argan tree as Intangible Cultural Heritage.

As to gastronomy, Moroccan cuisine is diverse with its wide range of flavours and ingredients cumulated over centuries as an outcome of longstanding culinary inputs of many civilisations that lived in Morocco. Many of these dishes are known worldwide. In 2020, the UNESCO listed “Moroccan Couscous” dish on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list in recognition of the know-how and the peculiar recipe.


Morocco is one of the leading destinations for international tourists travelling to Africa. It ranks among the top three most visited countries in the continent thanks to its natural assets, and increasingly modern air connectivity, road and sea transport network.

Being a crossroad between Africa and Europe, Morocco offers tourism opportunities to travellers coming from Europe using less than three hours’ flights. The “Open Sky” agreement signed in 2005 between the Kingdom of Morocco and the European Union helped further enhance the tourist area and national economy.

In its policy aimed at facilitating access to the Kingdom of Morocco, online electronic visa (e-Visa) has been granted since July 2022 to tourists and businessmen wishing to visit the country, including Thai citizens who can apply online using the application platform (www.accè

In its efforts to promote tourism, the Government has adopted a policy through four main programmes: Seaside Tourism – Azur 2020, Cultural Tourism, Sustainable Tourism, and National Tourism. Azur 2020 aims at enhancing beaches and building additional entertainment environment friendly facilities.

Cultural Tourism focuses on highlighting the Kingdom’s tangible and intangible heritage.

Through Sustainable Tourism, the Government is investing in tourist infrastructure that ensures developing the national economy but accommodating environment protection. To this purpose, Morocco aims at developing the first “carbon free” tourist destination in Africa. As to National Tourism, Moroccan citizens are offered encouraging hotel rates and incentives to make them enjoy stays in many regions during national holidays and events.



Budapest makes visitors return time after time, with each new visit bringing even deeper and more complex colours and flavours to them. The Hungarian capital has something new for every 365 days of the year. Its iconic attractions, the city’s rich history, its bustling and cosmopolitan atmosphere, and the diversity of Pest and Buda, all tempt us to discover it

By His Excellency Mr. Sándor Sipos, Ambassador of Hungary to Thailand

Budapest is really exciting and ever moving no matter what time of year you visit. Each of its corners hides a special place that’s why it is almost impossible to enlist everything that is worth doing, seeing, and tasting. Explore the capital city and visit the country’s iconic attractions – many of which are World Heritage Sites – to see for yourself that Budapest is a truly picturesque city.


Among the iconic sights, the Castle District is on the top of the list, not least because of its impressive architecture, rich historical past, and the panoramic views that unfold before you. One of the most outstanding sights in this district is the Fisherman’s Bastion, which offers you stunning panorama and the chance to take fabulous photos of the city. To make the moment unforgettable, visit the Matthias Church, which is full of surprises, mysteries and treasure. The church has a breathtaking interior with colours inspired by orientalism and romantic historicism. Its mystically exotic atmosphere paired with neo gothic features differentiates it from any other church. To finish your visit in this part of the city, below the Buda Castle, you can find Budapest’s unique jewellery box, the Várkert Bazár, a distinctive work of architecture offering an experience of history, culture, and nature all at the same time.

The Parliament on the Pest side bank of the Danube gives you an excellent start to explore the other part of the city, along with Kossuth Square, which should be on every traveller’s bucket list. The third largest Parliament in the world is richly decorated inside and outside and was inspired by the Houses of Parliament in London, thus, it was designed in neo-gothic style, although it also bears Renaissance and Baroque stylistic flourishes. Talking about religious sights, the largest church in the city, the St Stephen Basilica, in the heart of the city centre has a jaw-dropping view of the narrow streets of the city centre.

World-famous footballer Ferenc Puskás rests here, and it has provided backdrop for Hollywood blockbusters. Moreover, the Dohány Street Synagogue of Budapest is not only the largest Hebrew temple of Europe, but its surroundings are like a small island with a fabulous atmosphere, full of exhibitions, synagogues, cemeteries, and memorials.

Continuing our trip in the city centre, on the enchanting boulevard, on Andrássy Avenue, we can encounter the gigantic building of the Hungarian State Opera. British online magazine The Telegraph selected it as one of the world’s most beautiful concert venues. There, you can get on the Metro Line M1, which is the oldest underground railway in the continental Europe, and experience the unparalleled beauty of the metro stations.

Speaking of the squares and parks in the capital city of Hungary, the Heroes’ Square comes to everybody’s mind at first. It is famous not only for its group of sculptures depicting archangels and the greats of Hungarian history: the square is also flanked by the Art Gallery on one side and the Museum of Fine Arts on the other, which often host exciting exhibitions. Behind the Square, you can find a fairytale building, hidden among the trees, the so-called Vajdahunyad Castle in the City Park, which is today home to the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture. The castle was built on an island and can be accessed via one of four bridges.


In the middle of the City Park, The House of Music Hungary, a unique and complex institution of musical initiation and the venue for the country’s first comprehensive exhibition presenting the history of music, opened in January 2022. Although Hungary is famed for its musical heritage, no multi-faceted exhibition presenting the history of Hungarian music in the context of European music had been hosted in any Hungarian institution exhibition before this one.

The iconic building, designed by Japanese star architect Sou Fujimoto, was selected from among 170 international projects, and since the announcement of the design as the winner of the architectural competition, it has attracted massive attention in international professional circles. This is confirmed, for example, by the fact that in early 2021 it was listed by CNN and the World Architecture Community as one of the ten most anticipated new buildings of the year.


Budapest does not let you leave without trying out the specialities of the country. You cannot skip Vásárcsarnok, Budapest’s Great Market Hall. The historic building hosts an extensive array of traditional Hungarian flavours and delights, ranging from fresh local produce, cuts of meat, down to artisanal crafts and memorabilia.

Have you ever thought of trying out the oil pressed from various seeds in western Hungary? Looking for home made honey? The market hall is a must on any checklist, and it is a bustling location that will have you immersed in exploration for hours.

You are probably hungry by now and this day should be no exception for discovering yet another incredibly flavourful traditional Hungarian dish. The options are abundant whether you prefer high-end service or the local version of the corner diner where locals go in their lunchtime to eat. After the meal, it is always a good idea to have a coffee. Just a few minutes from the Vásárcsarnok is New York Café where you can enjoy sophisticated brews and gastronomy in opulent, aristocratic surroundings.

After a long walk in the freezing cold, it never hurts to relax. Budapest is famous all over the world for its thermal spas because water comes naturally warm to the surface, thus offering good-quality thermal water to the guests.

The Széchenyi Spa is Budapest’s largest thermal bath and is worth a visit, as is the Rudas Spa at the foot of Gellért Hill, with its rooftop hot pool offering a beautiful view of the city. At the foot of Gellért Hill is the Gellért Bath, which is also very popular and one of the oldest baths in Budapest with more than 1,500 thermal springs.



From the towering Tatra Mountains in the south to the wild Baltic Sea in the north, Poland is filled with vibrant locations known for their splendid heritage, mouthwatering cuisine and stunning architecture. Poland is home to numerous attractions and landmarks that are sure to delight visitors from all over the world. A getaway to Poland will keep everyone happy — from beach-goers and hiking fans to city break lovers

By His Excellency Mr. Waldemar Dubaniowski, Ambassador of Poland to Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos

The country’s secret lies in the evident diversity between its regions and cities, each of which is waiting to tell a unique story. It’s time to be captivated by Poland’s pristine nature, fascinating history and diverse traditions.


Modern-day Warsaw is a vibrant metropolis where history meets the latest technology, contemporary art and architecture. Warsaw is not only one of Poland’s major business centres, but also has a rich history, lively culture and a number of renowned universities, attracting an increasing number of tourists, students, artists and business people.

Poland’s capital is full of opportunities and attractions, enabling everyone to get to know Warsaw in their own way. The city’s diversity is a perfect metaphor for the journey Poland has gone through over many centuries. Warsaw is a city of contrasts — between glittering skyscrapers and the historic Old Town, traditional Polish dishes and international cuisine and its many green zones with its urban landscape.


The historic capital, Krakow, was once home to Polish kings. Now, it is one of Central Europe’s most popular spots for travellers and an important centre of art, commerce, and culture. Krakow is Poland’s second-largest city, blending an international atmosphere with a cosy vibe, in one charming, well-balanced destination. Thanks to its long history and rich cultural heritage, there are countless hidden gems throughout the city.

Monuments, extraordinary attractions, a mix of architectural styles, green spaces and exceptional cuisine — Krakow has it all! It’s full of precious historical buildings, art and urban legends that offer an amazing variety of experiences and fun things to do. One of the most unforgettable of Krakow’s many attractions is Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter. This charming district is quite distinct from the rest of the city, giving it a unique and fascinating charm all of its own. A one-day trip to Wieliczka salt mine, a historic monument entered on the UNESCO list, allows one to discover an incredible realm of underground corridors and chambers cut out in rock salt.


Poland’s Baltic coast area is lined with stunning sandy beaches. One thing that makes this area unique is the presence of natural amber along the shore. Amber, which comes from the resin of the area’s pine trees that has solidified over thousands of years, is praised as much for its beauty as for its metaphysical properties. Visitors can spend their time on the Amber Coast relaxing by the sea, listening to waves and watching seagulls. Those who prefer a more active trip will not be disappointed by the offerings here. Horseback riding is a popular and exciting way to enjoy the area’s beauty. The water here is also ideal for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and swimming. City break lovers can visit the so-called Tricity, which consists of three coastal cities — Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia — that together create a single metropolitan area. With over 1,000 years of tradition and history, Gdansk contrasts with the smaller, quieter Sopot and the young port city of Gdynia, creating a perfect seaside resort. Attracting tourists from all over the world, Tricity is bustling with life throughout the whole year.


The Tatras are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains, with the highest point scraping the sky at 2499 metres. The range is rugged and truly alpine in character with a mass of picturesque valleys, man-made clearings, pastures, caves, lakes, peaks and mountain passes. The choice of hiking trails is remarkable here: from easier short walks along the valleys and foothills, to highly challenging trails in the high mountains. The Tatra National Park is a beautiful and natural home to the amazingly abundant local flora and fauna. The vibrant culture, rich traditions, and original cuisine of the highlanders living at the foothills of the Tatra inspire to discover and learn more about this most fascinating region.


The Mazury region, located near the Lithuanian border, has been dubbed the “Land of A Thousand Lakes” thanks to the presence of thousands of lakes all interconnected via canals and other small waterways. These lakes are popular with kayakers and boaters vacationing in Poland. Many of the lakes have harbours dotted with pubs, small shops, and eateries. Others are more secluded, practically hidden inside thick trees and vegetation, and are sure to thrill nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Poland is a top destination for travellers looking to enjoy the great outdoors while on vacation in Europe. The country’s stunning lakes, beautiful seaside, mountain ranges and dramatic forests provide the backdrop for a fun-filled stay.

Whether in the mountains or by the sea, you can be sure to experience traditional Polish hospitality, which is expressed in our national proverb “Guest at home, God at home.” The magic of Polish flavours and tastes awaits to be discovered – let yourself be enchanted.



The Republic of Haiti, given its historical and cultural legacy, continues to be perceived and cherished for the perspective of human rights and dignity it stands for. Among other physical points of interest, the Haitian roots, culture, rare and unique history constitute the archil hills that should trigger tourists’ curiosity

By His Excellency Mr. M. Euvrard Saint Amand Ambassador of the Republic of Haiti to the United Kingdom

Formerly nicknamed Quisqueya, the island of Haiti was inhabited by Indians before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 in America. Decimated because of forced labour due to slavery, the Indians were later replaced by black Africans torn from the African continent via the transatlantic slave trade of European colonizers who competed for control of the island.


Haiti became a colony of France for more than three centuries. It provided the raw materials that enriched the economy of the major cities of France including Paris, Bordeaux, and Nantes. In 1791, African slaves began the revolution that followed the abolition of slavery in 1794, as reported by several historians, such as Thomas Madiou. When Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte

decided to re-establish slavery in Saint Domingue (Haiti’s former name) in 1802, the slaves got united to free themselves. They defeated the largest European army of that time and gave birth to the world’s first free black nation-state in January 1804. Frightened by the subversive idea that a republic should be ruled by blacks, the Western states of the time diplomatically and economically isolated Haiti. For instance: the Vatican waited until 1860 to establish ties with Haiti, which is a country officially declared Catholic. In addition, the United States of America, despite secretly trading with Haiti, recognized Haiti in 1862, during the Civil War that caused the abolition of slavery in the United States. After its independence, which has been penalized by the international community, especially French, Haiti played an exemplary role in the quest for freedom in the region and in the world. The, then, international context and the repeated threats from France to re-establish slavery into the former colony triggered the fathers’ founders of that new nation to build multiple fortresses within most of the country’s mountains to defend the territory in case of any assault. Today, those fortresses are considered, alongside with the beautiful beaches, the most visited touristic sites in Haiti. From those fortresses, the great, mysterious, majestic, and marvellous CITADELLE LAFERRIERE is among the world’s most beautiful buildings and had been recognised as world’s heritage by the UNESCO

Moreover, Haiti provided considerable assistance in ammunition and strategies to the revolutionaries. of Latin America, in particular Gran Colombia – composed of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama – from Francisco de Miranda in late 1805 and then to Simon Bolivar. The Republic of Haiti contributed to the independence of Greece from the Ottoman Empire in 1822. Although they started to fight on 25th March 1821, which is their independence date, as a sign of recognition to Haiti’s support, the Greeks declared their independence on 1st January, like Haiti, and adopted the same national motto of Haiti’s war of independence “freedom or death.” Similarly, at the United Nations conference in February 1945 in Yalta, which France did not attend, Haiti allowed the French language to become, like the English language, a working language at the United Nations on April 27, 1945.RégisDebray in Haiti and France. Report to Dominique de Villepin, Minister of Foreign Affairs (Round Table, Paris 2004) reports the words of Georges Bidault, president of the French delegation, to Haitian diplomats: “France owes you an eternal gratitude”. Historians recall that Haiti was an emblematic figure in the debates on decolonization. Haiti has actively participated in the process of Africa’s independence in terms of human’s resource and knowledgetransfers. This historical presentation highlights the attachment of the Republic of Haiti to the humanist values of liberty, equality, justice, solidarity, and selfdetermination. These values are the foundation carried by the Haitian Revolution of January 1, 1804, as a starting point in the quest for freedom throughout the world.


Haitian culture is refined and abundant. Indeed, Creole is the most popular language in Haiti alongside the French language which is used as an academic and administrative language. Vodou, far from being only a religion, is the crucible of the model of social organization, identity, and resilience of the Haitian people in the face of formidable circumstances. Creole and Vodou both played a decisive role in the birth of Haiti. They are, to repeat LaënnecHurbon, “processes of self-reconstruction through the re-creation of new symbolic networks taken from Africa and subject to reinterpretation…” (Vodou and the Haitian Revolution, LaënnecHurbon). Geographically, Haiti forms the western three-eighths of the island of Hispaniola, west of the Dominican Republic and located east of the neighbouring island of Cuba, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The plate where Haiti is located is constantly jostled and crushed by tectonic movements caused by the rush between the North American plate, the Cocos plate, the South American plate, and the Nazca plate. Despite its fragile location, Haiti has an important relief that makes it an excellent touristic and culinary destination. The Haitian gastronomy is one of the best tastes in the world with every single dish being organic and fresh. Alongside with the national dishes which consist of RICE AND BEANS-LALEAU or GRIOTBANANE PESEE-PIKLIZ (fried Pork-fried plantain- chilly sauce), the remarkable and delicious SOUP JOUMOU (pumpkin soup) which is mostly consumed throughout the country every 1st January to celebrate the independence, had been recognized as world’s cultural heritage by the UNESCO in 2022. Finally, with its sublime landscapes, composed of waterfalls, caves, forests, mountains and magnificent beaches, voodoo practices, colorful naïve art and culture, Haiti has always fascinated all its visitors and remain a rare and unique experience for tourists from everywhere on the planet.


Haiti has numerous historical and tourist attractions. Some of the prominent centres of attraction as listed below.

1. The MUPANAH Museum in the city of Port-au-Prince

Built partially underground, this museum displays artefacts illustrating Haiti’s history with an emphasis on its revolutionary years and its political and cultural forefathers. Get up close to artefacts from a Colombus ship, slave shackles, murder weapons and the bell that rang in independence.

2. Île-à-Vache

Thissmall island in the Caribbean Sea is a commune in Haiti that extends over nearly 46 km2. Île-àVache, which was a den of pirates in the seventeenth century, including Captain Morgan, is a real little corner of paradise where nature imposes itself and cars have no place.

3. The Coast of the Arcadins

Located on the western shores ofHaiti, Les Côte des Arcadins in Montrouis, Haiti is a popular destination to travelers worldwide. The area is home to five gorgeous resorts: Kaliko Beach, Wahoo Bay, Ouanga Bay, Moulin Sur Mer and Royal Decameron All Inclusive Resort and Spa. Each resort offers guests something different, but all of them are perfect spots for the perfect getaway in the Caribbean.

4. Haiti’s National Historical Park

Theremains of Haiti’s National Historical Park, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, are found in the north of the country. The National Historical Park of Haiti includes three impressive sites: – The Citadel La Ferrière, a huge fortress erected in the early nineteenth century that rises to 900 meters above sea level, making it the largest fortress in the Caribbean. At the top, the panoramic view of northern Haiti and the Caribbean Sea is breath-taking! – The ruins of the Palais Sans Souci, the former residence of King Henri Christophe ravaged by earthquakes that occurred in 1842 and 1843. – The fortified site of Les Ramiers, a plateau containing the ruins of a fort, covered with vegetation until 1972.

5. THE Citadel La Ferrière

The Citadelle La Ferrière is a military structure built in the early nineteenth century in Milot in Haiti in the Department of Nord, by Henri Christophe. It is the largest fortress on the American continent: at 900 meters above sea level, it is located 15 km south of Cap-Haïtien, within the National Historical Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982.

6. Le Bassin Bleu

The Bassin Bleu, or Basenblé in Haitian Creole, is a beautiful natural site located near the city of Jacmel, in the mountains. It is composed of three pools with turquoise water (the Yes Basin of 4.6 meters deep, the Palmist Basin of 17.4 meters deep and the Clear Basin of 22.8 meters deep), into which sometimes spectacular waterfalls flow. Surrounded by lush vegetation, caves and fruit trees, these coolwater pools are perfect places to enjoy a swim, in an enchanting setting!

7. The Saut-Mathurine waterfall

Locatedat Camp-Perrin, in the south of Haiti, the Saut-Mathurine, is one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in the country. 27 meters high and about 30 meters wide, this incredible waterfall extends over the river Cavaillon and flows into a natural pool where it is possible to swim. Ideal after a hot day visiting the surroundings! For the anecdote, its waters are used to produce electricity and thus supply the cities of Camp-Perrin and Maniche

8. The Marie-Jeanne Cave (La Grotte Marie-Jeanne)

The Grotte Marie-Jeanne is the longest natural excavation in the Caribbean. It is a real underground labyrinth of several kilometers that would have about 56 rooms, and whose formation would date back nearly 60 million years. The interior of the cave is covered with speleothems, limestone formations typical of tropical caves. This natural treasure, located on a hill at 120 meters above sea level in the city of Port-à-Piment, in the south of the country, makes part of the things to do in Haiti!

9. The Saut d’Eau waterfall (La cascade Saut d’Eau)

WhyShould you go see the Sautd’Eau Waterfall if you plan to visit Haiti? Because the supposed magical virtues of this beautiful and vertiginous waterfall make it an emblematic sacred place of voodoo practices on the island! Its waters come from the Terrible Mountain, also considered a sacred place for Catholic and voodoo believers. The Saut d’Eau waterfall is in the district of Mirebalais, in the heart of the country.

10. Macaya National Park

This park with an area of 20 km2 is part of the Massif de la Hotte and encompasses two Haitian peaks which are the peak of Formon (2219 m) and the peak of Macaya (2347 m). It is one of the last primary forests in the country and is home to endemic species in its tropical rainforest, which explains the importance of protecting this endangered treasure.          

11. The Bay of Labadie

Labadie, or Labadee, is not only the name of a famous private seaside resort, luxurious and very frequented by tourists, it is more generally a bay formed by a paradise peninsula. Located a few kilometers northwest of Cap-Haitian, the bay of Labadie and its turquoise waters are overlooked by beautiful mountains. If you plan to explore this corner of the country, take the opportunity to stroll through Cap Haitian, or the natural site of Île-à-Rat, also called Amiga Island! The latter is an islet composed of a small virgin forest and white sand surrounded by crystal clear water from which visitors are invited to go diving, kayaking.

12. Turtle Island (Ile de la Tortue)

Tortuga Island is a Caribbean island that forms part of Haiti, off the northwest coast of Hispaniola. It constitutes the commune of Île de la Tortue in the Port-de-Paix arrondissement of the Nord-Ouest department of Haiti. The island owes its name to Christopher Columbus, because of its sea turtle shape. Tortuga is 180 square kilometres (69 square miles)[3] in size and had a population of 25,936 at the 2003 Census. In the 17th century, Tortuga was a major center and haven of Caribbean piracy. Its tourist industry and references in many works have made it one of the most recognized regions of Haiti. Recently, the cinema (Captain Blood by Michael Curtis, the pirates of the Caribbean film series…) has made it a mythical island by using it as a set and staging it! Discover this wild and mysterious island, and judge for yourself!


The original inhabitants are the Berbers, in 850 BC Dido founded Carthage the city that dominated the Mediterranean and faced Rome at the highest of its power. After three Punic wars, Rome took control of the region for 500 years, and then came the Muslims and the ottoman dynasty, and then the French occupation until Tunisia’s independence in 1956.


In addition to its excellent geographical location, Tunisia enjoys a great weather that makes it a year-round tourist destination : A Mediterranean climate on the northern coast, (rainy winters and sunny summers) while it is semi-desert or desert in inland areas with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.

This climate diversity gives various options to choose when to go. If you want to visit the coast, the best period is between May and October, while the best period to visit the Tunisian desert will be between November and February.

This made Tunisia among the principal touristic destinations in the Mediterranean region, until October 2019 around 7.5 million tourists visited Tunisia mostly from Europe and Algeria, Russia, Japan, China and India


In fact, there are many reasons, as a tourist, you can enjoy the sea, the desert, visit museums, see Roman and Islamic monuments, enjoy thalasso, taste great food, play golf, shop in markets full of colours, and enjoy an active nightlife only in one country


Tunisians are friendly warm and generous people. They welcome guests from all over the world and are familiar with all Western and Eastern cultures especially Indian culture. Indian music and Bollywood movies are very popular.


In addition, Tunisia has more than 1300 kilometres of beautiful beaches that start from Tabarka in the north to Djerba in the south. Many hotels have their own private beaches in addition to uninhabited coastline where you can enjoy your own private stretch of paradise.


Centuries of foreign occupation has incorporated French, Roman and Ottoman influences, leading to a culinary confluence that brings something to the table for everyone: from the French bread to the Turkish sweets and Italian pasta, all made in the Tunisian way. Tunisian food is spicy, sometimes Indian-level spicy, with a use of seafood, olive oil, and Harissa a hot chili paste served with most meals as a dip and is often used as an ingredient in stews and soups. It is sometimes described as “Tunisia’s main condiment”.

“Couscous” is very well known Tunisian food which can be prepared by lamb, fish, of vegetables. “Lablabi” the perfect plate for winter consists of of bread, eggs, harissa and spices all mixed with olive oil. “Brik” pastry and “salad mechouia” with tomatoes and peppers are appetizing starters, as are fresh bread and sauces, tuna, olives, roast green peppers and harissa.


For lovers of nightlife, Tunisia will also be your favourite destination. During the summer, festivals and concerts are spread all over the country. Night clubs are easy to find in many tourist areas and hotels especially in Hammamet and Sousse.

Active nightlife is not restricted only to the coastal areas only. Every year in November, the Electronic Dunes Festival takes place where you can enjoy dancing and music in the heart of the Nefta desert.


Tunisia has a very developed touristic infrastructure and resorts with more than 850 hotels of various categories.

In quantitative terms, the rooming capacity in Tunisia has considerably developed, to reach 237.618 beds in 2018.

Two days ago, a few kilometers from Tozeur International Airport and the famous film site “Star Wars Epic”, “AnantaraTozeur” was inaugurated in the heart of the desert as one of the most prestigious hotels in the world.

The 5 stars hotel has 93 rooms including luxurious villas of up to 900 square meters, swimming pools, a relaxing spa, a market and a total of six restaurants.

In 2018, the famous Forbes magazine ranked Anantara Tozeur as one of the best luxury hotels in the world.


Tunisia is the second Thalassotherapy destination at a world scale after France. There are more than 49 Thalassotherapy centers throughout the country. Most of them are integrated in 5 stars Hotels. And they receive more than 152,000 visitors every year mainly from Germany France and Switzerland.


Eco tourism is a good choice for lovers of wild life and fresh air. In Tabarka Ain Draham or Zaghouan you can meet with the local people, share their daily life activities and spend a night in a eco friendly farm house in an experience that will allow feel the real countryside life.


Often seen as simply a beach destination, Tunisia has many other attractions that make you enjoy an unforgettable journey, the old Medina of Tunis, SidiBou Said, Carthage, Kairouan, Djerba, and others places will make it live Tunisia’s cultural and historical beauty.


Founded by the King of Tyre’s daughter Elissa In 814 BC, Carthage is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is worth a long visit. The accumulation of ruins across a vast zone allows the ancient city to come alive in the imagination. In the rchaeological museum, visitors can discover the art and religious rituals of Punic Carthage. There is a rich nightlife there: restaurants, lounges, nightclubs, jazz festivals, and classical music festivals. In summer, the historic theatre hosts international shows for the International Festival of Carthage.


If you want to understand the long history of Tunisia, the National Bardo Museum is a good place to start. The country’s top museum, one of the largest in Africa, is housed within a fifteenth century Hafsid palace and displays a collection of archaeological artifacts and works of art spanning the totality of Tunisia’s history. The highlight of the impressive collection is the collection of well preserved Roman mosaics – one of the best collections in the world.


Located just north of Tunis, the capital. The entire town is simply beautiful, located on top of a steep cliff, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, with flowers draped from almost every wall and doorway, and beautiful flowing vines hanging throughout the entire area. The view from SidiBou Said is absolutely phenomenal, and will continue to amaze you throughout your entire trip.


Built in the 7th century, the Tunis medina was one of the first Arabo-Muslim towns in the Magreb, and it is a must-see for visitors. The streets in the medina are narrow and winding, full of covered souks, artisans’ workshops and residential buildings with colourful painted doors. The souks are organised by the type of products on sale. So there are souks for perfume, wedding goods, spices, textiles and so on.


Hammamet is a wonderful resort town in Tunisia. With its sandy beaches, the town is the definite top place to go to enjoy amazing holidays near the sea. Furthermore, Hammamet has a lot more to give than simply swimming and enjoying water sports on the beach. From the well-known Jasmine you can find all over the region to the many interesting buildings and natural wonders of the area, you’ll find plenty of things to fulfill your Tunisian vacation.


The impressive ruins of the largest colosseum in North Africa, a huge amphitheatre which could hold up to 35,000 spectators, is found in the small village of El Jem, 3 hours from Tunis. This 3rd-century monument is one of the most iconic architectural contributions of ancient Rome.


Away from the coast, Kairouan is a fascinating city still anchored in a distant past. One of Islam’s holy cities, it was the first capital of the Maghreb. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, it conceals several marvels: the medina, the venerable Great Mosque, the Aghlabid Basins, the stunning mausoleum of SidiSahbi decorated with ceramic tiles… And of course it is impossible to forget the numerous workshops where the most famous carpets in Tunisia are made.


If you head south, you can enjoy a night in the heart of the Tunisian desert, enjoy the sunset and oasis scenes, and ride a camel. In a unique experience that makes you feel the true sense of freedom in the extended desert.


Tunisia’s southern island of Djerba is known for drawing tourists to its whitewashed buildings, sandy beaches rimmed with turquoise water, and colourful souks. But it’s also notable as a bastion of coexistence. The small island is the home of the last Tunisian Jews, with one of the largest and most vibrant Jewish populations in the Arab world – and the oldest synagogue in Africa.


The Grand Erg Oriental is a large series of sand dunes located in the Tunisian Desert. This spectacular and expansive sand formation is truly one of the natural wonders of Tunisia. It spans an impressive area of 600 km in width and 200 km long.

There are a number of tours available to Grand Erg, and many people visit this area of the Sahara each year to witness its remarkable beauty.


If you have Star Wars fans in the family, you can base a whole week trip on seeing the film locations. This includes visiting the underground ‘troglodyte’ structures of Matmata, taking a hike in ‘Star Wars Canyon’ and walking through the streets of “MosEspa”.

While Star Wars is one of the best-known movies to have been shot in Tunisia, it is certainly not the only one. Raiders of the Lost Ark, The English Patient and even The Life of Brian were all filmed in Tunisia which can be an ideal location for Indian film-makers to shot the next Bollywood films.