The day was 25th November when a contingent of 31 vehicles were flagged off from from the city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia with the objective of forging new opportunities of trade ties among the ASEAN countries. The rallyists opened the door to the ASEAN countries to fruitfully use the 8000 km route to foster new economic tie. The morning of 16th December saw thousands of enthusiastic people gathering on the both side of National Highway 39 to catch a glimpse of the much awaited India Asean Car rally. The rally arrived at Rangajan Tini Ali on NH-39 at around 10 am and the cheering crowd weaving colourful flags of the different ASEAN nations greeted the rallyists from where they headed to NRL Township for a stopover.
The Golaghat Dist. Administration in association with NRL authority welcomed them in a traditional assamese way with a “Gamusa” and a rose. It was followed by a lunch of exquisite assamese cuisine which was accompanied by showcase of assamese culture and folk art bihu and jhoomur. “I was very much excited on being a part of the rally for the first time and we had shown the way and now it is upto the respective governments how to make the best use of this route.” Nou Maneth Athana, a participant of the rally and a reporter with Cambodia News Channel, said in her interaction with AssamTimes.
This time there were eight women participants in the rally including 3 from India, 2 from Singapore, 1 from Cambodia and 2 from Myanmar. Karlo De Guzman, a participant from Phillipines shared his excitement to Assamtimes by saying that when they entered into Indian territory they received a message on their vehicle’s radio from the chairman of the Mahindra group who hailed them as a new columbuses and welcomed to India, which meant a lot to them. For William, a participant from Singapore, the rally ended on a positive note and the respective govts had made impeccable arrangements which had made the journey a memorable one and for the first time in his life he felt as if he was driving like a head of a state. After the one hour stopover at NRL Township, the rally leaves for the ceremonial flag down at Sarusajai Stadium, Guwahati.