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Uttarpara Tourist Association: A Legacy of Exploration and Community

The Uttarpara Tourist Association, originally part of the West Bengal Tourist Association, has played a pivotal role in promoting tourism and fostering a spirit of adventure in the small yet vibrant town of Uttarpara. Since its establishment in 1959, the association has grown from a modest initiative to a well-organized and respected institution, dedicated to the promotion of tourism and related activities.

Founding and Early Success

The history of the Uttarpara Tourist Association is rooted in the enthusiastic efforts of the members of the Uttarpara Youngsters Association. In 1959, they organized a highly successful tour, which inspired some members to establish a dedicated tourist organization. Dr. Mriganka Bhusan Banerjee was elected as the first president, with Shri Monimohan Haldar serving as the first secretary. The initial success of their tours led to a growing membership, and the association quickly gained momentum.

Growth and Development

In 1960, the association transitioned from a small room to its own building on Jay Krishna Street, Uttarpara. The new building, named “Pari” by the renowned writer Mahasweta Devi, marked a significant milestone in the association’s history. The inauguration was attended by several prominent literary figures, including Probodh Kumar Sanyal, Dakhinaranjan Thakur, Uma Prasad Mukherjee, and P.C. Sarkar (Senior). These eminent personalities not only praised the association but also became members, lending their support and expertise.

Objectives and Activities

The Uttarpara Tourist Association operates with several key objectives:

  1. Promoting Tourism: Encouraging the habit of traveling among members.
  2. Fostering Fellow Feeling: Developing a spirit of camaraderie and mutual support among members.
  3. Collecting Information: Gathering information about tourist spots across India and organizing tours accordingly.
  4. Library Establishment: Creating a library with books and magazines related to tourism.
  5. Educational Initiatives: Arranging lectures, seminars, and projector shows on various expeditions.
  6. Trekking Expeditions: Organizing trekking expeditions to promote adventure tourism.

The association, a registered institution, conducts seven to eight tours annually, welcoming participation from members, their families, and guests. These tours range from short local trips to extensive explorations of distant tourist spots, catering to diverse interests and promoting a love for travel and exploration.

Annual Functions and Events

The association hosts several key events each year to engage members and promote tourism:

  1. May 1 – Foundation Day: Celebrating the establishment of the association.
  2. First Sunday of the Year – Picnic: An annual picnic fostering community spirit.
  3. Vijaya Sammilani: A gathering celebrating the victory of good over evil, fostering communal harmony.

These events feature lectures by famous personalities from the tourism sector, providing valuable insights and inspiration. Members and their families are encouraged to participate, enhancing the sense of community and shared purpose.

Library and Publications

The Uttarpara Tourist Association boasts a well-stocked library with over 2500 books and magazines on tourism and related subjects. The library, with its free reading room, serves as an important resource for students, researchers, and travel enthusiasts. It plays a crucial role in promoting tourism education and supporting academic research.

The association also publishes an annual magazine, “Jatri,” which features articles written by members on various aspects of tourism. This publication has garnered widespread praise for its quality and insightful content, furthering the association’s mission of promoting tourism and fostering a culture of travel.

Conclusion

The Uttarpara Tourist Association stands as a testament to the power of community and the enduring appeal of exploration and adventure. For over six decades, the association has inspired countless individuals to explore new destinations, fostered a spirit of camaraderie, and contributed significantly to the promotion of tourism in West Bengal.

Despite its challenges, the association continues to thrive, driven by the passion and dedication of its members. As it looks to the future, the Uttarpara Tourist Association remains committed to its mission of promoting tourism and enriching the lives of its members through travel and exploration. By celebrating the past and embracing the future, the association will continue to play a vital role in the cultural and social fabric of Uttarpara.