New Delhi/Agartala, March 15 (IANS): The Central government will appoint Olympic medallist boxer MC Mary Kom as the brand ambassador for Northeast India to promote the region in the rest of the country and abroad, officials said on Sunday.
"Under the leadership of DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Minister Jitendra Singh, a committee earlier shortlisted the names of some famous personalities before selecting the brand ambassador for the north eastern region."
"Finally, the DoNER Ministry decided to appoint Mary Kom as the brand ambassador of the region," a Tripura Sports Department official told IANS. He said: "Mary Kom as brand ambassador of the Northeast India would promote the region to the rest of India and abroad, and highlight the issues of the region comprising eight States."
Mary, 32, who hails from Manipur, is a five-time world amateur boxing champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each of the six world championships.
Also a mother of three, Mary Kom recently announced in Imphal that she would quit the sport after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics next year.
The cultural tradition of Manipur is sports-oriented and the State, as a result, has produced many athletes. Mary Kom cemented the north-eastern State's position as a powerhouse of talent with her 2012 Olympic bronze.
Winning medals in many international and national meets, the Hindi film industry made a movie based on her life, starring actor Priyanka Chopra.
Addressing the 10th North East Business Summit on Friday in New Delhi, Singh said: "The government wanted a person who would showcase various aspects of the region, including life, culture and business. A person who was not only an icon locally but also a source of motivation for the youth of the northeast in the country and abroad."
An official announcement in this regard would be made soon, Singh said.
According to a global consultancy report, Northeast India offers business opportunities worth Rs 2.4 trillion among various sectors.