Centre's moves will bring about a paradigm shift in Northeast: Arjun Munda

The initiatives of Central Government are bringing about a paradigm shift in entrepreneurship and also helping to meet the aspirations of the youths in North East
Centre's moves will bring about a paradigm shift in Northeast: Arjun Munda

GUWAHATI: The initiatives of Central Government are bringing about a paradigm shift in entrepreneurship and also helping to meet the aspirations of the youths in North East, said Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda while participating in a webinar organized by Press Information Bureau (PIB), Guwahati on the topic 'Success Stories Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana: Driving Atmanirbhar Bharat for Tribal Communities in North East' here recently.

Emphasizing the importance of market accessibility, Munda said that products of the tribal areas are environment friendly. The Union Minister further said that creating demand in global market is important along with value-added products quality. He said that North East region has unique natural resources and this has to be leveraged for making products which would be competitive in the global marketplace. Munda also said that the export of products from tribal areas is encouraging and has huge potential from the perspective of employment.

Appreciating the efforts of the people of Sikkim, the Union Minister launched the 'Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Kendras' in Sikkim. Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang appreciated the efficacy of the 'Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana', and said that its advantages have a correlation to the socio-economic development of the region.

Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Deepak Khandekar said that the decision is a game-changer in the North East with the 'Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana' driving the concept of 'Atma-Nirbhar Bharat' as vital 'Engines of Growth' for the tribal communities in the North East.

During the webinar, Chief Minister of Sikkim, senior officials from Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED discussed about the potential and role of Van Dhan Vikas Kendras from entrepreneurial sector and policy perspective.

The webinar also focussed on the significant role of TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited) with its 'Van Dhan Vikas Kendras' in the north-eastern States. The TRIFED and its kendras are driving the socio-economic development of the tribal population.

In a detailed discussion, TRIFED MD Pravir Krishna said that the 'Van Dhan Yojana' is a market -linked tribal entrepreneurship development programme for forming clusters of tribal SHGs and strengthening them into Tribal Van Dhan Kendras. This will promote enterprises by developing clusters of tribal SHGs (Self Help Groups) and strengthening them into 'Van Dhan Vikas Kendras' of 300 members each. It's objective is to take the 'MSP for MFP programme' to the next level by establishing tribal enterprises, generating livelihoods leading to income enhancement. It is a programme for gathering, value addition, processing, packaging, branding and retail-marketing for MFP products through tribal entrepreneurs.

The webinar also included Sikkim Chief Secretary Suresh Gupta; Tripura Tribal Welfare Department Secretary N. Darlong; Nagaland DUDA Secretary Anden Konyak; and Nagaland TOKAMPCS Secretary Kathi Chishi.

The dignitaries provided their perspectives. The commonalities which emerged from the discussion include that the north-eastern States are leading in the implementation of Van Dhan Kendras. They said that the value-added products like hill brooms, wild honey, candles and ointments made of rock beeswax, bamboo bottles, aloe vera soaps, amla murabba (gooseberries) are providing income and employment opportunities for tribal communities.

The two-hour-long knowledge-cum-informative session also saw the participation of the nodal departments or the implementing agencies of the NE States for TRIFED. The experts from each North East states explained their strategy and how the 'Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana' is driving the concept of 'Atma-Nirbhar Bharat for Tribal Communities in North East'.

Among those who provided their inputs at the webinar included the Director of Guwahati-based Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship Abhijit Sharma and the institute's Project Consultant Hemanta Rabha; CF (in-charge) Vandhan (Forest Departmentt), Manipur Gaithaolu Thaimei.

Nanu Bhasin, ADG, New Delhi welcomed all the participants in the discussion. Along with SN Pradhan, ADG (NER), PIB Imphal, journalists and other government senior officials from PIB, Doordarshan, Regional Outreach Bureau, All India Radio, New Delhi, Guwahati and other States of the country were also present on the occasion. The webinar was planned, managed and coordinated by Samrat Bandyopadhyay, Joint Director (MC), PIB, Guwahati, the release added.

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