SHILLONG: Union Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on Wednesday inaugurated the ‘Incubation Centre’ at North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong in the presence of Minister of Art and Culture, Government of Meghalaya AL Hek and Vice-Chancellor of NEHU Prof SK Srivastava.
The Union Minister acknowledged the beautiful landscape and pristine climate of Meghalaya, and said that such natural gifts should be supplemented with development of industries, universities and skill development centre so that the youths of the region can excel at par with the rest of the country.
The ‘Incubation Centre’ will benefit people in developing their entrepreneurial skills and help generate and provide employment opportunities for a lot of individuals, he added.
The concept of Incubation Centre is drawn from the vision of Prime Minister’s “Self-efficiency in country’s products under Make in India” to provide an ecosystem for start-ups to offer guidance, mentoring, physical space and network for funding and value based collaboration for incubation of novel ideas.
Meanwhile, Hek, said that the Incubation Centre will meet the needs of young minds of the State and neighbouring regions. He added that demand driven projects which are applicable to the State should be incorporated by the Centre which will benefit the people.
The Incubation Centre will offer active support to new proposed ventures to become independent and self-supporting. The centre will also help provide technical knowhow to these ventures to become efficient, competent models so that they become eligible for formal funding support from donor, philanthropists, network partners and investors.
Later in the day, the minister had a review meeting with the senior officials of the Meghalaya government.
Briefing the media after the meeting, the minister said that his ministry is working for providing opportunities and facilities for the disabled people so as to create an atmosphere which will guarantee them equal opportunities.
This can ensure the protection of their rights and enable their full participation in the society, he added. Some of the schemes are like assistance to disabled persons by providing them with aids and appliances, and pensions for the disables.
He informed the pressmen that there are around 44,000 divyangs in Meghalaya whereas as per the 2011 census the number of divyangs in the country is 2.68 crore.
The minister said that 11,000 divyangs have received the divyang pension of Rs 500 every month in the state. He further informed that his ministry, in its commitment for the welfare of the disabled people, has increased the reservation in central government, state government and semi government services for disabled people.
He mentioned that the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan or the Accessible India Campaign which is set to serve the differently-able community of the country. He informed the media that during the last five years around 4,800 divyangs have been provided with various assistive devices and aids in 5 camps across Meghalaya. The schemes of the government of India, the minister said, have always been directed towards the welfare of all the people of the country including the ST, SC population and Divyangs and there have been 8000 such camps across the country.
Athawale also said that his Ministry will look into the proposal of setting up of Sports Academy for Disabled in the State worth Rs 350 crore.
He told media persons following a meeting with state Social Welfare department minister Krymen Shylla that Meghalaya Government has requested for the construction of Sports Academy for Disabled, and has given 50 acres of land by the State Government.
The minister opined that every government should sincerely put in effort for the enrichment of life of the rural population, ST, SC population and disabled people, and that every state should come forward with innovative schemes for the disabled people.