MSRLM benefitting thousands of rural poor: Biswajit
IMPHAL, 17th Oct: Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister Thongam Biswajit Singh has stated that coverage of 20,318 rural poor households has shown the successful implementation of Manipur State Rural Livelihoods Mission (MSRLM) in the State.
He was speaking at the inaugural function of a 10-day long 12th Regional SARAS fair held at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen, Palace Compound here Thursday.
Biswajit maintained that the state is leading in successful implementation of Rural Livelihoods Mission since its inception in 2015. At present, the Mission is being implemented in four resource blocks namely, Machi and Tengnoupal in Chandel District and Sawombung and Keirao Bitra in Imphal East. The mission is covering 125 GPs and 260 villages, promoting 1718 Self Help Groups with the active involvement of community and their institutions, he added.
The minister continued that SARAS provides a platform for the local artisans to showcase their products, adding that the fair would also help in capacity building of the artisans. He further lauded the department for organising the fair at the right time as the festive season in the State has just begun.
Biswajit then stated that in order to encourage the local artisans, incentives or awards could be introduced, while asserting “we need to promote our local products to ensure more profit for the artisans”. He further gave assurances of facilitating any necessary training for the local artisans.
He also contended that in order to preserve our local products related to traditional and cultural heritage, we should register such products to get Geographical Identification (GI) tag.
Elaborating on the importance of Leirum Phi, Biswajit said that the Prime Minister used the scarf during the recent Independence Day celebration in New Delhi. He encouraged the weavers for mass production of Leirum Phi, while assuring all possible assistance including trainings and provision of market facilities.
He also urged for cooperation from all sections of the society, stating that everyone has a responsibility towards ensuring betterment of the society and not just politicians.
Biswajit further asked the officials concerned to spread awareness about Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana, DDU-GKY amongst the rural youth so that they could avail the benefits provided under the scheme.
In his speech, principal secretary (RD & PR) MGH Khan said that SARAS Fair promotes the local artisans. He continued that there is an instruction from the Central Ministry to organise it as a biannual event and as such, it would be organised during Yaoshang festival as well from next year.
He then said that MSRLM, which is being implemented in only four blocks as of now, would be expanded in 12 blocks soon.
The fair, organised by MSRLM, aims to encourage the deprived section of the society for an incremental production through organized groups like Self Help Group (SHG). The fair emphasises on enhancing their sustainable livelihoods by attracting the market and bulk buyers, apart from providing a platform for the underprivileged families, along with opportunity to showcase and sell products/items made with their talents and skills.
More than 150 stalls are opened at the venue selling various products including vegetables, garments, handicrafts and handloom products, etc.
MANIDCO chairman Dr Radheshyam Singh, HDCL chairman S Rajen Singh, officials and SHG members also attended the inaugural function.