IMPHAL: Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Thongam Biswajit Singh on Friday inaugurated the Regional SARAS Fair, 2020 at the Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound. The Fair, organised by the Manipur State Rural Livelihoods Mission (MSRLM) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission will continue till March 8, 2020.
Speaking as the Chief Guest of the inaugural function, Biswajit said that the fair will be held twice a year from this year. He said in previous years the fair couldn’t be conducted twice due to certain factors like lack of man-power, financial constraints.
He said that the Mission is currently implemented in some blocks of Tengnoupal and Imphal East. He also asked the concerned officials to check whether blocks can be clubbed together for inclusive implementation of the Mission in the State.
He continued that we are facing the unemployment problem, however, today under the mission trainings have been provided to many women and helped them form not only Self Help Groups but also created Village Level Federations. The DDU-GYK is also a part of the NRLM, he added.
Biswajit also expressed the need for value added trainings and said that in the beginning, people tend to consider quantity more important, however, once they receive the required trainings and financial assistance they should focus more on quality to gain market for which value added training is required.
MANITRON & MANIDCO Chairman and Hon’ble MLA Hiyanglam Dr. Radheshyam Yumnam said that the fair provides a marketing platform for the artisans as well as encourage and promote them. This fair also provides a platform for the artisans to exchange ideas.
Manipur State Khadi Village Industries Board Chairman and Hon’ble MLA Oinam Constituency L. Radhakishore Singh said that the Khadi Village Industries Board has initiated cotton plantation at 10,000 acres of land in Jiribam this year. He continued that these will help in reviving the State’s Spinning Mill.
He continued that the Khadi Village Industries Board will also take up coffee plantation in the hills to substitute poppy plantation and aiming to plan 7 lakhs saplings this year.
The inaugural function was also attended by Manipur Handloom & Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd Chairman and Hon’ble Lamsang MLA Sorokhaibam Rajen Singh, Additional Chief Secretary RD & PR M.H. Khan, State Mission Director, MSRLM Yumnam Robita.
Altogether 106 stalls including six stalls of offices are opened in the fair.