Kohima: At least 53 successful tribal entrepreneurs from across the Northeast region were felicitated by the National Scheduled Tribes Finance & Development Corporation (NSTFDC) at Hotel Japfu in Kohima on Thursday.
NSTFDC is an apex organisation for the economic development of Scheduled Tribes under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and the event was held as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations.
Among the entrepreneurs, who were recognised during the day-long event for their excellence in various entrepreneurship ventures, 35 are from Nagaland, seven from Tripura, six from Manipur and five Arunachal Pradesh.
While the first session of the conference focused on taking forward the Prime Minster Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) in the North East, the second session was dedicated in honouring the tribal entrepreneurs.
“We decided to make a beginning in Nagaland,” said Asit Gopal, CMD, NSTFDC, as he pointed out that the North East has the highest percentage of Scheduled Tribe population in the country.
He informed that tribal entrepreneurs, irrespective of the size and scale of business, were felicitated to encourage entrepreneurial activities in the region.
Temjen Imna Along, minister of tribal affairs and higher education, Nagaland, while addressing the gathering, said that being tribal is a “way of life”, an “ideology” which most people across the country fail to understand.
The minister pointed out that there was lack of resources because of policies being implemented. While many policies are made for growth, progress and prosperity of the people, he said that many of these policies are suited for big cities which lead to deprivation for small tribal communities.
“We are not backward; give us the opportunity that you have given to the cities or the rest of the countrymen and we will show that we are at par and would be the powerhouse in entrepreneurship and social engineering,” Along said,
He said that policy intervention was the biggest problem for entrepreneurship and urged finance corporations and various institutes of the tribal ministry to give more time on researching various aspects of tribals living in different parts of the country.
“Nagaland has a great scope of being an example of sustainable villages and sustainable growth, and can empower the whole country with organic food of the best quality. There are great materials that can come out of the resources of Nagaland. But for that, the ministry has to look into Nagaland in a special manner, so that our people with their new ideas, plans, new entrepreneurship programmes can be given a boost,” he added.
Sharing success stories, Moakala Magh, an entrepreneur and owner of Senje Apothecary, who was among the 53 to be felicitated, shared that her organic skincare and herbal tea brand which caters to one lakh customers across Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh supports local farmers by sourcing most of the raw materials from outside the state.
Informing that over 100 new products are to be launched, she hoped to provide some employment opportunity for the people. She informed that a brand outlet will soon be introduced in Manipur.
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