Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs inaugurated an e-Symposium on Handicrafts titled “Emergent North-East India: Strategic and Developmental Imperatives in Handicrafts” organized by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Shillong today.
Delivering inaugural address, Arjun Munda said that the traditional lifestyle in India is very artistic and creative. But we could not make our due place in global market due to lack of proper marketing management. He cited the example of Agarbatti which is now mostly imported in India. He opined that the Bamboos in North Eastern States can be used in making better quality of Agarbattis and the burden of import can be lessened. He also mentioned the idols of Bhagwan Ganesha which are also imported in varied formats in our country whereas we are more capable of making them in more artistic manner. He said that even a very small domestic item like Nail Cutter is not manufactured in India just because of lack of good quality of steel whereas our country exports iron ore. He said that all North Eastern States can very easily be converted in to Organic States to produce quality Organic agro-products.
He emphasized that the Trading Mindset of our artisans should be replaced by Entrepreneurship by upgrading their skills. Up-skilling is now the need of the hour. He said that a proper working plan has to be prepared to meet our market needs as lack of proper working plan results in low quality products with high costs. We should focus on skill up-gradation of our artisans. We should find out as to what is the global market potential of the products of our artisans. He suggested that the products of our artisans should be attractive and eye-catching and their costs should be less but quality should be high.
The Minister stressed on the lesser dependence on foreign products and said that the institutions like IIMs and others can play an important role in this regard by searching global markets for our artisans. They should try to link small artisans with big industries, he added..
The e-Symposium on handicrafts is a part of the e-Symposia Series initiated by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis, IIM Shillong. The e-Symposium Series is conceived as a platform that brings together policy makers, scholars, institutions, corporates and civil society to discuss and deliberate development initiatives in the North East Region.