Report on Awareness-Cum-Mobilisation of Artisans For Lingsiphai, Kangvai, Pengjang, Torbung, S.Kotlian, Loklaiphai, Bualjang, Maichammun, Mateyang, Zalenphai, Mualngat, L Kom Keirap & K.Kotlian under AHVY.
The Survey Team had regular meetings and interactions with the people of the adopted cluster area during the course of Baseline Survey to understand and identify their actual problems and requirements. The team members learned a lot of hidden things during the discussions and interaction with the people. They were very enthusiastic to form Self Help Groups(SHGs) after being motivated by Sir Rollee Vareishim, Asstt. Director and Madam Agnibala Devi, Investigation Officer of the office of the Assistant Director(Handicrafts), Marketing & Service Extension Centre, Office of the Development Commissioner(Handicrafts), Babupara, Imphal. The concept of SHG is not new to them except thrift, credit and professionalization of their activities. The IA had organised Awareness and Mobilisation for formation of SHGs at Kangvai on 01/02/2014, We’ve expected only 300 to 400 participants in the meeting but unexpectedly more than 700 participant turned up and Resource person: Shri T.Rollee Vareishim, Asst.Director, M&SEC, Imphal cleared about the concept, rules and procedures in formation of SHGs, how this will benefit the artisan and its clusters in general. From the start, the meeting was a successful one as 5(five) designated Government Officials from different Departments have arrived on time to deliver their valuable speeches.
The Event was graced by the following distinct officials as resource person :-
1. Shri T.Rollee Vareishim, Asstt.Director,M&SEC,Imphal
2. Smt. Agnibala Devi, Investigation Officer, M&SEC,Imphal.
3. Th.Inaotomba Singh, Manager, Manipur Rural Bank, Moirang
4. H.Mani Singh, Circle Officer, Manipur Co-operative Society, Govt. of Manipur
5. Vareiso Jajo, Handicrafts Promotion Officer, M&SEC,Imphal
The participant artisans were taught about the concepts of SHG Procedures to be followed by each members of SHGs, different books of accounts to be maintained by SHGs, Bye-laws to be adopted etc. and their duties as a member of SHG.
Shri Thangli ansang, Secretary/Chief Functionary of Society’s Abbatial Network for Greater Advancement (SANGA) welcomed dignitaries and all the participant artisans and highlighted that since all the artisan members of the SHGs formed and promoted by the organisation are already registered with office of the D.C.(Handicrafts) and have already enrolled under Jana Shree Bima Yojana of LICI through M&SEC, Imphal, Possible credit linkages will be soon provided to the SHGs and individual artisans.
Shri H.Mani Singh, Circle Officer, Manipur Co-operative Society, Govt. of Manipur, had explained about the concept of SHGs and stressed the importance of formation of SHG, joining the life insurance scheme under LICI and health insurance of ICICI Lombard.
He has also advised the participant artisans to cooperate and work hand-in-hand with the organising Society. He gave detail explanation by citing the difficulties of the living members in case of a bread winner of the family’s sudden death. The living members of the family have to decrease their standard of living, making their future life insecure. Which should not have happened if he/she has taken life insurance policy.
In fact, SANGA has already registered most of its artisans under the RGSSBY health insurance, Yet, there are few others who, the Secretary of the Organisation felt to give more input in regard to the above mentioned Healthcard, So, He narrated the importance of ICICI Health Insurance as a comprehensive plan, designed to protect the artisans and their family against expenses incurred in case of hospitalization. This health insurance policy can be customized to suit their requirements and budget. He gave this detailed explanation for the circumstances because he wanted them to understand and avoid this kind of situation for the sake of their loving members of the family by joining life insurance (JBY) and health insurance.
Shri Th Inaotombi Singh, Manager, Manipur Rural Bank, Moirang had explained about the concept of SHGs. The objectives and importance of SHGs in rural development, promotion of regular thrift and saving and enhancement of income generating activities, increasing standard of living by providing adequate job opportunities, increasing production and eradication of poverty through proper utilisation of available resources in the area, and collective group activities for professionalization. He also appeal to the participating artisans to be sincere and to take active part in all the programme organised by the organisation. He promised to provide credit linkage to SHGs who maintain proper saving account in Manipur Rural Bank, a Bank undertaken by the Government of India. If the performance of the SHGs are commendably well within six months from the date of opening an account, he assured credit linkages will be provided to them from the seventh month.
Sir Rollee Vareishim, Asst. Director (Handicrafts) elaborated about the concept of AHVY Scheme of the office of the D.C.(Handicrafts) and its benefit of the Self Help Groups artisans by giving various intervention i.e. Skill Up-gradation to artisan, Design & Technical Development Workshop, Seminar, providing of improve tool-kits, construction of CFC, Exhibition, Schemes, and Publicity through website etc. He encourages the artisans to show their potentials in this window of opportunity and tips of marketing their products in this competitive world. He pointed out how we have not stretched our ability in today’s world, how we have knowingly hidden our talent not because we wanted to, but because we tend to ignore the sacrifices that we have to make to achieve what other artisans are achieving. He showed the way to acquire locally available raw materials and scale up those materials so as to reach the national level. He also expressed about the group insurance schemes & health scheme for the welfare of handicraft artisan and how they can benefit from them.
Madam Agnibala Devi, Investigation Officer, O/o The Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Marketing & Service Extension Centre, Babupara, Imphal, emphasised on what an artisan can achieve on national level and how they can also participate in the National Award competition. She showed some local awardee who have enjoyed monetary award from handicrafts and encouraged each and every artisans of SANGA to participate in those competition as those achievers are none but people like ourselves.
She also expressed to the participants the need to channelize the traditionally inclined activities of the local people to organise themselves for better marketing and production. She also expressed to the participants, that the overall objectives of the organisation are to capacitate the poor and marginalized people to come forward through participation with a view to empower the tribal crafts community. The activities can be enhanced and oriented as a process of individual talent search and growth.
It thus aims at creating active participation and commitment to achieve in their activities so as to establish as an organized sector with establishing production-cum-training centre of cottage industries for the development and promotion of traditional handicrafts like Hand Embroidery, Cane & Bamboo and Artistic Tribal Textiles etc. especially languishing handicrafts items and to improve designs to meet the present day market demands with a view to provide employment to the unemployed women and youths.
The meeting was concluded with a vote of thanks from Mr. K.Paul, Secretary of the Village Authority and a closing prayer from the local Pastor. The programme was a grant success.
The Next day, at Lingsiphai, Shri D.Lalpi, President of the organisation called a general meeting and highlighted the importance of forming Self-Help-Groups and specially empowerment of artisans through SHG activities. He suggest that SHGs should be formed at the earliest time possible to expedite the activities which are at hand and gave proper instructions to all workers of SANGA to target and form at least 60 SHGs, which resulted in formation of 41 SHGs.
FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION FOR SELF HELP GROUP LEADERS AT LINGSIPHAI:
At Lingsiphai village, Focus Group Discussion for Self Help Group Leaders was held with all leaders of SHGs on 15th March, 2014.
Respected Shri Vareiso Jajo, Handicrafts Promotion Officer, Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Babupara, Imphal have graced the occasion as a Resource person and elaborated SHG leader’s role and their importance in making the SHG group a successful group in the future.
He mentioned the main objectives of formation of SHGs and what a leader of a SHG should know and gave the following valuable points :-
1. To promote the regular thrift and savings habit for achievement of income generating activities.
2. To increase the income of the member artisans for improvement of their living standard by providing adequate job opportunities and
3. To increase production of quality items/products and sell them in a reasonable and profitable price for eradication of poverty through proper utilization of available resources in the cluster areas.
4. Improve efficiency of the credit system
5. Channel of financial conclusion
6. Resource mobilization
7. Create employments for members and non-members
8. Improve the living condition of the poor
9. Empowerment of women
10. Promote social and economic justice
11. Community actions
12. Develop individual skills of the community members
13. Livelihood finance and employment generation
14. Reduce influence of unorganised sector
15. To reduce high interest rate in rural areas by money lenders.
He also inspected the Saving Bank Accounts of the SHGs thoroughly and he was satisfied with all the steps the SHGs have taken so far for the development of the Community in general.