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Nagaland

Artisans fail to tune their talents to promote bamboo products

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By EMN Updated: Feb 01, 2014 12:43 am
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Staff Reporter
DIMAPUR, JANUARY 31

It has been a decade since the Nagaland government, in the year 2004, decided to adopt a policy “to promote and develop bamboo and its potentials as a major economic activity in the State both as a resource and as enterprise.”Back then, when the policy was adopted, one certain bureaucrat by the name of Alemtemshi Jamir was the Agriculture Production Commissioner of Nagaland. And RS Pandey, the Chief Secretary.
By Saturday morning when this newspaper hits the stands, Alemtemshi Jamir would have just retired as the Chief Secretary of Nagaland, after relinquishing his position as the State’s top administrator to Banuo Z Jamir, who incidentally happens to be his wife.
And, RS Pandey today is on the verge of his political debut as a BJP candidate after a stint as an interlocutor between New Delhi and the NSCN (IM). The intervening 10 years have seen much alteration to the landscape, it would appear.
Not quite so. At least in the context of the State government’s policy to exploit bamboo resources in the State as a vehicle towards achieving economic contentment. In the words of the Commissioner and Secretary for Industries and Commerce, Thangi Mannen, “we have not really made much headway” as against the government’s vision to promote bamboo products and artisans of the State.
While addressing local craftsmen and artisans at a seminar on “Integrated Marketing and Design Development of Cane and Bamboo Crafts” in Dimapur today, Thangi shared that the reason behind the failure was the artisan’s inability to “tune their talents” in accordance to the demand of the market.
The question is never about talent, she said. “We have the inherent ability (when it comes to handicraft). We only look into what the market demand is, to study the market trend. There are lots of elements to handicraft, like whether the buyer is purchasing the piece to keep it in his home or to gift it to someone else.
“Whether he will use it for some purpose or solely keep it as a showpiece. We have to understand that and then tune our talents accordingly,” she said. The seminar was an initiative of the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), which is under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
The EPCH, among other activities, is mostly engaged in organizing fairs, buyer-seller meets, conferences and study tours overseas to explore market opportunities, especially for handicraft products.
According to the North East Regional convener of EPCH, Jesmina Zeliang, out of the 7500+ members/entrepreneurs registered with EPCH only 17 were from the whole of North East. “This itself indicates how little we have progressed in handicraft,” said the recent recipient of the Governor’s award.

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By EMN Updated: Feb 01, 2014 12:43:14 am