11 Aug 2020
On 12thMay 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an appeal to the nation for achieving self-reliance in not just winning the war against “COVID-19” but also emerging as a global leader. And so, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ or ‘Self Reliant India’ was first introduced to the nation.
It is to be noted that the policy is not protectionist in nature and it doesn’t imply isolation from the rest of the world. The true purpose of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ is aimed towards resurging the Indian economy during and after the “Coronavirus Pandemic”, and transition into a bigger, evolved part of the global economy.
With the introduction of this policy, another important campaign which focuses on benefitting the Make in India movement by emphasizing the promotion of local brands, manufacturing and supply chain is – Vocal for Local.
What is Vocal for Local?
Vocal for Local is an initiative to empower local products in the market which is competitive at par global standards and are truly able to draw out the essence of local brands in both domestic as well as international market.
By going vocal for local, we aren’t putting a stop to purchasing other products in the market; rather, we are increasing the availability of local products, which stand to be equally valuable in terms of both price and quality as compared to its competitors.
Arunachal going Vocal for Local:
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on 11 June 2020, initiated the Vocal for Local campaign by directing the state’s department of textiles and handicrafts to finalise its modalities to procure all government office requirements from local NGOs, societies, self-help groups and entrepreneurs.
He stated that it was about time for the department to ramp up its activities and channel its primary focus on partnering with local producers for offering products to buyers, starting with all state government establishments. This would not only boost up self-sustainability but also benefit local producers, who at the moment are suffering due to the lack of market to sell their products.
Current scenario of Vocal for Local in the State:
- The Department of Textile and Handicrafts initiated the production of face masks from Eri silk based on traditional tribal designs for distribution to healthcare workers, police personnel and the state secretariat. If these are produced in mass with standard quality check, the designer masks can garner a big market even outside the state and country.
- The Department of Textile and Handicrafts has also received an order from the Health Department for bed sheets for all health centres in the state. The department plans to equip itself to meet the demands, which is anticipated to grow rapidly in future.
- CM Pema Khandu has further suggested that while framing guidelines, necessary provisions are to be made to ensure the demand of a particular district are met by its local district-level producers in order to provide equal opportunities to all local players and eventually benefit the cause. On the same note, Mr. Khandu also directed all departments to upgrade their respective web portals/ with a new segment for accepting orders online.
- All state government employees are to don a local tribal attire of choice to office at least once a month to promote local weavers and to promote the local culture.
The Central Government scheme –
Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) – under MSME sector, which is yet to be tapped by the state government, has also been discussed in detail.
- Under this scheme, traditional industries and artisans are to be organized into clusters in order to make them competitive and provide support for their long-term sustainability, sustained employment, enhanced marketability and equip traditional artisans with enhanced skills.
- The department is in the process of identifying NGOs in coordination of deputy commissioners for 25 such clusters in the state.
Other State-level initiatives
- The Department of Textiles & Handicrafts has proposed to upgrade all its production centres spread across the state besides procuring and installing power looms.
- While setting a target to impart training and supply of queen bee and bee boxes to about 360 beneficiaries this year, the department also plans to upgrade the bee keeping centre at Sille (Pasighat).
- Under the new initiative the department proposes to procure and sell all textile products including Eri and Muga silk, handicrafts and furniture – wood, bamboo and cane. While acting as the nodal agency between local artisans and customers, the department will have control over the quality as well as the price.
- ‘Revamping office infrastructure with the help of local skilled workers in line with Arunachal Govt. policy. The East Siang DC office renovated the infrastructure with the help of the local skilled workers and gave the office a new and trendy look.
- Bamboo sofa-sets, tables, and other paraphernalia made by local self-help groups have been commissioned by the administration of Changlang District. Two bamboo sofa sets were supplied by local SHG group for Panchayat halls, the next step will be the expansion of bamboo handicraft unit for bulk production.
- Arunachal Education Minister Taba Tedir made an announcement saying a third language would soon be introduced in all the government middle schools so as to preserve the indigenous dialects of the state.
In the context of Arunachal Pradesh, Vocal for Local has been a boon for all traditional artisans and farmers and entrepreneurs of Arunachal. It has steered the attention of the denizens of the state to support local artists, farmers, entrepreneurs and industries at a pace which has never been seen before and has also boosted the confidence of all those involved while at the same time aiding in the promotion and preservation of culture among the youths.