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ASSOCHAM and Ministry of Tribal Affairs to upskill 350 tribal artisans for business

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With an aim to uplift the tribal community and instill the idea of entrepreneurship, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in association with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has started their ‘Tribal Entrepreneurship Development Programme (TEDP), with a target to identify at least 350 tribal artists and help them expand their enterprises before 31st December, 2020.
The tribal community comprises nearly 8% of India’s population. The central government initiated the programme to get the tribal communities in the mainstream, leverage their strength, and to help them contribute to the process of Nation building. This is in line with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announced by the central government to initiate self-sustenance and would help in creating employment-generating opportunities for the tribal community.
Arjun Munda, Honourable Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Government of India stated that there is a huge amount of ignorance about the tribal heritage and products. “Skill development and training is the need of the hour, so as to make them confident, self-reliant, financially independent and to develop and build resilience in them,” he said.
The minister explained that the programme designed to develop entrepreneurial skills in tribal artisans by the ASSOCHAM is a kind of value proposition that they were looking at. “Hopefully, it will alter the path towards growth and inclusiveness for the tribal community in the country,” he said.
The programme would identify artisans engaged into segments like Tribal Textiles, Paintings and Wall art, Superfoods, Traditional Medicinal Plants and Products, and Forest Produce. Each selected one amongst the tribes pan-India will be assessed and the training module will be designed on the basis of this assessment.
The training will be aimed at improving the skillset based on the area of their expertise and developing new designs for their products as per market demand. Skills such as how to market their products on various platforms, how to maintain checks and balances, better accounting practices for managing finances would be taught and emphasized upon.
Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, President, ASSOCHAM said that the programme will ensure that no one remains without the opportunity to progress and grow. “To support India’s vision of becoming Aatmanirbhar, the ‘Tribal Entrepreneurship Development Programme’ would try and optimize the contribution of the tribal community to the growing economy of our country,” he said. The training that will be given at the CoE will make sure that the potential of approximately 8% of our population must be fully developed and leveraged,” added Dr. Hiranandani.
Deepak Sood, Secretary-General, ASSOCHAM, said that there are several challenges and bottlenecks that inhibit the growth process of creating self-sustainable enterprises. “These artisans face challenges such as lack of financial linkage and market access. At the centre, we are trying to explore avenues of propelling the process and creation of robust tribal brand identity and in the process – build and enhance the entrepreneurial capabilities of the tribal artisans,” he explained.
The programme is a sustained multi-stakeholder, multi-institutional collaborative initiative by the apex industry body ASSOCHAM to address the needs and to work for the upliftment of the tribal communities in the country.
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