Sinlung /
29 August 2013

Rural Entrepreneurship For Northeast India

By Shreya Dalela

North East India EntrepreneurshipNorth East India, the seven sisters, the sunrise states have since a long time been unable to keep pace with development happening in rest of the country. Somehow, even with the government allocating huge amounts of funds every year for its development in infrastructure and other facilities necessary for its progress, the benefits have been minimal. The insurgency and distrust between communities has been a big reason for this. After looking at all the problems that currently plague North East India, one may get a hopeless picture about it which is not the actual scenario.

North East India is endowed with vast number of resources which if put into use judiciously by encouraging micro level rural entrepreneurship and integrating it with local as well as international market can provide employment to all and also guarantee better living conditions. In spite of better literacy rate than rest of the country, the unemployment is high. If the skilled manpower is organized into rural enterprises, the true scope of North East can be realized. Only better living conditions and proper education can help communities leave behind their old notions and embrace development. There is a need for proper education and awareness about the opportunities that surround them among the local people and motivated youth can help solve this problem by being the facilitators of knowledge.

There is no dearth of opportunities when it comes to setting up rural enterprise in North-East. There are huge species of ornamental fishes and scope for expansion of floriculture, rubber plantations, mushroom cultivation and handloom industries. Not only that, North-East India has a huge capacity of hydro-electricity projects which if tapped, can be used to satisfy one third of India's power requirement. The vast amount of coal, petroleum and natural gas reserves also exist in the region. Almost all states share border with other countries providing scope for trade through land.

The communities need to be taught about organizing themselves into an enterprise, about the latest technical knowledge and skills needed for that particular industry, provided with regular and monitored funding and then linked to the local and international market. Government has taken up numerous initiatives to encourage rural entrepreneurship but the progress has been slow due to many factors and one of them being lack of proper guidance and support. Insurgency and infrastructural problems have also added to the problem. There's a need for a proper sustainable model that can solve some of the existing problems and promise development for all. This model is what the participating team of NIT Silchar for Manthan 2013 is working for.

"After spending around four years in North-East, I feel connected to this place and would feel extremely good if I can help in solving some of its problems. It's a wonderful place with limitless scope of growth and educated people. We just need a working model in place that uses the strengths of this place to overcome the limitations and result in overall development and that's what our team is working on", said Nitish Rajpurohit, one of the team members.


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