Nongpoh, August 26: Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma together with Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani laid the foundation stone for the Integrated Textiles Tourism Complex at Nongpoh, Ribhoi District Meghalaya.
Speaking at the function the Chief Minister said that the project will not only benefit the farmers and artisans involved in the textile industry but also boost the tourism sector.
“The complex will offer opportunity for tourists seeking unique experiences through leisure activities revolving around handloom and textile production. This innovative project will go a long way in ensuring that both the textile and the tourism sector develops”, he said.
The Chief Minister also informed the gathering of the government’s various programs and interventions to streamline the textile industry.
The Chief Minister also highlighted the immense opportunity for Meghalaya’s textile industry in the development and production of natural organic fibres.
During her address the Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani dedicated the complex to ‘the cause of culture, art, handloom and handicraft’ of Meghalaya and said that the Government of India was committed to supplement all the endeavours of the State Government in the development of the textile sector.
The Union minister said that 30,000 people from the State will be eligible for skill development programs under the Samarth scheme of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. She added that 8 crore has already been sanction under the program for skill development of 7200 Meghalaya citizens, in the textile sector.
She further added that under the handicraft sector the Government of India has created a identity card called ‘Pehchaan’ to help the artisan avail all benefits including free tool kits for people coming from economically challenged backgrounds. Meghalaya already has close to 3000 applicants for the particular program.
As Meghalaya is one of the hubs of ‘ahimsa’ silk, the union Minister also urged the Government to utilise this capacity of the State and to promote the brand worldwide. ‘The sericulture sector stand to benefit immensely from the Meghalaya branding of the ahimsa silk’, she said.
The Union Minister also informed that there are various initiatives from the GOI whereby artisans are encouraged to pursue their studies by funding of 75% of their education fees by the Government and urged the people to make full use of the Government’s programs such as these.
Later the Union Minister also distributed free tool kits to beneficiaries.