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Nalbari College. Telegraph picture

College nurtures entrepreneurs

Renu Mahanta, a noted writer and administrative officer, said while inaugurating a workshop on handicrafts: “Handmade and home-spun artefacts have an enduring charm that conjures up in front of our eyes an altogether different world fusing the old and the new.”

Indeed, an entrepreneurial career in handicrafts makes one hardly look back. Handmade and home-spun artefacts have sky-rocketing demand and value in the interior designing market.

To tap the career opportunities in handicrafts and make the students financially independent during their learning period and even later, the women’s cell of Nalbari College teachers’ unit organised a two-day career-oriented workshop on handicrafts on the college premises on October 1 and 2.

The workshop was unique as it marked the industry-academy tie-up as envisaged by the UGC. While the workshop was financially supported by the UGC, the technical inputs were provided by Pidilite Industries Ltd. The workshop generated an overwhelming response not only from the participants, but also from those who could not participate in it. “

t was a great privilege to participate in this workshop. Definitely the workshop helped us enhance our creativity, which also beckons entrepreneurship,” said Silpi Kakati. Babita Begum, who could not participate in the event, is hopeful that her trained friends will help her learn the art and gain financial independence.

Reviewing the workshop, T.N. Saloi, principal of the college, felt that the number of students seeking help would go down. He also insisted on opening a marketing unit for selling handicraft items on the college premises.

Super-teacher from Pidilite Industries Limited, Abhijit Gogoi, and classteacher Alakesh Pathak imparted training and offered counseling regarding many relevant aspects involving this venture. Looking at the finished products of the workshop, Gogoi said, “There is a difference between factory products and handicrafts finished products. Every single piece is unique, with its unique anecdote.”

Though handicrafts are the second largest source of employment after agriculture in India in general and the Northeast in particular, the lack of technical inputs has stunted the growth of this industry.

The workshop turned out to be very effective with Pidilite Industries offering technical support to make the finished products lucrative and more marketable. “This workshop taught us various crafts. It helped me immensely to develop my creativity and build a career in handicrafts,” said Kankana Talukdar, a student. The workshop at Nalbari College effectively delivered the concept that a vocation built on handicrafts even by practising it as a hobby, can be enterprising for a college student. One can easily earn Rs 50,000 per annum by spending just three hours of free time every day.

A staff reporter

Job-oriented education

Darshana Goswami, secretary, Women’s cell, Nalbari College Teachers’ Unit

Almost a month back, I came across an interesting piece of information: “Consider people who have no notion of being employed! The Aka language in Palizi village, situated on a mountainside in Arunachal Pradesh, has no word for “job” in the sense of someone being paid for work done!”

That’s strange! But by now the Akas too presumably are not so sequestered in the tiny global village and its free economy.

In the current consumer economy of plenty, “job” is no longer a buzzword; what is interesting is that we no more talk of job alone, but of “job security” as well as “job satisfaction”. Education can be of two types — job-oriented and career-oriented. What do we mean by career-oriented education? In simple terms, it could be defined as education that equips students to pursue a successful career in life.

Education should not be confined to literacy alone, or for that matter to grade-sheets and accomplishments. Today’s education system in India is neither oriented towards employment generation nor towards entrepreneurship. It is a bitter but real truth that only dummies are produced in the so-called centres of higher education. These graduates are like round pegs in square holes, fitting nowhere.

In this context of decadent social values and work culture, the importance of career-oriented education, workshops, symposiums, and the like, especially in entrepreneurship, remains self-explanatory. This focus on policy-making would turn employment seekers into employment givers.

GLance

Workshops

Sonaram Higher Secondary School organised a workshop on children’s literature on its campus at Bharalumukh in Guwahati on October 8.

Gauhati University
organised a two-day workshop on Sattriya dance on its campus on October 13 and 14. Vice-chancellor Okhil Kumar Medhi inaugurated the workshop. Commissioner of cultural affairs, government of Assam, Swapnanil Barua, also attended the workshop.

Varsity election

Election to various posts of office-bearers of Gauhati University Law College was held on October 12. The AASU-backed candidates were elected for maximum number of posts.
Scholarship

The management of Gurukul Grammar Senior Secondary School has decided to sponsor two meritorious girl students at the Plus II level. Each of them will receive scholarship of Rs 2,000 every month.

Golden jubilee

A colourful procession was taken out by the students of Jorhat College at Jorhat town on October 13 on the occasion of the golden jubilee celebrations of the college. Large number of students participated in the rally by wearing attires of different ethnic communities of the
state.