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Push for self-employment

- Govt launches campaign to encourage rural youths

Jorhat, Nov. 13: The Assam industry department has launched a campaign to create awareness on entrepreneurship development in the rural areas.

The department is holding meetings in each block of the state under the Industrial Awareness Campaign to showcase the initiatives taken by the government to attract youths for self-employment ventures.

The general manager of district industries and commerce centre (DICC), Jorhat, Nava Kumar Talukdar, told this correspondent here today that the government had asked all the districts to organise awareness meetings in each block about the “plenty of opportunities” available in self-employment schemes for the rural youths.

“The industry department has taken up a number of projects to promote entrepreneurship that includes training and offering technical guidance by tying up with various agencies and providing bank linkage to grant loans,” Talukdar said. Interested entrepreneurs in the rural areas should know about these to avail the opportunities, he added.

He said the centre had launched the campaign early this month and so far held four two-day awareness camps in four of the eight blocks of the district where nearly 100 youths had attended each camp.

Talukdar said apart from officials of the industries departments, officials from other departments, agencies and bank officials also participated in such meetings.

The general manager said booklets related to opening up of small and micro business ventures were distributed and the process of setting up any business was discussed.

Talukdar said a group of young and successful entrepreneurs, who could be role models for others, interacted with participants in these camps.

He said the response to these awareness drives was “very much encouraging”. A large number of the youths who attended the camps showed interest to start handicrafts business as these items were made mainly in the rural areas, but people failed to procure good price because lack of proper market linkages.

“We have assured them to impart different skill development training programmes being undertaken at the DICC,” Talukdar said.

Interested entrepreneurs were advised not to replicate the ventures which are already in abundance like small tea growers, photocopier machines, setting up of roadside dhabas (eateries), PCOs and three-wheeler transportation.

Talukdar said the campaign would be complete in the remaining four blocks by end of November.

He said special focus would be on Majuli as variety of handicrafts and hand-woven garments were being made by the various communities there.