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NE artisans to get online platform

Head of Tata Trusts' activities in Assam, Patho Patowari, speaks at the news conference in Guwahati on Tuesday

Guwahati: Handloom and handicraft artisans from the Northeast may soon have an exclusive e-commerce platform like Amazon or Tatacliq.

Tata Trusts, the philanthropic wing of the Tata Group, is planning to open an e-commerce platform as part of its initiative to support the artisans and promote their exquisite products online.

"We have already tied up with six popular e-commerce sites through which nearly 200 artisans from Assam and Manipur are selling their products. Artisans in lower Assam's Kamrup district and Sipajhar in Darrang district are selling their products. Similarly, in Thoubal district in Manipur, artisans are selling kouna (water hyacinth-like material) products online. But we are trying to have an exclusive online platform for them since we are exploring ways to provide them better market linkages, apart from training and skill development," Biswanath Sinha, head of Tata Trusts' Northeast operations told The Telegraph here on Tuesday.

Six e-commerce sites with which Tata Trusts have tied up for Northeast products are Amazon, Flipkart, Tatacliq, Habba, Westside and India Kala.

Tata Trusts, which is celebrating its 125th year, had launched its Northeast operations in 2008 and has covered all seven states. Nearly 1.4 lakh households have been covered so far with focus on agriculture and allied sectors, education, water and sanitation, health and nutrition, sports, skill development and micro-enterprise.

Patho Patowari, head of Tata Trusts' activities in Assam, said nearly 30,000 households in 15 districts in the state had been covered by them.

"We have been working directly with beneficiaries and supporting organisations at the grassroots. We are focusing on conflict-affected districts like Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri in lower Assam and the flood-hit Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh and Golaghat districts. Besides, we are working with government organisations such as Mising Autonomous Council and supporting nearly 700 households in handloom, fishery and agriculture in Lakhimpur and Majuli districts," he said.

Under its football development initiative in the Northeast, the Tata Trusts selected 35 young footballers aged between 9 and 15 years (17 from Mizoram, 15 from Manipur, two from Meghalaya and one from Assam) who are now undergoing football training in Germany. They have also been enrolled in a German university for education during their six-year training programme.

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