Imphal: The SARAS Fair provides a platform for the rural poor, marginal producers (farm and non-farm) to showcase their products, capacity, ability and skills after completion of training, said Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister Thongam Biswajit Singh Tuesday. The minister was speaking at the inaugural function of the Regional SARAS Fair, 2021 at Iboyaima Shumangleela Shanglen.
Addressing the inaugural function as the chief guest, Thongam Biswajit Singh said that the stalls in the SARAS Fair are opened by self-help groups under the village level federations.
The minister said that the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) is one of the most important flagship programmes of the government. He further said that Manipur State Rural Livelihoods Mission (MSRLM) which is established to implement the NRLMin the state, has already covered eight districts, 27 blocks, 251 Gram Panchayats and 460 villages.
The Minister also spoke on the importance of Mission for Economic Empowerment of Traditional Artisans & Craftsmen (MEETAC) and suggested capacity building training for the SHGs under MEETAC. He said this will help in improving quality of the products. He continued that to make an Atmanirbhar Bharat, we need an Atmanirbhar Manipur, a self-sufficient State.
It is quite encouraging that the focus is on local products at the SARAS Fair, he said adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call is to be “Vocal for Local.”
Thongam Biswajit further sought cooperation from all sections of the society to build a strong Manipur.
MLA Oinam AC, L Radhakishor Singh spoke about the need to support the local artisans and said that we should promote and support our local products so as to enhance the livelihood of our rural artisans. He further appreciated the local artisans for their efforts.
MLA, Chairman (MANIDCO) Dr Radheshyam Yumnam and addl chief secretary, RD&PR M H Khan also attended the inaugural function. The SARAS Fair, 2021 which has 128 stalls showcasing handloom products, modernised handicraft, curved woods, shawls, vegetables, spices, processed food items, cane and bamboo products, skilled related products, and others from various districts of the State, will continue till November 10, 2021.