North Eastern Council (NEC) and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER), Govt. of India- Changlangkan Federation has become an inspiration

New Delhi : NERCORMP established the SHG Federation, the nearly despairing and devastated women of these societies slowly gathered courage to rise together as a federation, despite their inability to do so independently.Thirty years ago, the Changlang Circle communities lacked basic infrastructure such as roads, power, and schools. Nonetheless, people were inspired to grow and communities were encouraged to work hard and prepare the road for success, whether it was economic, cultural, or educational. Now, most villages are in the brink of collapse as 99% households are opium addicted. Their children’s education has suffered and women too have suffered as now most men folk are opium addicted. Women suffered lack of economic growth and support from men. Hopelessness prevailed all over. What the society needed at this juncture was not only the funds of the Govt. but also motivation for skill development and introduction to self-employment and self-reliant economic activities, which society lacked greatly. Changlangkan Federation is one such federation that has shown courage in stepping forward with wobbly grounds but determined and confidence.

Most households of these villages do not even earn Rs. 100 for months. Though it has been 6 years, since NERCORMP has been established but due to the obvious conditions, the said federation took time to lift itself up. The most important aspect was the change of mind set towards economic activities, as earlier this was done only for self -consumption, like small gardens and small paddy fields which were not even enough for half a year.The only skills women had were weaving loin cloths and brewing rice beer. Since the Govt. hardly pay any attention to the loin weavers, they have gone through lots of hardship as loin cloth takes much longer time to get finished than loom weaving due to which by the time the weavers reach in their thirties, they start having pain in their backs and joints and of course eye sight too get affected to a great extent, for which again Govt. has no policies on medical assistance for those loin weavers.

Federation comprised of nineteen (19) SHGs. Over the years, these women lost confidence to step ahead alone to engage in economic activities apart from traditional ones. They made an effort to convert their activities into commercial ones. They started going to offices and banks in connection to SHG activities.

Changlangkan Federation has become an inspiration to adjacent SHG federation due to their economic activities. Of late, women of this federation started baking cakes (trained under NERCORMP). At present, there is a market of cakes and cookies and are being appreciated in Changlang town. Members from Changlangkan.

SHG federation baking Christmas Cakes ordered by various customers. The SHG members were trained under NERCORMP,CCRMS, District Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh also supported with Bakery unit. In addition these SHG bakers started as a trainee now the trainees have trained other Community members and also participated in programmes conducted by NABARD. They are also running the Bakery unit which have been funded by NERCORMP, NEC& DoNER Ministry.

Earlier there were no good bakers here in the headquarters, public had to travel to Assam for one birthday cake, now these SHG bakes all types of cakes and cookies on order right at the centre of the headquarters.Their clientele consists of Government officials, Assam Rifles, CRPF, Police, Students, village communities etc. They are also running a Cafeteria at the District Library supported by District Administration. So far,a total more than 500 no’s (approx.) cakes have been sold, with an earning average of Rs. 20,000/- Rupees Twenty Thousand per month. The training they received from the project and the market demand makes them realized the importance of work.

Someone said it correctly that ‘The best way to make a person self-reliant is to boost their confidence and motivate, and the rest will pursue.’

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