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| Last Updated:08/12/2021

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Van Dhan scheme helps realise forest's true value: MLA Khashim

 Source: Chronicle News Service / R Lester Makang

Ukhrul, August 28 2021: The idea of Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is to help the poor tribal community optimise utilisation of natural resources and not ruin them by wanton activities and this scheme should help people realise the true value of forest and its resources, stated Chingai MLA Khashim Vashum, who attended as chief guest during a one-day advocacy programme of Chingai Block Van Dhan Vikas Kendra held at Ukhrul Forest Division office on Saturday.

Lamenting that forest cover is fast depleting in different parts of the district due to unbridled felling of trees, Khashim observed that people tend to take forest and its rich resources for granted but this is one reason why people often fail to harvest the benefits of forest produces despite abundant availability and hence miserable economy.

He then gave a clarion call to all for realising the true value of natural resources which are found abundantly in the district.

Stating that Van Dhan scheme has proved to be a successful initiative of the government, he said that it has tremendously improved the economy of rural communities across the country since its launch by PM Narendra Modi way back in 2018.He continued that the scheme is promoting conservation of forest by emphasising the potential of natural resources in uplifting the rural tribal economic system.

With this remarkable initiative of the forest department, it is time for the people to make a stand and strive to strengthen own economy, he said and encouraged the participants representing 19 SHGs under Chingai block to take proper advantage of the scheme.

And then, true to his nature, the MLA handed out a financial assistance of Rs 2000 each to all the SHGs from his end, giving support and encouragement to the SHGs.

'Don't belittle your work.

Start small and grow big.

No matter how small you start off, you will definitely succeed, if you work hard,' he said, citing examples of successful enterprises in the state.

Underscoring the need for hard work, MLA Khashim challenged the SHGs to prove their capabilities in various trades while maintaing that he doesn't hear words but only watch action.

Help and cooperate one another so there will be growth and prosperity for all, he said, while urging the women groups to work in the spirit of unity.

Attending the event as guests of honour, additional SP Ukhrul Ringthing Hongchui and Chingai SDO L Thangal highlighted the importance of Van Dhan scheme in improving rural economy.

"This is a big step for our people to improve economy,' Hongchui said, referring to the implementation of the scheme in the district.

He observed that failure of the hill people to tap the potentials of natural resources has resulted in unemployment and economic crisis, and expressed hope that the scheme would help in addressing the same.

SDO Thangal said that the scheme aims at increasing the value of forest produces through value addition.

Stating that the scheme is also designed to give financial empowerment to women, he urged the women to put in innovative ideas in producing their products.

In his speech as functional president, DFO Ukhrul Shanngam Shali informed that the district plans to set up 10 clusters each of 300 members.

He informed that the government will also provide a financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh to each cluster.

To help the SHGs start off their business, equipment and tools for food processing and embroidery and tailoring machines along with Rs 5000 each were provided to all the SHGs during the event.