Source: News Bharati English16 Apr 2016 17:25:18

Shillong, April 16:  On seeing the innovative bamboo and cane products on display by the craftsmen at the Shken.in Bamboo & Cane Products Exhibition and 33rd District level Industrial Exhibition, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Dr. Mukul Sangma expressed a sense of satisfaction and joy over the displayed products. The exhibition began at the State Central Library premises on Friday morning.The department of Commerce & Industries in partnership with the Department of Design, IIT, Guwahati has come up with the project for innovative cane and bamboo products with upgraded designs and technology using the brand name Shken.in. Shken is a local Khasi word for bamboo. The Chief Minister said that the next immediate step for the department and IIT, Guwahati must be to patent this innovation and technology, which is integrated to this whole exercise of partnership.

Inaugurating the exhibition in the presence of Minister for Transport, HDR Lyngdoh, Urban Affairs Minister, M. Ampareen Lyngdoh, Parliamentary Secretary, Dr. Celestine Lyngdoh, Chief Secretary, KS Kropha,  other State officials and officials of the department, besides the master crafts persons from various parts of the State, the Chief Minister said that this exhibition was unlike other exhibitions that has been held all these years, adding that the wonderful products put up by the crafts persons was  an outcome of a wonderful partnership model of leveraging upon the skills of the master craftsmen by taking advantage of the resources available in our own backyards – the bamboo and cane, often referred to as ‘green gold’ or ‘wonder grass’.

Stating that the people’s involvement with bamboo is a part and parcel of tribal way of life, Sangma emphasized how with partnership one can integrate the knowledge of science, innovation, creativity and give shape to much more superior and wonderful products that can generate so much of interest. He also said that wonders can happen when these are passed on to the potential partners who would like to link their livelihood with the outcome of such exercise.

He congratulated the department of Commerce & Industries and the team of IIT, Guwahati under the leadership of Prof. Ravi Mokashi Punekar for the wonderful partnership and underscored the importance of building partnerships that can open up further opportunities of entrepreneurship to the people and at the same time can be instrumental in creating something exclusive–which is completely connected with the State and its people by leveraging upon these available resources.

Stating that there is no end to exploring the scope of innovation on bamboo, he said, “Let the people across the globe look at our high-end bamboo products, let them become the first choice of many people and we will target the high-end clientele”.

As the two-day exhibition included the technical session on diversification of bamboo & cane products, the Chief Minister also said that this kind of session should be extended to involve students drawn from various institutions and recommended the department to have such sessions, one in Tura and another in Shillong, exclusively for the young students.

Sangma also recommended that the skill component of ADB-funded human capital development programme be integrated with this programme. He suggested that this can also be extended to the youth who are giving up armed struggle and trying to come back to living to the mainstream. Principal Secretary, Commerce & Industries, PW Ingty and Director, Commerce and Industries, MB Roy were among others who also spoke briefly on the occasion.