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Darjeeling synergy helps small scale entrepreneurs

Statesman News Service | Darjeeling |

A synergy to provide help for entrepreneurs, mainly those in the small scale and medium enterprises, was organized on Thursday at the Tourist Lodge here, where many stalls were set up by different departments.

Organized by the state’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), in association with the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the one-day synergy aims at providing help to the new as well as old entrepreneurs.

“We organize such synergy in different places in West Bengal where there is potential for small scale and medium enterprises. New entrepreneurs do not know where clearances have to be taken like the land department, power department, fire department, environmental, and industry licensing. The synergy is one single platform where all these departments can be contacted,” said tMSME director Vijay Bharati.

In Thursday’s programme, different stalls were set up by departments like the MSME, Tourism, Power, Fire, Finance, Environment, Land and Labor, along with the GTA.

“The main objective of this programme was to support local entrepreneurs in whatever prospective industries that are there in the villages, like making pickles, noodles, soft brooms, chocolates, dairy products, juice and others. There are some who need incentives or others who need training, mechanization, capacity building or other form of support, which can be got through various schemes that are there. We will try to solve whatever problems they have,” said Mr Bharati who added that this also involves packaging and branding of the products so that they can be marketed outside.

Speaking about the 18 proposals of different projects that were taken up in the Hill Business Summit that ended yesterday, he said, “We have already provided machines in some places and within two months, all of them will start functioning.”

The different projects includes manufacturing of soft brooms at Lingsey, Lingseykha and Kalimpong Block-II, which will cover 1500-2000 families through 100 Self Help Groups, Turmeric in Chibbo, Bongbasti, Pudung and Kalimpong Block, which will cover about 600 families.

Large cardamom at Todey and Tangta along with Gorubathan block, which will give coverage to about 2,000 farmers. Market linkage for these products is being done with the Future Group, along with the state-run Biswa Bangla.

The projects are there for other products like ginger, tulsi ark, honey, eight folk art centres, five hill craft centres and a floating market at Mirik Lake which will sell multiple hill products of local artisans and SHGs.

“We have an SHG consisting of 10 members called Himali and we make handloom items like bags and shawls, among other things. We do not have proper market for it and sell it only in our village or sometimes in the block but we need more places to sell it. I have come here to ask for help in marketing,” said Sachela Tamang, a member of the SHG at Dudhia in Mirik.