Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb launched bamboo candles made by a self-help women group from Sipahijala ahead of Diwali on Friday.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb officially launched the bamboo candles during a simple programme in his official chamber in presence of the members of SHGs and District Magistrate Sipahijala district, Vishwasree B. He also launched organic sugar jaggery and homemade pineapple jam prepared by the SHG members.

The Chief Minister appreciated the initiative of the SHGs and said that this is a totally new concept. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio address ‘Maan Ki Baat’ has emphasised on the bamboo sector and ‘vocal for local’ and this initiative of the women SHGs proves that the concept of the PM has reached even to the remotest villages of Tripura,” Biplab Kumar Deb said.

The CM added that most of the bamboo species mature fast and have the potential to create employment and income especially in the small scale industries and the state government is emphasising on this sector.

He also appreciated the idea of producing organic cane jaggery and pineapple jam using locally available raw materials which can fetch the producer good return and the local farmers will also benefit from the same.

“We never knew about the concept of bamboo candles till the District Magistrate (DM), Block District Officer (BDO) and other coordinators came with the proposal to us. But there is a huge demand for our products. We made ‘diyas’ and candles for various price ranges,” Dipali Paul, a member of the SHG told ANI.

While another SHG member Purnima Nandi said that her area is famous for pineapple production but due to lockdown, they were unable to sell their produce and moreover, due to the arrival of the rainy season there was a possibility of rotting of the fruit.

“In this situation, all SHG members and pineapple farmers approached the BDO who suggested that they start producing pineapple jam as it would fetch good prices and also benefit the farmers. We have sold more than 300 bottles of pineapple jam already,” Purnima Nandi said.

In Tripura, the majority of the SHGs are run by women and National Rural Livelihood Mission is playing a vital role in empowering them by promoting self-employment through SHG movement especially in the remote areas.

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