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A DM Office With A Difference: Special Counters for SHGs, Open Work Spaces For Staff

A DM in Tripura is making waves by introducing new concepts in her office She is Khowai DM, Chandni Chandran, a 2017-batch IAS officer Her office has place for SHGs to display and sell their products while for the employees, there are open spaces to relax and work
Indian Masterminds Stories

These days, visitors to the Collector’s office in the Khowai district of Tripura are greeted with a strange sight. The government office wears a very different look with tastefully designed shelves showcasing colourful local wares. However, the wares are no ordinary products as these have been handmade by SHGs.

To encourage the SHGs of the district, DM of Khowai, Ms. Chandni Chandran, a 2017-batch IAS officer, started this unique initiative in her own office, and has now asked all other government offices, from headquarter to block level, to follow suit.

Indian Masterminds interacted with Ms. Chandni Chandran to get more details.

IAS Chandni Chandran

MAKING SPACE FOR SHGs

The initiative was started only a few weeks ago. And, the response has been good so far, with people visiting the DM office full of praises for it.

Different SHGs display their products on a rotation basis. This exercise has helped to increase the sale of 18 SHGs till now, thereby increasing livelihood generation and also creating permanent assets for the district.

There are 5247 SHGs in the district, out of which, 18 have already displayed and sold their products in the DM office.

From handicrafts made of bamboo and toys to office products and food products, a long range of items are on display.

Ms. Chandran said, “An office should reflect what it is trying to promote. Tripura Rural Livelihood Mission (TRLM) is an important part of our work. So, we wanted to provide an avenue for SHGs to showcase their talents in the DM office itself, to popularise it. We are trying to do it in other government offices as well. This is a one-of-its-kind initiative in the state.”

SHGs Products

BUY ONLY FROM SHGs

Furthermore, the district administration has made it compulsory for government offices to buy products like files, covers and pens from the SHGs only. Walking the talk, all meetings in the DM office use papers and cover files purchased from the SHGs only.

These products are all handmade and environment friendly.

Ms. Chandran said, “Our focus is more on office usable products. We are encouraging the SHGs to work in this segment as there is a huge potential in it.”

MILLET SHGs

Some SHGs in the district also make millets-based products, and they are also getting space in the DM office. As a result, their products are now famous and orders are pouring in.

These SHGs have now signed a MoU with the state Health Department for sale of millet based nutritious items for Health and Nutrition Day at the village level, and for pregnant and lactating mothers in the final stage. Such is the positive impact of the DM initiative!

Ms. Chandran said, “DM office is one of the most visited places in the district. If people come and see various new products here, out of curiosity, they then search and order. This is the motive behind this initiative – to popularize the SHGs.”

To help the women members of SHGs, especially the mothers, a creche facility has also been created in the DM office.

OPEN SPACES

And, this is not all, there is more. Unlike most government offices, here, there are open work spaces where government officials can sit and work.

These spaces were created to provide a better work experience to all government employees, so that their efficiency improves. There are four open spaces in the office right now.

Ms. Chandran said, “Most offices you see have cubicles and people barely interact with each other. Plus, in such an atmosphere, they feel pressurized and their works get affected. But, now, everything is open in my office, which gives a relaxed feel.”

Open work spaces

Since these open work spaces are situated right in the middle of the DM office, people from different sections can come together and work. They can meet up, plan something, or else, just relax.

Seeing the success of these ‘spaces’, the administration now plans to replicate these changes in all other government offices as well, from the SDM office to all offices at the block level. This will be done to accelerate the growth of the SHGs as well as to enhance the work environment for all government employees.


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