Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills Ensuring Tourists’ Safety with Locally Made Life Jackets
- Muskan Khandelwal
- Published on 4 Aug 2023, 9:00 am IST
- 3 minutes read
- DC East Jaintia Hills Abhilash Baranwal has taken a combined approach to enhance tourists safety by boosting local entrepreneurship
- Life jackets have been distributed to villages of Cham Cham, Mutong, Rangad, and Khaddum to ensure people’s safety in water bodies
- All life jackets have been made locally and villagers have been instructed to rent these out to tourists, generating additional revenue
To tackle water safety concerns and boost local entrepreneurship, the Deputy Commissioner of East Jaintia Hills District, IAS officer Abhilash Baranwal, has successfully combined both, by distributing life jackets in the villages of Cham Cham, Mutong, Rangad, and Khaddum that are made locally in the East Jaintia Hills. The villagers have been instructed to rent out these life jackets to tourists who want to visit the water bodies that the area is famous for, thereby generating an additional income.
MEGHALAYA’S ECONOMY SO FAR
Historically, Meghalaya has been facing economic challenges, with efforts to establish a thriving economic hub proving to be elusive. The state’s per capita Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is below the national average, and poverty rates have been a persistent issue. However, in recent years, the State Government has been working diligently to improve the quality of life for its citizens, and poverty rates have shown a decline.
Recognizing the potential of entrepreneurship in the state’s development, the government has been striving to create an environment that encourages innovation, risk-taking, and hard work. Mr. Baranwal has been at the forefront of this effort, implementing policy and program interventions to make entrepreneurship a viable and attractive opportunity.
ENHANCING WATER SAFETY
One such initiative, undertaken by the office of the Deputy Commissioner, is focus on water safety and local entrepreneurship. The villages of Cham Cham, Mutong, Rangad, and Khaddum have received life jackets, which are locally made in East Jaintia Hills. This move not only promotes water safety but also aligns with the Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India) and ‘vocal for local’ initiatives, encouraging the use of locally produced goods.
During the distribution event, the officer emphasized the importance of water safety, particularly in areas frequented by tourists. He urged the villagers to ensure that tourists are not allowed to venture into deep waters without life jackets. By making these life jackets available for rent, the villagers can also generate additional revenue, contributing to their economic growth.
The distribution of locally made life jackets serves a dual purpose – safeguarding lives and promoting entrepreneurship. It addresses the safety concerns associated with water bodies in the region, which is essential given the presence of natural water resources attracting tourists and locals alike. Simultaneously, it encourages local entrepreneurs and artisans to contribute to the region’s economic development by manufacturing and distributing the life jackets. This initiative aligns with the state’s vision of fostering entrepreneurship despite the challenges posed by the historical, geographic, economic, and cultural factors unique to Meghalaya. With a significant portion of the population engaged in subsistence-level agriculture and allied activities, creating a conducive environment for private sector development is crucial.
By supporting the manufacturing and distribution of life jackets locally, Deputy Commissioner Abhilash Baranwal has taken a step towards empowering communities and promoting self-reliance. The initiative not only ensures safer water practices but also reflects the potential for growth and prosperity that can be achieved through local entrepreneurship.
As Meghalaya continues to explore new avenues for economic development, the focus on entrepreneurship and innovation remains at the core of the state’s vision. With dedicated efforts from officers like IAS Abhilash Baranwal and various policy interventions, the state is poised to overcome its economic challenges and create a thriving environment for its citizens and businesses alike.
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