In November, our centers were visited by women SHG members from Seppa, in East Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh, and members of the Arunachal State Rural Livelihood Mission (ArSRLM). After an interaction with our community members, the DC of East Kameng invited us to Seppa to introduce our skill-building initiatives to the women in the region. Seppa is the headquarters of the East Kameng district. It is located in very hilly terrain and is geographically isolated. The communities in Seppa include the Nishi tribal community
In August 2021, a group of 50 enthusiastic SHG women from the East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh visited Majuli district to understand the work of SHG women of Majuli. Inspired by their work and unique quality designs, the East Kameng SHG women, through the Deputy Commissioner of East Kameng, invited Ayang Trust to work with them. East Kameng hence became the first centre after Majuli for Ayang Trust to start long term interventions. Through an MoU with the District Administration and Arunachal Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission (ArSRLM), East Kameng, Ayang started its work in November 2021 in the picturesque valley.
The intervention started with capacity building in traditional crafts like handloom weaving, bamboo crafts and food processing for over a 100 women. Following the training, we collaborated with the District Administration and ArSRLM to set up a first-of-its-kind SHG supermarket, ‘LoKal’, in Seppa, exclusively managed, operated, and marketed by women’s SHGs of East Kameng. The project aims to aggregate all the farm and non-farm produce of East Kameng and sell it to the wholesalers and retailers through one centre. Ayang Trust supported the skill training, development of procurement and sales plans, management training for staff and also in design and infrastructure development.
Ayang, with the support of NABARD, also established the Bana Farmer Producers’ Cooperative Society Limited, a collective of 200 farmers in the valley of Bana in the East Kameng District. Since its inception, farmers have been trained in beekeeping, innovative pink mushroom cultivation, spice processing and mustard oil extraction. The farmers are also eager to sell their produce under the collective which is also being supported by Ayang.
The district also provides us with a wide variety of opportunities and an equally motivated community to introduce newer interventions like tailoring and aquaculture into the district while also plan to expand to the neighbouring districts within Arunachal Pradesh.