A month back one young entrepreneur approached me and said that he wants to build a big resort near Krang Shuri waterfalls with modern facilities including swimming pool. He has 2 large plots of land there. I felt happy and promised all help from the administration in getting NOCs and laiasoning with the state government in Commerce Department and Tourism Department. We need more quality restaurants, cafes, health clubs, resorts, parlours. Instead of parking the money in banks, it needs to be channelled into investment. Of course there is initial cost involved and it takes time to recoup the investment particularly in a place like Jowai. We have no industries here, hence no job opportunities. Polytechnic students come to me asking for employment. It saddens me to see that i am not in a position to help them. Everybody wants government jobs. We need to understand that with automation and technology every year no of jobs are dwindling. So my advice to the youth is, be a job creator, not job seeker. Few days back i had posted on the facebook calling for Expression of Interest from private parties for setting up a honey processing plant in Jowai town. We didn’t receive any applications.
If you want to repair a flat screen TV or a UPS or a refrigerator, you have to take it all the way to Shillong or even Guwahati sometimes. i have done it myself on several occasions. There is no trained qualified technician in Jowai. Why can’t the unemployed youths get training and come back to Jowai and set up repair shops? Till now the banks in Jowai have been able to give only 2 Stand up India loans. MUDRA loan figure is also very less. What does it show? It shows that there is lack of willingness on the part of our youths. Government is stressing so much on SKILL India. My request to all the unemployed youth is excel in at least one skill.
i am really impressed with the people of Mawlynnong, There every house has some business or the other. Here in Jaintia Hills also we ought to emulate Mawlynnong model. One more impressive entrepreneur is Mr Dennis Ryan who owns Orange Root Restaurant and Cherrapunjee Resorts in Sohra. A south Indian settled in Meghalaya, he has given employment to hundreds of young boys and girls in Sohra sub division. I have great respect for this gentleman. There are people in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore who are tired of city life and want to get away from the busy cities and stay in some serene background or in a village atmosphere for few days. They are ready to spend any money for this purpose. Those are the audience we have to catch. Villages like Moosakhia, Samanong, Mowtyrshiah, Ialong, Shnongpdeng, Darrang, Padu are some of the villages which can cash on this elite tourism business. Set up a nice cozy homestay with good and hygienic food, customers will pay a premium. You will become millionaires in a matter of few months. Needless to say safety is paramountcy in all tourist locations. We from the Administration will extend all possible assistance in setting up the business, marketing, tie up with Stayzilla or any tourism websites. There are so many bed and breakfasts (B&B) in Shillong, but in Jowai i don’t think there is any. Initiative and little ambition is all we need. Government cannot be in business everywhere, it can only aid you in setting up the business.
We have so many indigenous products. Turmeric, black pepper, bay leaf, smoke fish, bamboo artefacts, oranges, pineapple, pottery, handloom, honey etc. We need market linkages for all these products so that growers and artisans get better prices for their products. Somebody should focus on these aspects. Perhaps launch a website to market all these products and for home delivery. Or have a cold chain linkage. Again investment.
We take pride in having some of the cleanest villages in Meghalaya. But the reality in Jowai town and in villages and tourist spots is a far cry. There is rubbish and garbage thrown everywhere. Liquor bottles decorating beautiful tourist locations. We have taken up so many initiatives from the administration. Putting up dustbins everywhere, conducting cleanliness drives under Chief Minister’s Youth for Green Campaign, creating awareness through campaign, giving assistance to villages etc. Rivers are Gods. There is a reason why all the major cities and civilizations of the world have come up in river basin. If we don’t save river Myntdu, Umngot we will have a scary future for our children.
i had quoted the example of Tadipatri in Andhra Pradesh, how it became one of the cleanest town in India. We can also become that provided we wear the mantra of cleanliness on our sleeves. It is sad to see people urinating wherever they get some space in jowai town and defecating in open in villages. Ultimate dream would be to have WJH as one of the 60 ODF districts.
We have many NGOs doing good work and some not so good. NGOs, pressure groups are necessary in democratic set up. Many historic laws are the result of relentless efforts from the NGOs at the national and state level. My request to them is to engage in productive work. Do social auditing of government schemes instead of targeting migrant workers and other such work. We have labor department to deal with that. Create awareness among rural uneducated populace on their rights, take up good causes like river cleaning, drug addiction etc. Do quality checking of the works executed by private contractors. Some NGOs in Jowai town had actively taken part in Taskforce meetings. I thank them for that. Not just the NGOs, participation of common citizens also is very important characteristic of modern governance.
Conservation of rich cultural heritage that forefathers had passed on to us. There are 8 Archaeological Survey of India protected monuments in Meghalaya and interestingly 5 are in West Jaintia Hills district itself. But sad to say that some are in ruins. We need energetic people to revive the past and preserve the culture for the posterity. Culture is our pride. It is our responsibility to ensure that future generations also witness what we have been enjoying today.
There are so many other things i wanted to say but due to time constraint i am not able to. West Jaintia Hills district has all the potential to become the model district and be a shining example for Meghalaya and the rest of North East. My vision of Jaintia Hills is one in which kids are joyous, youth are hardworking and productive and old are content. May we strive for peaceful and prosperous Jaintia Hills.
i had promised to put up my vision before i leave. This is my last post on this FB page. From tomorrow, there will be a new administrator for this page. Please continue to support the new DC as you had been doing for me. Thanks for all the love and affection. No language in the world has the power to convey how grateful i am for having got an opportunity to serve all of you.
Khublei Chihajar Ngooh