All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) being one of the most responsive students union in the region, wishes to be part of the discourse and debate on the theme of promoting indigenous knowledge . ABSU being the voice of indigenous communities is focusing on issues related to indigenous knowledge and technologies that can become critical in promoting sustainable development. As a part of economic awareness year, ABSU has organised a daylong seminar on “the role of indigenous knowledge-technology in sustainable economic development & policy of central, state and autonomous councils” at the conference hall of Sankardev Kalakhetra on 14th May. This seminar has been organised to deepen the understanding on indigenous knowledge-technologies and its various challenges for ensuring sustainable development and to find way forward for revitalization, promotion and documentation of critical indigenous knowledge-technologies as means for sustainable development through consultative process.
The keynote speech was delivered by Pramod Bodo, President of ABSU. In his keynote address, he mentioned about importance of sustainable development. “Indigenous knowledge and skills available in the society must also be tapped for economic and social up-liftmen. The focus must not confine to only on skills for machines, digital and industry based technology. Businesses and industries must also give priority to rural and indigenous products. Financial institutions should not run only after successful technology entrepreneurs but give equal preference, if not more, to rural and indigenous entrepreneurs and enterprises. Governments must create a level playing field through policy intervention to make rural and Indigenous enterprises successful”, said Pramod Bodo.
Inaugurating the seminar Debojit Khound , Economic Adviser of North Eastern Council said that conventional economic model has not been able to bring change and hence a bottom up approach is needed in the region . He shared some activities of NEC and the way they have been effective in some part of the region related to economic development.
Adip Phukan , Senior Journalist has mentioned that economic development is not taking place as policies are implemented from top . he was also mentioning about the areas which are linked with indigenous knowledge and said that new perspectives is needed for development .
Achinta Kr Baruah, faculty from Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship said that there is problem with attitude in comparison with other part of the country. He mentioned that we need to do analysis and move ahead for entrepreneurship growth. SWOT analysis is needed to know one better and move ahead to promote entrepreneurship.
Amiya Sarma, Director of Rashtriya Grameen Vikash Nidhi has said that paradigm shift is needed to bring development to the region. There must be good governance and rule of law for the change and there must be vibrant public institutions for brining economic development.
Mrinal Gohain, Regional Manager of Action Aid said that many places in the states have lost natural resources like forest cover. He was raising question amongst participants and asked them to think why there has been lost o natural resources.
Jennifer Liang, Managing Trustee of Action Northeast Trust has shared their experiences of social business ‘Agor’. She said that there should be short-term courses to manage local business and there must be more indigenous entrepreneur for brining economic development.
Other speakers included Dr Hemen Bhattacharjya , Director , Extension Education of Assam Agriculture University said that there must be market linked production. He has also given a data related to agriculture production from 4 district of BTAD.
Dr P S Harikrishnaraj , Assistant General Manger of NABARD has shared the activities of the bank and their activities related to the state. He shared that exposure programme and capacity building are organised for entrepreneurs.
Dr B K Bhatttacharjya, Regional head of ICAR –ICFRI said that indigenous technical knowledge can be mixed with modern technologies for yielding more production. He also said that Geographical Index is needed for documentation and resource mapping is important.
Barun Mandal , Junior Inspector of Coir Board has mentioned about coir board and its functions. Other speakers and guests includes Pratibha Brahma,Social Worker from Kokrajhar ; Manoj Basumatary , Entrepreneur from Sonitpur ; Pushpadhar Das from Bagsa; Utpal Jyoti Sarma, Programme Coordinator , KBK , Bagsa; Hitesh Basumatary ,MLA from Chapaguri; Govinda Basumatary and Dhiren Bodo, General Secretary and Chairman of NDFB (P); Rwn Gwra Narzary , Nirmal Brahma and Guneswar Gayari , MCLAs of BTAD; Bhaskar Deuri , President of All Deuri Students Union ; Ratan Kachari , President of All Sonowal Kachari Students Union. The seminar was chaired by Raju Narzary, Executive Director of NERSWN. Eight successful indigenous entrepreneurs were felicitated by ABSU on the occasion. The seminar was attended by people from different parts of the state.