Shri Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs e-inaugurated via a video conference a ‘Tribes India Showroom’ in Indian Globe Chambers of LIC Western Zonal Office, Fort, Mumbai today. The inaugural event was attended by Secretary, MoTA Shri Deepak Khandekar, Chairman, TRIFED Shri R. C. Meena and MD, TRIFED Shri Pravin Krishna. Renowned designer Ruma Devi and cine star Pooja Batra also participated in the virtual inauguration.
Addressing on the occasion, Shri Arjun Munda said, “We are firmly standing behind 50 lakh tribal artisans and forest gatherers in their hour of need, steadily and firmly to sustain their income, employment and livelihoods.”
Speaking about his ministry’s firm resolve and TRIFED’s concerted efforts to support the tribal brethren, Shri Munda said that taking the Prime Minister’s message forward to “Be Vocal for Local” and to promote the livelihood of the tribal people marketing, TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs has initiated these path-breaking initiatives that have a wide-ranging impact. In a bid to boost sales and enhance tribal income in these challenging times, Tribes India on Wheels – mobile vans stacked fully with Van Dhan natural produce, immunity boosters and other tribal products - has now been launched. These will take these products directly to the customer’s doorstep in 150 cities across the country.
Shri Munda also expressed his happiness that tribal arts and character is being displayed attractively in this flagship store in the tinsel town and the financial capital, Mumbai . Lauding the tireless efforts of the team of TRIFED warriors, he hoped that the handiwork of these artisans and communities, which is essentially made from the heart, will now get a bigger market.
He said that in a solid push to the existing infrastructure, two production centres for Minor Forest Produce processing as a part of the TRIFOOD project, in association with MoFPI and NSTFDC are being set-up in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, and Raigad, Maharashtra – giving many thousands of tribals employment opportunities!
The TRIBES INDIA outlet which is located in the prestigious area of Fort is the third in the city of Mumbai; there are two existing outlets at Panvel and Juhu. The newly-inaugurated outlet at Indian Globe Chambers, D N Road, Fort, Mumbai is the 122nd Tribes India outlet across the country. Besides stocking products – arts and crafts from all the 27 Indian states, this is the first stop to focus primarily on Van Dhan essentials and immunity boosters – essential products during this pandemic.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Deepak Khandekarcongratulated the entire team of TRIFED on their diligent efforts during the times of pandemic and reiterated the Ministry’s focus on “Be Vocal for Local.”
Ms. Ruma Devi, noted designer and Goodwill Ambassador of Tribes India also appreciated TRIFED’s work even during the lockdown which have helped the tribal artisans and offered her unstinted cooperation and support.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr. Pravir Krishna, thanked the Union Minister for his presence at the formal virtual launch of the Fort outlet.Acknowledging the Minister’s unstinted support for the cause of tribal welfare, he spoke about TRIFED’s path-breaking initiatives during the pandemic that have helped alleviate the distressed tribals by sustaining and improving their income and livelihood.
Due to the suddenness of the pandemic and the immediate lockdown, stocks by tribal artisans worth crores had been lying unsold. In order to ensure that these stocks of tribal artisans are sold, TRIFED trebled its efforts and launched an aggressive drive to sell these goods online through its Tribes India website (www.tribesindia.com) and also other retail platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart and GeM. A novel mobile van service, TRIBES India on Wheels was also launched on August 19, 2020 to bring healthy, immunity-boosting natural tribal produce, such as wild honey, organic haldi, amla, ginger, black pepper, directly to the doorstep of the customer. The van service is now operational in 31 cities across the country.
Another path-breaking initiative that is on the verge of being actualised is TRIFED’s about-to-be-launched exclusive e-marketplace for tribal producers – forest dwellers and artisans, to facilitate the purchase of MFPs, handicrafts and handlooms online. The Tribes India E-Mart platform will be an omni-channel facility for the tribals to sell their goods to a large national and international audience in an e-marketplace through their own e-shop. TRIFED is in the process of onboarding approximately 5 lakh tribal producers across the country and sourcing their natural produce, handcrafted goods.
In its mission to empower the downtrodden tribal people, by promoting the economic welfare of their communities across India (through development of marketing and the sustained upgradation of their skills), TRIFED, as the national nodal agency for tribal welfare, started the procurement and marketing of tribal art and craft items through its network of retail outlets called Tribes India. From a single flagship store at 9 Mahadeo Road, New Delhi in 1999, there are now 122 retail outlets across India.
With these renewed and continuous initiatives, Tribes India/ TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs continues its endeavour towards protecting and furthering the interests of the tribal communities across the country.