Empowering through the Mini-Hornbill Fest but thinking beyond the fanfare

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By Amongla N Jamir


The changing values of society necessitate a new approach to all kinds of human activity. The traditional socio –economic market model cannot sustain in this changed context. Therefore the resumption of road shows or the new name mini-hornbill festivals that initially started in 2009 and kept in the backburner for some years might be positive for economic uplift and empowering the people.


We want development from the grassroots, employment opportunities, and robust economy with lesser financial dependence on the central government. We want to join the bandwagon of global trade and open our markets for foreign and national investments. We also know that insurgency and health of the state’s economy is related and that ultimately the proactive entrepreneurial attribute of the citizens plays a big propelling role in the big scheme of things.


In this grand scheme of things, road shows sponsored and supervised by the Government of Nagaland to act as facilitators is encouraging. The sequential course of road shows coinciding with each tribal festival in Nagaland thus enabling advertisement of the local market and generating product knowledge for road shows is encouraging.


It is not only an initiative of the Government to showcase the achievements of the departments and put up in stalls. We cannot display the pace and quality of development activities achieved by the incumbent Government and stakeholders on stalls during road shows or mini hornbills. Development is ambiguous and abstract and therefore it is not possible to exhibit as pieces of interest.


Local initiatives with a proper plan of marketing and expansion can come. Local and national agencies can use the platform of the road shows as a positive startup. The relevancy of the agencies, companies, corporations, Government departments or NGOs from grass root can amply use the platform of the road shows to turn it into a profit generating event to reach a wider clientele. It can be a great way to meet customers directly or attract the probable customers.


The planning of the road shows should also align with the goals of the Government. The target audience should also look at the road shows from an entrepreneurial angle and not only from a traditional market mentality of dependence and lethargy. Road shows beyond the acts of opening stalls and advertising grudgingly under the benefactor, ie, the government cannot bring the desired results.


Music, education and academia, organic agro products, horticulture, animal husbandry and piggery, medical tourism, alternative medicine and healthcare, beauty, nutrition and wellness, Naga culture and hospitality, early child care and Montessori avenues, good housekeeping startups, English and communication, indigenous and bamboo handicrafts, beekeeping and organic honey, handloom and weaving, Naga culinary and food assortment, bio resources, solar energy , traditional healing and herbal remedies are some of the avenues worth linking up during road shows. Efforts to engage and forge a supplier- client relationship build on professionalism are necessary.


As recently put out in a recent pre poll survey conducted by CSDS (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies) on Feb 2018, 35 % of the respondents and 30%  of the respondents fully agree and somewhat agree that the Hornbill Festival benefits mostly the elites. 16% somewhat disagreed on the assertion while only 6% of the respondents disagreed that elites mostly get benefitted. 17% had no response. The inclusive character of the road shows should be maintained.


Mini Hornbills sounds condescending and like a poor country cousin of the Hornbill festival. Moreover a different way of planning the time of the events coinciding with festivals can be thought over because the festivals are usually centered on the season of jhum cultivation which is mainly during the rainy season.


Therefore drawing up the modalities and having the event itself with monsoon rains will act as spoilers and the event itself will become not only expensive but difficult to plan. Buyers and tourists will hesitate before investing because of the mud and the sludge. But all these concerns will be irrelevant if we have decent infrastructure with decent roads.


The writer is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Fazl Ali College Mokokchung. She is a mother of two young children and loves writing.


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