Guwahati: In a bid to encourage the traditional way of handmade paper making, the 1000-year-old heritage art – the Monpa Handmade Paper Industry of Arunachal Pradesh was inaugurated at Tsangboo village in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The paper industry was inaugurated by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), chairman VK Saxena in presence of CEO Preeta Verma.
On this occasion welcoming all Maling Gombu president YASW (Youth action for social welfare) called the day historic in Monpa handmade paper making.
The art of making Monpa handmade paper originated over 1000 years ago. Gradually the art became an integral part of local custom and culture in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. Once produced in every household in Tawang, this handmade paper was a major source of livelihood for the locals. However, the handmade paper industry almost disappeared in the last 100 years; prompting KVIC to plan revival of this ancient art.
The fine-textured handmade paper, which is called Mon Shugu in the local dialect, is integral to the vibrant culture of the local tribes in Tawang. The paper has great historic and religious significance as it is the paper used for writing Buddhist scriptures and hymns in monasteries. The Monpa handmade paper, will be made from the bark of a local tree called Shugu Sheng, which has medicinal values too. Hence availability of raw material will not be a problem.
The KVIC Chairman said reviving the Monpa handmade paper industry and increasing its commercial production was the key objective of KVIC. “Owing to its peculiarity, this handmade paper has high commercial value that can be harnessed to create local employment in Arunachal Pradesh. By increasing production of Monpa handmade paper, it can again be exported to other countries and regain the space occupied by China in the last few decades. This is a local product with great global potential, which is aligned with the Mantra of “Local to Global” given by the Prime Minister,” Saxena added.
Apart from handmade paper, Tawang is known for two other local crafts – handmade pottery and handmade furniture – that are also getting extinct with passage of time. KVIC Chairman announced that within six months plans will be rolled out for revival of these two local arts. “Revival of handmade pottery will be taken up on priority under Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana very soon,” Saxena said.
The Monpa handmade paper unit will also serve as a training center for the local youths. KVIC will provide marketing support and explore markets for the locally manufactured handmade paper. KVIC plans to set up more such units in different parts of the country. Saxena said KVIC will also begin production of innovative plastic-mixed handmade paper in Tawang that will be crucial for reducing plastic waste in the region.
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