(written by Shekhar Rai, Extension officer, RD, district: nicobar)
The Nicobar group of Islands are an archipelagic island chain in the eastern Indian Ocean, located 1,300 km southeast of the Indian subcontinent, across the Bay of Bengal, forming the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The district is constituted of Car Nicobar (HQ), Nancowry and Campbell Bay Blocks/ Tehsils all of which are tribal regions except Campbell Bay with three Gram Panchayats and therefore entry of non-tribal into tribal area is subject to Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Regulation 1956.
The district is at a distance of approx. 250km from Port Blair. Furthermore, due to difficulties in transportation and connectivity within these islands, implementation of centrally sponsored schemes to provide assistance to various beneficiaries residing in far flung islands is very difficult.
Footprints of Mr. Ahmed’s Success …
Shri Mohseen Ahmed, R/o village Kinyuka,Car Nicobar expresses his gratitude towards the District Administration Nicobar in bringing about such large scale awareness of the scheme and providing handholding support to potential entrepreneurs among the ST and women class of the Nicobarese society and for facilitating a loan of Rs. 53 lakhs which has definitely changed his life in a big way.
Prior to the benefits under the scheme, he had been a clothes, footwear and electronic shop owner. Before this huge change in his life, he owned a small shop and had to face many issues in successfully running his business.
Firstly, due to acute shortage of finance, he was forced to purchase his shop supplies from Port Blair which resulted in cost escalation and reduced profits. Due to subsequently lower profits, he was unable to import his supplies from mainland as was being done by the merchants of Port Blair and a hand few of well-established merchants of Car Nicobar.
Shri Mohseen is now able to import his shop supplies directly from Chennai/ mainland and is thus now able to sell the same at the rates equivalent to Port Blair and sometimes even cheaper. This has definitely improved the way of life of the tribal people of Car Nicobar. He confers that his earlier wastage of money on mediums and brokers has now been converted into merely profits... more profits.
Shri Mohseen, who was once a small shop owner, has now been able to open two shops by the names of M/s Sarhad Shopping Complex at village Kinyuka and M/s Mohseen Enterprises at village Perka in car Nicobar thereby becoming self-reliant and also has been in a position to provide employment to more than 10 persons in his two shops. He is also planning to expand his business to manufacturing processes.Truly, once a job seeker has become a job Provider.
He feels that drawing inspiration from the scheme and its influence on his business,more people, not only from his village, but from the whole of Nicobar District have begun to come forward to get assistance under the scheme. And since getting loans under the scheme comes without hassles, mortgage or surety, it is really pulling the people towards itself and encouraging them to get their share of fame under the scheme.
Shri Mohseen Ahmed is grateful to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi ji for bringing out such great opportunities for the common man to grow. He is now a true believer of ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas”.