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Women's increasing role in India Inc,north east women entrepreneurs redefine handloom,handicraft products
Women's increasing role in India Inc.
By A Bezbaruah
Keeping the growing demand for the States handloom products, the Government of Manipur has stressed on the importance of manufacturing high quality handloom products, as these have a growing demand in not only other Indian states but also abroad.

However we have to encourage domestic artisans and weavers to manufacture high quality handloom products. This will in turn also help in the development of the society. More so if women takes an active role in the development process. Women of the North East have always played a proactive role in all walks of life.

In this regard the case of of Kos Zhasa of Nagaland and Balary Wall of Meghalya, the two modern face of the region, who are independent, modern and think ahead of their times, can be cited. Both say they want to do something worthwhile for their respective states, something that leaders of the past have not been able to achieve.

Kos Zhasa, a woman in her early thirties, represents the Gen Next of the region, keen to redefine and redesign handloom and handicraft products so that they are in tune with today's world.  Zhasa was the star attraction of Nagaland at the recently concluded India International Trade Fair (IITF) in New Delhi.

A product of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Delhi, she started out on her own as a fashion designer. The clothes that she designs reflect her thinking. Her idea is to create an all-India niche for products of the North East.

Customers and serious buyers were amazed at the quality of the garments on show. What was most innovative at the trade fair was the participation of women entrepreneurs in large numbers.

If Kos has an uncanny business sense, she also is politically astute. She is a woman who has seen the world, and understands how peace and prosperity go hand in hand. She recognises that violence has contributed to both socio-economic and political uncertainty. She feels that the only way to take advantage of the emerging market in India's neighbourhood is to ensure permanent peace in the North East.

For her, the traditional industry is not only a means for survival, but also a way to serve society by giving employment to traditional artisans. She is just in her mid twenties, but thinks independently and is well ahead of her times.

This new breed of entrepreneurs is well aware of the potential that markets in the North East offer once border trade starts in right earnest. For those visiting the Meghalya pavilion the just concluded India International Trade Fair, products of cane and bamboo were a major attraction.

Women like Kos and Ballary represent the new face of the North East. They stand out. They have a vision and want to be different in life. No doubt, in times to come North East India will be the engine of growth for the entire country.