Port Blair, Sept. 13: On 12th September 2023, the Andaman and Nicobar State Cooperative Union organised a Certificate Distribution Ceremony for the women of Stewartgunj Panchayat for successfully completing their one year Tailoring and Fashion Designing Course. Shri Keshav Chandra, IAS, Chief Secretary, A&N Administration graced the occasion as the chief guest in the presence of the Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma.

Addressing the gathering, the Chief Secretary praised the Cooperative Union for their various skill development activities that they organise for empowering the women and to promote the concept of "Vocal for Local". Congratulating the trainees on the successful completion of the course, he said that he would open up the stalls at the ITF ground for the women who undergo these skill development programs to market and promote their products locally, which would help showcase the local craftsmanship, create employment opportunities and help them make an earning.

The Member of Parliament, Shri Kuldeep Rai Sharma praised the Chief Secretary for his effort and dedication towards his service and work that he has been doing for the people of the Islands. He expressed his delight as he lauded the trainees for the successful completion of the course and recalled his last visit almost a year back the same women of the area had requested him to start up such a skill development course. He praised the women and said they will be essential in inspiring other women in their community to enroll in similar programs for skill development that will help them find high-quality employment of their own, a better way of life, financial independence, and the capacity to support their families.

He assured them that a cooperative bank would loan them tailoring machines and equipment for starting their own business.

On the occasion Smti. Nandini Maharaj, IAS Special Secretary, Co-operative cum RCS also praised the wonderful products displayed by the SHG women and encouraged the trainees to take this learning forward and to make a living out this skill.

The GM, NABARD, Ms Archana Singh also addressed the gathering and said that NABARD will facilitate the women who would sell their products at the ITF stalls once it starts functioning as suggested by the Chief Secretary.

The Chief Secretary and Member of Parliament cheerfully congratulated each trainee as they handed over the certificates to them at the ceremony. The event saw a huge gathering of the local public present for the certificate distribution ceremony at the Panchayat hall.