Dif­fer­ently-abled, un­em­ployed youth to make shoes in Megha­laya

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Dif­fer­ently-abled and un­em­ployed youth in Megha­laya, will be de­sign­ing shoes for peo­ple with orthopaedic prob­lems. The shoe mak­ing unit, set up by the Roilang Liveli­hood Academy of Bethany So­ci­ety, was in­au­gu­rated by deputy con­sul-gen­eral of the Ger­man con­sulate, Cal­cutta, Jr­gen Thomas Schrod.the unit has been set up with sup­port from CBM (for­merly Christof­fel Blin­den­mis­sion) In­dia and fund­ing from the Ger­man con­sulate. The con­sulate had pro­vided a grant of ` 2.7 lakh to pur­chase ma­chines re­quired for the unit.the unit will cater to man­u­fac­tur­ing shoes for peo­ple, who re­quire spe­cially-de­signed footwear be­cause of var­i­ous or­tho­pe­dic prob­lems, Bethany So­ci­ety Di­rec­tor, Carmo Noronha said. More­over, it will also man­u­fac­ture nor­mal shoes and other leather prod­ucts.”we want to de­velop the em­ploy­a­bil­ity of youths, in­clud­ing the dif­fer­ently-abled. It will start im­part­ing train­ing from tomorrow to four dif­fer­entlyabled per­sons in mak­ing spe­cial footwear, in­clud­ing le­prosy sandals and orthopaedic shoes,” Noronha said. The So­ci­ety had sent an em­ployee, El­da­lyne Kharsati, to the Viet­namese Train­ing Cen­tre for Orthopaedic Tech­nol­o­gists of the Univer­sity of Labour and So­cial Af­fairs in Hanoi to un­dergo a 18-month course in shoe mak­ing.

Kharsati said the price of orthopaedic shoes will be ex­pen­sive con­sid­er­ing the time in­volved in mak­ing th­ese spe­cial­ly­de­signed footwear. The start­ing price for the shoes will be around ` 2,000, she said.”we have a small-scale pro­gramme, which sup­ports small com­mu­ni­ties wher­ever we can in terms of im­prov­ing their lives. That is what we have done here, thanks to CBM and the Bethany So­ci­ety. It is not big money but it help,” Schrod said.ac­cord­ing to the 2011 cen­sus, Megha­laya has 44,317 peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, of whom 6,980 peo­ple are vis­ually im­paired and 12,353 suf­fer from hear­ing im­pair­ment. There are also 3,576 peo­ple af­flicted with mul­ti­ple dis­abil­i­ties and 5,312 from move­ment-re­lated dis­abil­i­ties. UN I

The FDRA or­ga­nized a full day ‘Footwear Sourc­ing In­tel­li­gence Sum­mit’ on 25th July 2017 in the New York Stock Ex­change, Wall Street. The Sum­mit dis­cussed a num­ber of is­sues i.e. global footwear sourc­ing, sup­ply chain and fac­tory com­pli­ance is­sues and trends. The event fea­tured spe­cial key­notes from in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives as well as pan­els cover­ing spe­cific coun­tries fea­tur­ing in­dus­try di­rec­tors and ex­perts. The prom­i­nent Sum­mit par­tic­i­pants were; Keen, NIKE, Caleres, Target, Wolver­ine World­wide, ALDO, Red­wing, Topline/steve Mad­den, For­tune Footwear, Anne Klein, SG Footwear, Tim­ber­land, Sears, and many more! CLE was a spon­sor of the Sum­mit among spon­sors viz. TUV Sud, BSI, Apex Lo­gis­tics, SAPICA, FAR­ROW, Wolver­ine World­wide etc. Mr. P.R. Aqeel Ahmed, ViceChair­man, CLE and Mr. Pu­ran Dawar, Re­gional Chair­man-north, CLE rep­re­sented the Coun­cil in the Sum­mit. Scott Labbe, Vice-pres­i­dent Prod­uct De­vel­op­ment, Vir­tual In­no­va­tions, Ad­vanced Con­cepts, at Wolver­ine World­wide shared his presentation on ‘ In­no­va­tion Key­note: Up­dat­ing the de­vel­op­ment & Man­u­fac­tur­ing Process at Wolver­ine World­wide’. Scott ex­plained the footwear man­u­fac­tur­ing process adopted by Wolver­ine World­wide that strictly com­ply qual­ity and so­cial norms. His presentation ended with a quote by Ed­ward Hartz­man, Sour­ing Journal Founder and Pub­lisher; “It may be a dif­fi­cult time for footwear in­dus­try, but it is cer­tainly one filled with op­por­tu­ni­ties for those look­ing to em­brace the chal­lenge”.

Vice Chair­man CLE Aqeel Ahmed, shared in­ter­est­ing views on a Panel dis­cus­sion “Growth out­side China & Vietnam: A dis­cus­sion on Sourc­ing, Com­pli­ance & Sup­ply Chains in Mex­ico, In­dia, Cam­bo­dia & Bangladesh’ mod­er­ated by Matt Pri­est, Pres­i­dent & CEO of FDRA. The other Pan­elists at the ses­sion were Gen­eral Al­varo Bal­to­dano, Min­is­ter, Pres­i­den­tial Del­e­gate for In­vest­ment, Nicaragua, San­ti­ago de Mucha Men­di­ola, Vice Pres­i­dent of In­ter­na­tional Trade, Mex­i­can Footwear Cham­ber and Jeff Mc Cauley, Vice Pres­i­dent of Global Ac­counts, In­te­gra­tion Point.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Panel dis­cus­sions, Aqeel Ahmed, stated that un­der the able lead­er­ship of the Hon’ble Prime Min­is­ter of In­dia, the whole Coun­try is trans­form­ing. The Govt. of In­dia had taken a very strong mea­sure few months ear­lier i.e. de­mon­e­ti­za­tion of high value notes in or­der to erad­i­cate black money from the econ­omy for en­sur­ing its sta­ble and speedy growth. Aqeel Ahmed said, “Govt. of In­dia is giv­ing ut­most im­por­tance to the leather sec­tor and im­ple­men­ta­tion of a ‘Spe­cial Pack­age’ for the over­all de­vel­op­ment of the in­dus­try is in the pipe­line. The mea­sures like cre­ation of Mega Leather Clus­ters with a siz­able Govt. fund­ing sup­port will def­i­nitely go on to change the face of our In­dus­try in the coming years.” He added, “In­tro­duc­tion of the new tax regime, ‘Goods & Ser­vice Tax” was yet an­other mea­sure im­ple­mented by the Govt. of In­dia, for en­sur­ing the over­all progress of the Coun­try.”

Aqeel Ahmed stated that a ‘New’ and ‘En­er­getic’ In­dia is in the mak­ing un­der the reins of the cur­rent Govern­ment. While talking about the In­dia’s huge and un­tapped do­mes­tic mar­ket for footwear and re­lated prod­ucts, Vice-chair­man, CLE in­formed that only 10% of the In­dia’s footwear pro­duc­tion is ex­ported and the re­main­ing 90% is con­sumed in the do­mes­tic mar­ket it­self. The Non Leather Footwear In­dus­try in In­dia is also steadily grow­ing. He shared his views on ‘Make in In­dia’ Pro­gramme and said, “Leather is among the Prod­uct Sec­tors iden­ti­fied un­der this Pro­gramme for pro­mot­ing in­vest­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing in the Sec­tor.” He touched upon Dig­i­tal In­dia, avail­abil­ity of skilled man­power etc., in the speech. The Leather In­dus­try in In­dia has changed dras­ti­cally over the years. From the fam­ily run busi­ness, the In­dus­try has now started op­er­at­ing like big cor­po­rate and multi­na­tional com­pa­nies. Other pan­elists shared the sta­tus of the Footwear In­dus­try in their re­spec­tive Coun­tries, mea­sures adopted by their Gov­ern­ments for de­vel­op­ment of the Sec­tor.

Re­ply­ing to a ques­tion raised by Matt Pri­est re­gard­ing the cur­rent ex­port sce­nario and lat­est de­vel­op­ments taken place in the In­dus­try, Aqeel Ahmed, stated that nearly 56% of the In­dia’s ex­port of leather and leather prod­ucts, in­clud­ing footwear are go­ing to Euro­pean Coun­tries. How­ever, In­dia’s ex­port to USA has sub­stan­tially in­creased over the years. As fo­cused by the Govern­ment of In­dia, CLE is un­der­tak­ing ex­port pro­mo­tion ini­tia­tives to ex­plore the new and po­ten­tial mar­kets. In this di­rec­tion, he ad­vised on the ex­port pro­mo­tion ac­tiv­i­ties planned by the CLE in the Latin Amer­ica and also in the African Coun­tries. He ap­prised about the ac­cred­i­ta­tion of the Footwear De­sign & De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute (FDDI) as an in­sti­tu­tion of ‘Na­tional Im­por­tance’ and Both the Houses of Par­lia­ment of In­dia in this re­gard had re­cently cleared a Bill. The Train­ing and Test­ing In­sti­tutes like FDDI, CLRI, CFTI, NIFT etc. has played a very im­por­tant role in im­prov­ing the de­sign ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the in­dus­try and also for pro­vid­ing skill man­power. He ap­praised the house about the Leather Sec­tor Skill Coun­cil (LSSC) and its role in im­part­ing train­ing to the young work­force in In­dia. While talking about the im­por­tance of ‘So­cial Com­pli­ance’, the Vice-chair­man, CLE in­formed the gath­er­ing that In­dian Leather and Footwear In­dus­try is well ac­quainted with the en­vi­ron­men­tal norms and fol­low­ing strictly the norms for So­cial Com­pli­ance as per in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

While talking on the oc­ca­sion, Mr. Pu­ran Dawar, Re­gional Chair­man-north, CLE said that in the last FDRA Sum­mit also he has raised a ques­tion that what is prompt­ing the Amer­i­can Com­pa­nies not to source from In­dia; the an­swer was; ‘ab­sence of Skill’. Mr. Pu­ran Dawar clar­i­fied that Skill is not an is­sue in our In­dus­try now and the sec­tor has changed to the level akin to the cor­po­rate in­dus­try.

Hari Peru­mal, Vice-pres­i­dent, Global Tech­ni­cal Oper­a­tions and Don Wicks, US Plant Man­ager of Keen Footwear jointly made a presentation on ‘KEEN on Built in Amer­ica: What’s Re­ally Hap­pen­ing and What’s to Come”. Keen Footwear opened the Portland fa­cil­ity in 2009 in Amer­ica mak­ing high qual­ity sandals, ca­sual shoes and work boots. The ‘Ob­jec­tives’ of the com­pany, as nar­rated in the Presentation was to De­velop PU tech­nol­ogy and build high qual­ity in­jected prod­ucts in USA and Bring shoe mak­ing knowl­edge back to USA.

Mr. P.R. Aqeel Ahmed, Vice- Chair­man , CLE (cen­tre) along with Mr. Pu­ran Dawar, Re­gional Chair­man (North), CLE at the Sum­mit

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