By Pradeep Kumar
Pasighat, Nov.21 (ANI): Retired Indian Air Force (IAF) Group Captain Mohonto Pangin has been giving new designs and shapes to cloth products, including traditional dresses, eying India’s huge readymade market.
Pangin, after serving in the IAF for 25 years and retiring in 2014, ventured into the setting up of the state’s first mechanised loom here in June 2015 with machines procured from the Ahmedabad-based Lakshmi Textiles and plans to gives wings to local products and to create a market for them across India.
Attitude is the prime requirement to become a fighter pilot and a fighter remains fighter whether in sky or on ground, said former pilot trainer Pangin, who has 3,500 hours of flying experience. He is the only one in north east India with that feat and has been decorated with the Vayu Sena medal.
The first to demonstrate the IAF twin-jet multi-role air superiority fighter Sukhoi Su-30MKI during the Statehood Day celebration at Itanagar in 2012, Pangin told a group of journalists and IPR director C M Longphong at his industrial unit – ELAM industries here, that perhaps Arunachal is the only state in India where people are used to wearing hand woven or handloom made organic clothes.
In India, 90 percent clothes are power loom products and 10 percent handloom, Pangin said, adding that with only eight locals, including five women and a technical supervisor, he got all of them trained and started production with four machines – 15 to 20 metres per machine, in an eight-hour shift. The present production is 500 metres against a capacity of 2,000 metres.
Though the GoAP had given license, allotted land but there is no three-phase electric supply, a must necessity in the notified industrial area where four sawmill and brick industry located and have been incurring Rs.25,000 expenditure daily on diesel to run generator for production.
With an investment of around Rs 60 to 70 lakh, the total expenditure comes to around Rs.70,000 monthly, but all products – beautifully designed gale, shawl, bed sheet, cushion cover, table cloth, towel, gamsa, shirting, curtains etc bearing Arunachal signatures – are sold locally.
“As Arunachalees have been using muga, silk, endi, cotton yarns for handloom since ages, I have been encouraging local weavers to produce more to buy them creating a win-win situation for me and them by promoting weavers and get raw materials locally. Presently, the raw materials are proceed from Guwahati and it may take five years to reach the breakeven point,” he said.
Appreciating the free distribution of yarns under CM’s Loin Cloth scheme, Pangin said it is one of the innovative schemes of Chief Minister Nabam Tuki which would generate self-employment and make the rural weavers economically sound.
Asked about training facility, he said though the supervisor has been doing the job presently as trained manpower from outside hesitate to come to the state considering its remoteness. Thus, he urged the skill development and employment generation department (SDEGD) to tap a vocational training provider in the field and encourage the local youth to undergo such training for his industry to engage them.
Terming the skill development & employment generation through job mela as another unparalleled CM’s innovative scheme, Pangin disclosed his plan to offer training to the local youth soon besides expanding marketing to other districts, the NE region and rest of India gradually with products of all yearns.
Rupali Perme, a class-XII pass girl, speaking to this editor, expressed her happiness, saying she was highly satisfied as the industry has been giving much more than her expectation. Tutung Perme, Nitumani Tayeng, Rani Saikia standing side by side only dittoed Perme.
Asked what would they do after marriage, Rupali questioned: Will a married person’s tummy not be hungry? Who would fill it? The journey would continue even after marriage, why should I quit?
Pangin, a multi-faceted personality, is into writing too and his first book ‘Keerook and Other Stories from North East India’ – showcasing a glimpse of rich cultural mosaic of NE India was released by Air Marshal (Retired) A K Gogoi, at Guwahati in November 2014.
The stories narrate tales about the unique way of life, customs and traditions of people inhibiting an area with similar terrain, weather, flora and fauna. Three stories Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai, ‘Odyssey to Thoubal and Exodus to the North East’ are based on recent geo-political events related to people from NE vis-a-vis mainland India with special reference to the rising anti-north east racial incidents in few mainland cities. (ANI)