Make in India and Atma- Nirbhar Bharat are just not for consoling the concerns of the common mass, it has become a medium to uplift the spirit of the people to work and be self-confident than ever before.
Atma Nirbhar Bharat is the advanced and complementary version of Make in India, a major national initiative launched by the present government to foster and facilitate investment, innovation, enhance skill development, and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in the country. Most importantly, restoring self-reliance amongst the citizens.
This is not all big and shallow talks with hallow results. This idea has bolstered itself rapidly in different parts of the country. This has encouraged people from all walks of life in a real sense to become self-sustained.
There has been an augmenting in self-employment, agriculture is witnessing a radical and innovative change, and an optimistic push to startups is aiding India's economic growth to accelerate. India is creating its space to cope with the global standard and competition.
Several instances will prove the veracity and resonance of this initiative.
American fast-food companies still occupy a large part of India's fast-food market, but now an Indian burger chain, 'What a Burger', is rapidly making its place in this market. Rajat Jaiswal is the co-founder of the restaurant chain. When he started, the QSR industry in the country was registering a growth of 30 to 35 per cent, but the share of burgers in it was only 2 to 3 per cent. Today 'What a Burger' outlets are in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gorakhpur and Ranchi to Vadodara. This exclusive franchise today has more than 60 outlets in 16 different cities of the country.
Did you know that about 10,000 litres of water are used to make a pair of denim jeans? Jeans last for years and years if kept properly. But in this era of fashion, we change clothes very quickly; in this process, the environment is being harmed the most?
Ratna Prabha Rajkumar, who lives in Kannur, Kerala, has been upcycling for several years. She creates over 40 different products using old and waste clothing, especially denim jeans and scraps leftover from tailor shops. Various types of bags from old clothes include sling bags, shopping bags, handbags, backpacks, pouches, bedsheets, curtains, table covers, table linens, belts, fridges, microwave covers, luggage organisers, headbands, scrunchies, earrings etc. Prabha makes new products every month by upcycling around 50 kg of denim jeans and clippings. He said that the price of his products starts from Rs 60 and goes up to Rs. 4000.
The unemployed are attracted to the government's possible scheme for self-employment to the youth. Due to this, many unemployed are applying to the employment and Counseling Office to buy commercial vehicles under the possible scheme to get employment.
1.60 lakh subsidy is being provided to the scheme beneficiaries for the purchase of small commercial vehicles, and J&K Bank provides the balance amount under the Mudra loan. A total of 62 applications have been received from the interested youth of the Kathua district, taking the number of beneficiaries to buy commercial vehicles to 27.
Another scheme, "Tejaswani", has been started under Mission Youth. "It is dedicated to women who have passed the 10th standard and fall in the age group of 18-35 years. They will be given a loan of 5 lakhs to start a business unit.
Today these artists of Jaipur are making beautiful furniture from automobile scrap, which is being well appreciated on social media. They use scraps and old parts from cars to make beautiful furniture.
People bring their old car to them, and then they take the furniture made from its parts with them, so they are also taking with them the memories related to that car that will stay with them for a long time. So far, Cartist has recycled over 10,000 kg of auto parts into beautiful furniture, including tables, chairs and other items.
The Government of India has recently released the Vehicle Scrap Policy, which aims to reduce the number of junk and polluting vehicles across the country. According to the artists, after this new policy, they expect to get a lot of ease in their work.
Maharashtra-based Pramod Susare quit his job to launch P2S International. His startup converts used tires and drums into attractive furniture that sells across India. He spent hours on YouTube learning how drums and tires could be made into furniture and have commercial value. In January 2019, he received an order from a Pune-based cafe that saw the products, which earned him Rs 50,000.
The cafe was inaugurated by celebrities and entrepreneurs like some of them who appreciated the product, and in 2019, he bagged another project in Thane that earned me Rs 5.5 lakh. Pramod appeals to budding entrepreneurs to dive into the business instead of earning as an employee.
A Forest Range Officer in Uttarakhand is taking the call of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' and 'Vocal For Local' to grassroots levels.
Medhavi Keerti, supervising and managing the Bhadrigaad range, is uplifting the lives of the villagers, particularly women, by helping them manufacture and market homemade products. Fondly called 'Ranger Didi', Keerti has helped to come up with a first-of-its-kind program-the Dhatree initiative to train women in various occupations and help them earn a dignified living. Locals in this range domesticated farm animals and cow dung; the waste product were found in abundance that could have been put to better use.
The diyas and the pots are being created in an eco-friendly manner, without any chemicals. After multiple uses, they can be used as fertiliser for the farms. The earnings during this month were around ₹40,000, which was not a small sum. Marketing sessions were also conducted to empower the people in handling the process end-to-end. The products are being sent to several places for sale, such as Mussorie and Dehradun. Keerti has also arranged training courses for local women in food processing, knitting and stitching.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' clarion call struck a chord with Raebareli's Vijay Pal Singh. The 98-year-old sells chana or boiled chickpeas to earn his living since he does not want to burden his children and avoid becoming physically weak.
The Uttar Pradesh government felicitated the man for his self-reliance at this age. Certified in 2013, Samir Dombe decided to quit his corporate job and take up agriculture in his hometown. A native of Daund, located around 90 km from Pune, Maharashtra, was working in an engineering solutions company and used to earn Rs 40,000 a month. However, after 1.5 years of work, he realised hectic travel and constant changes in work pressure were not worth the money. He then decided to cultivate figs, a tradition his family has been involved in for two generations now. Against the family's resistance, Samir Dombe from Daund quit his corporate job to grow figs and sell processed fruit to the supermarkets and metro cities.
Asha is now referred to as Moped wale Rajma Chawal didi, simply because each day she leaves home in her moped along with steaming hot rajma chawal. On 2 September, armed with the moped, a makeshift wooden box to hold the food that she borrowed from a neighbour, and a lot of trepidation, Asha set out to sell the food she made. She mentions that it was her community that helped her a lot.
In these unprecedented times, bringing a paradigm shift, several leather product manufacturers in Kanpur have started using the digital platform to sell their products.
Those manufacturers, who were already using social media platforms to promote their sales, have gone a step and launched their websites to boost their sales.
Harish Dharamdasani, a 30-year-old second-generation entrepreneur, runs a successful footwear business on Flipkart. His brand Layasa clocks a monthly revenue of Rs. 3 crore on the e-commerce platform. Unlike many businesses facing uncertainties due to the pandemic, Harish says he is positive about good sales prospects during this festive season. "Ever since the lockdown, we have seen an increase in our customer base. So we are expecting good business this festive season too." His preparations to meet the rise in festive demand began six months ago.
Harish says that the decision to start an online business on Flipkart has been a significant milestone that changed his life's trajectory. "Today, I am happy and satisfied with the business I have built. I take pride in having won the Top Seller Award from Flipkart in Agra. But, my biggest milestone is that Layasa is a well-known brand. People may not know me, but they recognise the brand. Sometimes it takes decades for businesses to become a brand, and with Flipkart, I was able to do this in just five years. And, this is phenomenal, according to me."
Agriculture has greatly benefitted from the Make in India initiative. Agriculture is bringing new dimensions to boost itself.
Sushant of Dadur village, a resident of Chamba, who left the job of a manager in a private company in Delhi and started mushroom business in his village, started mushroom production commercially in 2019 along with his brother engineer Prakash Uniyal.
In 2020 itself, a turnover of Rs 14 lakh was achieved by producing 80 quintals. Due to which discussion of his efforts started from village to village, the matter reached the Prime Minister.
PM Modi praised Sushant's efforts during the Kisan Samman Nidhi digital transfer program through video conferencing at the DM's office.
Two brothers, Shekhar and Naveen Upadhyay, from Kyari village near Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, and their friend Rajendra Sati, made eco-tourism their source of employment. They started building an eco-tourism spot named 'Camp Hornbill' in 2010.
With the help of some artists and the village people, they made mudrooms. Shekhar said that only cement and tiles had been used in the foundation and bathroom in the room built in our camp. They have 15 tents and 9 mud cottages. The women of the village do all the housekeeping work. Apart from this, along with the camp's food, many essential items are also procured in the village itself.
Presently, 10 people from the village are working together in Camp Hornbill apart from Naveen, Rajendra and Shekhar.
Sandeep Saran, from Varanasi, runs a home studio called 'Kath Kagaz', where he makes sustainable furniture according to the needs of his customers by using waste wood.
In 2017, Sandeep started a walk-in home studio, Kath Kagaz. Sandeep uses upcycled or waste wood to make furniture and all wooden items. His products are eco-friendly, so he uses solar energy to make them. He earns from Rs 12 lakh from this small business to Rs 15 lakh annually.
In a unique initiative, tire manufacturers are pumping money to grow raw material-natural rubber in the northeast. This template could be repeated in other sectors, including price-sensitive vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and potatoes.
Sources said that as part of an initiative by the commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, tire manufacturers would invest around Rs 1,100 crore to grow high-yielding natural rubber varieties in the northeast. Against an average yield of 1,200 kg per hectare, the target is to raise it to around 1,500 kg a hectare.
India is a natural rubber-deficit country with production and consumption of natural rubber standing at 712,000 million tonnes and 11,34,210 million tonnes respectively in 2019-20.
In late 2016, farmers of Khaparkheda village in Madhya Pradesh were surprised (or perhaps shocked) to see the farm of Laxmi Parate produce a high-quality surplus harvest of tomatoes, earning her a bumper profit.
This fact was perhaps hard to digest because just a few months ago, they had mocked Laxmi for the new farming techniques she had adopted – Zero chemical fertilisers and pesticides. That was then. Today, Laxmi's success has helped convert 125 acres of land into pure organic farming.
Gopal Dutt Upreti, an organic farmer from Uttarakhand's Bilkesh village (Ranikhet), paid no attention to his coriander plants until they entered the Guinness Book of World Records on 21 April this year.
The 47-year-old's coriander plant received the title of 'world's tallest coriander plant' with a height of 7.1 feet (2.16 metres) using traditional 'Himalayan farming techniques'. Nanadro B Marak from Meghalaya's West Garo hills began organic black pepper farming in 1986. There are 3,400 trees of the 'black gold' spice in Nanandro's mini-forest spread across five hectares he inherited from his in-laws in the 1980s.
Unlike other farmers in the region, Nanandro stuck to organic farming and strictly avoided using any harmful chemicals from the very beginning.
Rajesh Krishnan, a biotechnologist turned farmer hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Rajesh Krishnan's agro producers' company, TAPCO, based in Wayanad, now cultivates organic paddy in more than 200 acres of land in collaboration with local farmers.
Startups in India have seen a sharp rise in recent times. People are full of zeal to become self-reliant, especially after this pandemic.
Founded in 2020, the Jabalpur-headquartered MBG Card helps clients develop their online business. It provides fully operational websites, android apps, and automated marketing tools with more than 20 features to its clients.
The MBG card, a smart digital card, replace traditional business cards. This smart digital card has been designed to enable businesses to share them with their clients online via any platform. The startup claims to have acquired over 5,400 customers across 100+ business categories.
The Oukhoo village in the Pulwama district of Kashmir, holding 17 units and 4,000 employees, is scripting a new success story to make India Atmanirbhar (self-reliant). "Pencil village of India" got a mention in Mann Ki Baat; the monthly turnover of the industry is Rs 3 crore. The industry member says that over 20,000 locals could get employment if the deadlock between the industry giants and the locals' end.
With practices like waste management, driving an electric car, growing organic food in her front yard and harnessing rainwater and sun, Soumya and her family in Dehradun have switched to a sustainable lifestyle that is not only a relief to her pocket but also the environment.
Instead of constructing a new house or shifting into a flat, Soumya and her husband, Dr Raman Kumar, decided to restore a 60-year-old house. They vowed not to send construction waste to the dump yard in the process. All the debris was reused to lay the foundation of other buildings.
The underground rainwater harvesting tank in the home can store up to 20,000 litres of rainwater – that suffices the needs of 6-7 people. The captured rainwater is filtered and then used for potable and non-potable needs. The family has stopped taking water from the administration completely. The surplus water recharges groundwater tables.
Karthik Solai KS, Arjun T and Harish Kandan, an alumnus of Chennai's Loyola College, lost their homes in the 2015 Chennai floods, and many were completely submerged. TerraBrush, now called Terra, is an eco-friendly startup that exhibits and sells a range of sustainable products. The Chennai-headquartered startup has 24 employees in its team sells around one to two lakh brushes every quarter. So the revenue for each quarter comes out to around Rs 50 lakh.
In these days of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' and #vocalforlocal, would be it too much to imagine Tata Motors building the Tata Garuda?
A concept scale model, designed and made by the students of the National Institute of Design. It was put on display during the 2020 Auto Expo.
People have realised the importance of being self-reliant and acknowledged the significance of conserving natural resources and saving the environment in these challenging times. Make in India and Atma- Nirbhar Bharat are just not for consoling the concerns of the common mass. However, it has become a medium to uplift the spirit of the people to work and be self-confident than ever before. The abovementioned efforts put in by common people suffice to say that action has taken place and the impact has tricked down from cities to the remote villages in real-time.