Refugee Handicrafts to engage more people for making Joyee footballs
Kolkata: With the immense success of Joyee football in the past one year, the Refugee Handicrafts under the state Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise and Textiles department has now taken the step for necessary expansion to rope in more people in making footballs.
As a part of the expansion plan, a project has been taken up to increase the number of centres to train people on making of Joyee footballs to five.
The new training centre will be coming up at Baghnapara in Keshabpur village of East Burdwan. There will be infrastructure to train around 200 people.
It may be mentioned that Refugee Handicrafts was set up in 1950, with an aim to provide a means of livelihood to refugees. They used to prepare different handicraft products and the state government used to support them to sell it in market.
It had then immensely helped the refugees in earning their livelihood. But later, the organisation had almost lost its significance due to the lackadaisical attitude of the erstwhile Left Front government.
After the change of guard in the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had involved former footballers from the state in Refugee Handicrafts and the project of reviving the football manufacturing industry in the state has been put into action by engaging the rural populace, mainly women.
Women are provided with training to make footballs. After going through the training programme, the women get raw materials from Refugee Handicrafts, which they take back home and manufacture footballs in their free time.
This helps them to earn their livelihood. At the same time, manufacturing of football is gradually becoming a major industry in the MSME sector in Bengal.
There are four centres under Refugee Handicrafts where training to make footballs is provided and those are at Shibpur in Howrah, Tarakeswar and Chandernagore in Hooghly and Alipore Central Correctional Home.
Now, the project to set up another training centre at Baghnapara in East Burdwan has been undertaken. "The project has already been undertaken and the state government has also given its necessary clearances," said Manas Bhattacharya, the chairman of the Refugee Handicrafts Managing Committee.
With setting up of the centre in East Burdwan, football manufacturing will gradually grow up as an industry in the region.
This comes at a time when the Chinese Consulate in Kolkata has procured 850 Challenger Joyee footballs and Refugee Handicrafts is expecting an increase in demand for the same, with its promotion done by the state government during Durga Puja in 2017 and Fifa Under-17 Football World Cup.