DoNER at Doorstep, a new experiment initiated in February this year by the Ministry for Development of Northeast Region (DoNER) was widely hailed at an interactive meet to mark the release of a research book titled ‘Socio-Economic Development Policies for Manipur and Nagaland’.
In his address after releasing the book, Dr Jitendra Singh said, he often heard the suggestion that Northeast needs to be brought closer to mainstream India, but it occurred to him that why not also devise means to bring the mainstream India closer to Northeast and that is how the concept of ‘DoNER at Doorstep’ developed, wherein a rotational camp secretariat of the Ministry for Development of Northeast Region (DoNER) will be functioning in each of the eight North-Eastern States by turn on monthly rotation basis. This will not only help officials of the Ministry to have an on-the-spot assessment of the works going on there and to receive the ground inputs, but will also send out a strong positive message that for redressal of each grievance, the people of Northeast need not to travel all the way to Delhi because Delhi and the Ministry for DoNER can also travel to their doorstep and hence, the name ‘DoNER at Doorstep’, he added.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, that occurred to him was that if India was to effectively follow its Act East Policy and build up its presence with the territories beyond eastern borders, then it was equally imperative that we should also effectively act proximal to the eastern borders which in other words mean ‘act east proximal to be effective to act east distally’.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, each of the eight States of Northeast has its own peculiarities and if India is known as a country of ‘unity in diversity’, then Northeast is the most striking example of ‘diversity within diversity’, but he hastened to add, this should not be seen as a disadvantage, but rather an advantage because it enriches the vast potentials and the driving spirit among the people of the region, who enjoy a very high literacy rate and a small State like Mizoram has a literacy rate of 92-93 percent which is next only to Kerala.
Referring to vast unexplored potential resources of Northeast, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, we have taken up an ambitious organic farming mission which would enable us to make the best use of agricultural and fruit products which are going waste. There is also immense potential for the bamboo industry to be promoted, particularly in the State of Mizoram, he added.