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Australian HC appreciates NCVI success

RANGPUR, Sept 22, 2015 (BSS) - Australian High Commissioner (HC) to
Bangladesh Mr. Greg Wilcock highly appreciated the achievement of 'Nijera Cottage and Village Industries (NCVI)', a natural indigo producing social enterprise of extremely poor.

He made the appreciation while visiting NCVI, known as 'Living Blue',
situated in Rajendrapur village under Sadar Upazila on Monday.

The NCVI set up in 2008, initially with 200 extremely poor people, mostly women, and grew up with the support of CARE Bangladesh.

Chairman of NCVI Sumanto Kumar and its Managing Director Salma Begum
accorded floral welcome to the Australian envoy and other high officials of the Australian HC, World Food Programme (WFP) and CARE Bangladesh.

Programme Officer of the Australian High Commission Romena Parvin, Deputy Country Director of WFP in Bangladesh Claire Conan, its Head of Programme Planning and Implementation Md. Rezaul Karim, Project Director of the School Feeding Programme (Additional Secretary) of Directorate of Primary Education Bablu Kumar Saha, Head of Rangpur Sub Office of WFP Hafiza Khan also accompanied the Australian envoy.

Team Leader of the Social Economic Transformation of the Ultra Poor (SETU) project of CARE Bangladesh Abdul Matin Shardar, its Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (Documentation), executives and officials of NCVI were present.

The Australian High Commissioner keenly watched the Living Blue products, and talked to members of the Board of Directors and Artisans present there.

The NCVI Chairman and Managing Director briefed Greg Wilcock on the history of emergence of NCVI, indigo cultivation, process for its commercial production and the story of winning over poverty by the rural poor.

They informed the Australian envoy that they first took the concept about indigo farming from the past history and started its commercial cultivation and production from 2009.

They said the NCVI is a quite different type of company where all its
members are workers as well as owners at the same time and they have been working for welfare of the poor.

Currently, the NCVI has extended its indigo cultivation and production activities in Dinajpur, Rangpur, Nilphamari, Gaibandha and Lalmonirhat districts creating employments for 2,000 extremely poor people, mostly women, they said.

"We are cultivating indigo and producing best quality of dye with brand name of 'True Bengal Natural Indigo Dye' which has become popular globally attracting many internationally reputed trading houses and companies," they said.

They also briefed the High Commissioner on the whole process of natural indigo production and showed him different parts of the factory, and shared their success story.

This indigo initiative has already created numerous vocations and jobs like indigo plant cultivators, indigo dye extractors, manufacturers, dyers, quilters, other artisans and skill sets.

Sumanta Kumar said NCVI products like 'Kantha' (Quilt), Scarf, Stoles, Shawls, 'selaor-kamiz' and Natural Indigo are of the best quality and being exported to the US , France, Japan, Australia, Canada, UK and India in the brand name of Living Blue.

"The enterprise would continue expanding to become a model organisation through creating employments for 20,000 extremely poor people in near future to make them self-reliant," he added.

The Australian envoy also saw the samples of NCVI export items, lauded incredible success achieved by extremely poor people to change their fortune and hoped for brighter prospect of the exceptional cottage industry.

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