Apea working on one of his tools inside his temporary shed in Dungkhao village. (Morung Photo)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | September 1
For someone who could not afford even a decent cup of tea at home and often sought grain on loan from others; 61 years old Apea from in Dungkhao village near Longleng town has seen a turnaround in his fortunes through assistance provided by the Land Resources Department (LRD).
The Department of Land Resources, Longleng during one of its visits to the village identified Apea’s interest in blacksmithing and provided him tools and implements in 2014 to start his business.
Sitting under a fan palm leave roofed shed outside his home, Apea makes machetes, spades, cardamom harvesters and other field and kitchen tools. On an average, he earns Rs 25000-Rs 30000/- monthly, comfortably meeting the needs of his family and education expenses of one of his six children, out of which two are already married.
The Cardamom harvester priced at Rs 150/- per piece is one of his best selling tools fetching him Rs 10,000 on this tool alone during the last two months.
On August 15, 2017, when officers from the LRD asked whether he needed more assistance, Apea said, “I am already very grateful to you (Department) for helping me set up this business. The Department has assisted me enough and it will be a shame on my part to accept any more assistance.”
Now Apea needs an electric iron cutter which can ease his work and speed up the production. The Department has assured him of assistance in getting the electric iron cutter, which he is reluctant to accept.
Prior to the intervention of the Department, Apea did not have even the basic utensils in his kitchen and consuming meat was totally beyond his means. Now he lends money to people with 2% interest monthly. With improved economic condition, he has also brought back to the village one of her daughters who was staying in Mokokchung in someone’s house. Earlier, he did not have the money to pay the taxi fare and bring her back to the village.
Apea who looks younger than his age is a hard working blacksmith and has become adept in identifying the quality of iron. When LRD officers urged him to impart blacksmith techniques to fellow villagers, he expressed readiness to do so.