MykiFest Award: Uplifting women in Nagaland

Advisor R Khing and others with the awardees of MykiFest Award 2020-21 in Kohima on March 8.
Advisor R Khing and others with the awardees of MykiFest Award 2020-21 in Kohima on March 8.

3 women group, 5 individuals receives MykiFest Award 2020-21

Our Correspondent
Kohima | March 8

Three women groups and five individuals in Nagaland have been conferred with the prestigious MykiFest Award 2020-21 by the state’s department of Women Resource Development on March 8.

The recipients under group category includes; Runway Nagaland, Northeast Network Nagaland and Apparels & Accessories Production Team. They carried Rs 60,000 each along with citation.

Awardees under individual category-Vimenuo Belho, Iboli Zhimo, Vikengunü Kera Fatima, Mezhuheno and Phaoniu Shio also received Rs. 40,000 each.

Nagaland’s Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services and Women Resource Development, Advisor R Khing handed the awards to the recipients. Earlier, keynote address was delivered by Anenla T Sato, Commissioner & Secretary for Women resources Development, Nagaland.
Runway Nagaland

A Dimapur based Runway Nagaland was founded in 2013 by Nengneithem Hengna with a vision to promote ‘Made in Nagaland’ brand that focuses on using locally available materials and utilizing the skills of women.

It is an all women artisans team preserving and promoting aged old indigenous art and technique of handmade and are dedicated to the  traditional unique of making handmade accessories.

Runway employ women from all kinds of background and also engage youths with a sole motive to pass on the knowledge to the younger generation and also strengthen the state’s economy by bringing in more business to address the mass migration of the rural populations to the cities.

Presently, Runway Nagaland has 22 full time employees and extends part-time employees with production units in Dimapur and in Wetting village of Mon district.

Their products are sold in the local, national and international markets with an annual turnover of approximately Rs. 47 lakh.

Runway Nagaland has been conferred with the award in recognition of their service in providing livelihoods opportunities for women and employment generation.
North East Network (NEN) Nagaland
NEN is a women’s rights organisation based in Assam linking with rural ad urban women and organizations on development and related issues within North East India.

NEN Nagaland chapter is based in Chizami village in Phek district. It has extension office in Kohima and implement its works in five district – Phek, Kohima, Dimapur, Tuensang and Noklak through community mobilization, awareness generation, capacity building, research and documentation, networking and policy advocacy.

NEN Nagaland initiated a livelihood projects in 2008 called Chizami Weaves. Today, there are 900 plus weavers from Phek, Kohima, Tuensang districts registered with the enterprise.

Chizami Weaves is now a brand of NENTerprise, an entrepreneurial venture with a separate entity from NEN.

The hand-woven products of Chizami Weaves are sold at the NEN Chizami NEN Guwahati and NEN Kohima stores, exhibitions and melas, craft stores in metros and through individual entrepreneurs across India.

NEN also actively involved in promoting cultivation of millet. It also played a key role in organizing women workers in the informal sector bringing them under the banner of Self-Employed Women’s Association in 2013.

NEN Nagaland has been conferred with the award in recognition of its community services and socio-economic upliftment of women in the state.
Apparels & Accessories Production Team
Apparels & Accessories Production Team under Transformative Livelihood Intervention (TLI) Project was initiated by department of Women Resource Development during 2017-18.

The programme aims to create and develop good quality, low priced apparels and other items with Naga themed motifs and designs.

The programme works through creation of designs and motifs by the project team, outsourcing of tailoring and weaving works to skilled unemployed women, finishing and marketing of products under the brand name of Myki. It also provides short term training programmes for skill development and skill upgradation in various market-oriented trades.

During the COVID 19 pandemic, the production team ventured into production of three layered face masks. Major quality of masks was provided to frontline workers, health workers, district administration and local governing bodies as donation. Besides face masks, efforts was also put into production of aprons and other accessories for women and young girls to utilize during the Lockdown period.

Apparels & Accessories Production Team have been conferred with the award in recognition of valuable services rendered during times of emergencies.
Vimenuo Belho

Vimenuo Belho has been conferred with the award for being an exemplar in successful home-based entrepreneurship.
From Kohima, she has always been fascinated with the crafts of knitting and crocheting since  childhood and first got acquainted with kitting through her cousin sister when  she was merely eight years old.

It has now been over six years since she took these crafts as a home-based profession with which she manages herself.
Iboli Zhimo
Entrepreneur Iboli Zhimo is a self-taught artist who founded LiStone Pebble Art at Thahekhu, Dimapur in 2017.

She has been conferred with the award in recognition of her skills in art and for innovative entrepreneurship.

She is the first pebble artist in Nagaland and the first pebble artist of Regalia Entertainment in arts and creates beautiful paintings using pebbles.

Her craft involves production of traditional decorations and accessories using pebble stones.

She has made her products available both online as well as in the local markets with an approximate annual turnover of Rs. 3 lakh.
Vikengunu Kera Fatima
Vikengunu Kera Fatima from Khuzama village is a woman with locomotor disability caused by Polio.

She is blessed with the talent and skill in craftwork, tailoring and embroidery. Recently, she has also undergone training in jewellery making under the Mahila Shakti Kendra scheme in Dimapur.

She has been conferred with the award for creativity and skill in craftworks and for exemplary community service.
Mezhüheno has been conferred with the award for her dedication, commitment and consistency in home-based entrepreneurship.

Hailing from Khonoma village, she started a small home- based wild apple chips productivity in 2005 to generate income to augment her family’s finances as well as to support the education of her ten siblings.

Her activity later expanded to production of puffed rice in 2008.

She has also been the main supplier of wild apple and puffed rice to the department’s Fruits and Vegetable Processing Centre at Meriema consistently since 2010.
Phaoniu Shio
Phaoniu Shio, 21, is an upcoming painter from Khiamniungan tribe. She started painting and drawing from the time just when every kid is fascinated with colours and paints.

She went on to secure the first place in pencil sketching during the Baptist College Kohima Literature Fest 2019.

Today, she has a growing number of followers on various social media for her paintings and artworks and she envisions owning an art gallery one day.

Shio has been conferred with the award in recognition of her skill and talent to create fine works of painting and sketching.

About Myki Fest
Myki Fest is an annual event initiated by Women Resource Development to celebrate the contribution of women as equal partners in the socio-economic development of the state.

The productivity, initiative and ingenuity of our Naga women are vast and every developing. However, much of this goes unnoticed in general or copiously ignored due to the inherent bias that still exists in this male-dominated society. Thus, the MykiFest was conceptualized and brought about to provide an encouraging platform for a wide category of women to come together to interact, do business, exchange ideas, showcase their talents or to sell their innovative products, while endeavouring to popularize the event within and outside the state.

Myki Fest Awards was instituted to recognize and emphasize the activities of NGOs and other women groups who have been selflessly working towards the upliftment of women in the state.

The MykiFest Award is a humble beginning towards recognizing the potentials of Naga women, the department stated.