Kolkata: The Refugee Handicrafts division of the State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Department has been doing exemplary work by engaging women from rural regions in manufacturing football, thus also reviving the football manufacturing industry in Bengal.
Now, the MSME Department is taking things further by adopting ways to ensure the commercial success of these footballs, named ‘Joyee’ (meaning ‘winner’) by none other than Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
A decision has been taken to make the footballs available at least at one point in every district. The footballs will be sold from these outlets and the government might also go for tie-ups with some major shops in each district.
People have become well aware of the football brand after the balls were distributed by the State Government among local clubs ahead of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup last October and earlier, among several Durga Puja organisers across the state. So, it will not take much time in becoming commercially successful.
It may be mentioned that the Refugee Handicrafts division was set up in 1950 to help refugees earn their livelihood. But it had lost its significance due to the lackadaisical attitude during the 34-year Left Front rule.
After the change of guard in the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took initiative and set up the Refugee Handicrafts Managing Committee comprising veteran football players. Training has been provided to women from rural parts of the state in making footballs.