Neelesh Misra’s Slow signs MoU with Bastar district to promote tribal culture and heritage

As part of its endeavours to directly connect the rural creators with urban customers, ‘Slow’ has signed two MoUs with Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district. Apart from facilitating the sales of products like handicrafts, which will improve the livelihood of the tribal inhabitants, the agreement also involves showcasing tourist attractions to promote tribal heritage in the region.

Gaon Connection
| Updated: November 22nd, 2021

The MoU event was held at the Bastar cafe in Jagdalpur. Photo by Yash Sachdev

With an aim to promote the tribal heritage and nurture livelihoods in the region, noted storyteller and journalist Neelesh Misra’s ‘Slow’ signed two  Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district administration yesterday, on November 21, at Jagdalpur.

The first MoU, signed between Slow Content Private Limited and the district administration, seeks to identify locations and cultures in Bastar which would be showcased through the ‘Slow App’ and Gaon Connection — India’s biggest rural media platform. Misra is the founder of Gaon Connection.

This agreement would include but not be limited to places of tourist attractions, homestays, festivals and other aspects of rural tourism that will create branding for experiences in Bastar, help increase the tourist inflow to the district and spur livelihood promotion. Under this partnership, Slow Content Private Limited will create videos and publish text stories to promote tourism and homestays in Bastar district.

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The second MoU was signed between Slow Products Pvt Ltd and the Jagdalpur-based Bhumgadi Mahila Krushak Producer Co.Ltd (BMKPCL).  

“This MoU is an effort to improve the livelihood of the people residing in Bastar using as well as honing / developing their skills. Both the parties will work together and collaborate for the sale and purchase of products sourced directly from the partners/artisans/craftspeople of the District of Bastar. These products will be sold through the Slow App and the Slow Bazaar website,” the statement issued by Slow informed.

Speaking on the occasion, Neelesh Misra, Founder of The Slow Movement, told Gaon Connection, “What is unique about this venture is that until now people buying handicraft products never got to know about the life of the creator who has made it. The Slow website will have accounts of the lives of these creators and it will help the buyers in knowing about the people behind the tribal heritage.”

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Founder of the The Slow Movement Neelesh Misra addressing the audience during the event. Photo by Yash Sachdev

The products from Bastar that are set to be sold on include red rice, brown rice, tamarind, turmeric, Dokra Art, bamboo products and coffee.

“Bastar is the home of rich biodiversity and tribal arts. We are excited about bringing the best of Bastar on Slow Bazaar in a way that the farmers and creators, through their Farmer Producer Organisations, gain not just financially but also get branding and recognition,” said Yamini Tripathi, director and co-founder of Slow Products Pvt Ltd.

Also, present at the occasion, the district magistrate of the Bastar, Rajat Bansal said, “We are happy to have signed the MoU with Slow. The tribal areas have many products which if taken to the people who demand it, can result in a viable market opportunity for the local residents.”

For instance, some farmers here cultivate crops without using fertilisers because they cannot afford it and there is great demand in the urban centres for food produced without the use of fertilisers, the official added.