Major boost to leather industry in Bengal

International shoe brands Clarks, Hush Puppies and Caterpillar will soon be manufactured in Bengal with Farida Group from Chennai, the country’s largest footwear company, setting up a unit at Gosaipur in South Dinajpur, which will churn out 3,000 pairs of branded shoes a day.

Major boost to leather industry

Announcing the entry of three leather majors into Bengal, State Finance Minister Amit Mitra pitched it as a major boost to the leather industry here.

Dr Mitra also assured industry members present at the meeting with him that he would look into the issue of VAT refund on exported leather.

Employment generation

Leather Training Institute, run by Indian Leather Products Association (ILPA) and the state technical education department, are also set to sign a memorandum of understanding to train 5,000 people over the next year and a half. Till now, LTI had trained only 300 people. Following the training, the men will be absorbed in leather units.

Investments pouring in

Farida Group chairman Rafeeque Ahmed said that the unit would begin commercial production by the end of the year. When the unit begins full-fledged operation, it will have a 3,000-strong, all-women workforce.

Two other shoe majors—UP-based Super House and Allana Sons from Mumbai—are also in the process of finalizing investment in the state.

KMC launches country’s first municipal archive

In a bid to preserve and narrate the over four centuries old history and evolution of Kolkata, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation authorities have launched a comprehensive archive, complete with rare photographs, texts and digital record.

Taken to be India’s first municipal archive, the ‘Amal Home Digital Archive’ has been developed and curated by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).

Primarily sourced from the Calcutta Municipal Gazette, published by the civic body since 1924, the content offers insight into India’s freedom struggle through letters and speeches of great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Rabindranath Tagore.

It is named after Amal Home, a tribute to the founder-editor of the Gazette. The records date back to the 17th Century and chronicle the society, economics, the British rule, freedom struggle and other issues during the course of the centuries.

Other nuggets include the original sale deed that shows how much the East India Company paid to purchase the three villages of Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kolikata, that eventually formed the present day Kolkata.

The archive also contains contributions by researchers, publishers and citizens, who came forward to help with its making.

Since it is India’s first archive built by a civic body, the process involves people from across India who can offer any historical data, photographs of the city.

It also consists of documents related to municipalities in undivided Indian towns, now in Bangladesh, like Dhaka, Rajsahi, Khulna, Barishal, Chittagong and cities which are now in Pakistan like Lahore, Karachi and also Mumbai, Surat, Chennai and Chandannagore which was the French colony in India.