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Empowering Grassroots: NITI Aayog Launches ‘Vocal for Local’ Initiative

New Delhi: NITI Aayog took a giant stride towards promoting grassroots entrepreneurship and strengthening local economies with the launch of the ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative under its Aspirational Blocks Programme on March 13, 2024. The event, graced by BVR Subrahmanyam, CEO of NITI Aayog, witnessed the unveiling of the ‘Aakanksha’ logo, symbolizing the initiative’s commitment to fostering self-reliance and sustainable growth among the populace of Aspirational Blocks.

The ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative is strategically designed to encourage a spirit of self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship in Aspirational Blocks, propelling them towards sustainable growth and prosperity. Indigenous local products from 500 Aspirational Blocks have been meticulously mapped and consolidated under the umbrella brand ‘Aakanksha.’

During the launch, BVR Subrahmanyam urged District Collectors and Block Level Officials to collaborate with key partners such as the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) and Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to facilitate the sustainable growth of micro-enterprises in Aspirational Blocks. He emphasized that ‘Aakanksha’ is an umbrella brand with the potential to create multiple sub-brands, opening avenues for international markets.

To further support the initiative, a dedicated window for the Aspirational Blocks Programme has been established under the ‘Aakanksha’ brand on the GeM portal. This platform will offer technical and operational support for e-commerce onboarding, linkages establishment, financial and digital literacy, documentation and certification, skill enhancement, and more. This holistic capacity-building approach is expected to significantly strengthen the ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative, ensuring its sustainability.

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