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Hard Work Pays



British film Slumdog Millionaire, which scripts the rags to riches rise of a boy who grows up in the slums of Mumbai, is a valuable lesson of hard work that one can learn immensely from. The movie has earned the admiration of several people as it represents grit and enterprise that thrives within each one of us. In our own little Nagaland as well, there are those who work extremely hard not only for their bread and butter but to be self sufficient. Unfortunately this number is very small. There are many Nagas who are not willing to work and eat but would rather live off other’s hard earned money. Many hard working people whether they are Nagas or non-locals end up paying illegal “tax” to unscrupulous elements that make numerous demand notes almost every other day. This is very discouraging for those who sweat it out daily. Here one is not questioning tax collection as a legitimate revenue collection to run the affairs of the State. But what is worrying is that those in authority whether the State government or the national groups have not been able to keep in check the proliferation of illegal taxation. And this is what the Naga public is strongly against.
Coming back to the truth about how hard work pays, it will be worth mentioning that success is a matter of attitude and does not necessarily come with formal education. Among the Nagas also we have had men and women whose innovation and willingness to take risks of starting business ventures has paid off. Government and banks should also step in and facilitate finance and mentoring for young grass root entrepreneurs, constrained by limited resources. The Chief Minister’s Corpus Fund (CMCF) is a novel initiative and should be encouraged to improve on its working so that genuine aspirants (enterprising and hardworking entrepreneurs with viable business ideas and innovation) are not left out and to ensure that money given out under the CMCF is properly utilized towards its stated objective. Certainly if we want to encourage and promote entrepreneurship and self employment among the youths then we also require more financial and institutional support. Hopefully this is something that the State government can look into.
One of the drawbacks that we face is that our Naga people have a serious problem of attitude when it comes to work ethics. We yearn only to be masters, of hankering after easy schemes and eating up the seed money under various welfare programmes meant for self employment. This speaks volumes about the problem we face. Our attitude of self dependency is clearly manifested by the fact that we are unable to solve our own problems without outside help and this weakness is made worse by charity. One example we can cite is with regard to State or Central schemes such as creating assets—roads, electricity, health centers or other basic infrastructure. Once the assistance stops, we are unable to maintain the facility, or to sustain the service. It is important to achieve a sense of self reliance and ownership. By achieving this we will be able to promote grass roots participation, self development and human dignity. If we as a community cannot become more self reliant and empowered, we will simply not develop and so poverty and apathy will eventually come to us. Hard work and honesty never hurts. It can sustain and lead us towards a self-realised society.

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