KVIC kicks off employment generation programme
A few months ago, none of the government or non-government organisations ever tried to take account of the innumerable Bag-Bidhoba (tiger-widows in local parlance) – whose lives were torn to rags in tiger-attacks (in the mangrove thickets of Bali hamlet of Sunderban).
For the first time after the Independence, it was the novel mission of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) – who first studied the impact on the survivors in terms of health, both physical and psychosocial, disruption of livelihoods and food insecurity, and opportunity and transaction costs of conflict; and then provided a new lease of life in form of Gandhian charkhas and bee-boxes for many tiger widows, to eke out their livelihood, under its ambitious 'Employment Generation Programme'.
KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena, who inaugurated the spinning work-shed and distributed charkhas and bee-boxes and live bee colonies recently, said that for the benefit of economically backward people of the rural India through Khadi and village industries activities, KVIC has now stepped in the island of Sundarban with rural development activities to provide sustainable earnings to the SC/ST/OBC/minority and other unemployed mass, besides the 'Tiger victim widows' who are fighting the aftermath of the fateful incident including bereavement and coping, the cultural stigma related to being killed by a tiger and the consequent discrimination, deprivation, and social rejection.
"Many inhabitants of this area, who used to go into the deep forest either for the collection of 'wild honey' or for fishing in the nearby canals and rivers, were often killed by the tigers or other animals, subsequently making their families helpless."
"Taking it as a prime task for KVIC's rehabilitation principles, we had given 50 charkhas to them on July 21 this year. And, now, we are inaugurating our 'Tiger Victim Khadi Katai Kendra', by providing 50 high-yield eight-spindle new model charkhas (NMCs) and 500 bee-boxes," he said, adding, "Khadi spinning training on NMCs to 75 women of the Bali village has already been imparted and bee-keeping training to 50 candidates of this village has also been given through our expert trainers. Through spinning activities, these women will start earning from Rs 150 to Rs 200 per day."
Saxena further said, "Our Khadi spinning, training cum production centre has been linked with the steady marketing of the products for the distressed families so that they can earn at least Rs 50000 per year initially," he said, adding, "We want to bring down human deaths due to tiger attack to zero. Keeping this in mind, we will help villagers in taking up apiculture and weaving in all possible forms right in the villages so that they do not have to venture deep into the forests."