Kannauj all set to regain its lost glory

In August this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Subrat Pathak, Lok Sabha MP from Kannuaj (UP), why high quality honey can't be produced in Kannuaj which has lots of flora fauna around it for perfumeries. He also told him to meet VK Saxena, Chairman, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to explore the possibility.

Pathak met Saxena and discussed the issue and later, the KVIC chairman deputed a team of experts in September 2019 to explore the possibility of beekeeping activities in Kannuaj. Survey report suggested high potential for not only beekeeping activities but also for pottery and leather activities. Today in less than 3 months time, Kannuaj has witnessed historic event, aligned with the vision of Prime Minister Modi.

Chairman KVIC VK Saxena along with Member of Parliament , Kannauj, Subrato Pathak, distributed 1000 Bee Boxes to 100 local farmers, 100 high tech Electric Pottery Wheels to 100 kumhar families and 100 Advanced Leather tools Kits to 100 leather artisans (mochies) in Kannauj in the Medical college campus which was full of local people.

Kannauj which is also called the Perfume Capital of India, has a history of perfume industry since more than thousand years. Various varieties of flowers and agricultural plants are a part of the primary livelihood in the town.

In order to tap the environmental setup of the region and encourage the local youth so as to explore possibilities of livelihood in apiculture and products made of bee wax, pottery and leather, KVIC identified 400 artisans for training, 250 out of which belonged to the Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Categories. KVIC completed the training in October.

Saxena said, "Kannauj has a huge scope for Bee Keeping industry due to its rich flora. This initiative would enhance the production of flowers in the region, and thus help in increasing the production of perfumes. The honey produced in the process will also be one of the best kinds of honey in the country. Also the production of bee wax can be complimented with the various varieties of perfumes to produce a range of new and unique products such as hair-gel wax, scented bee wax candles, wax oil etc. Not only this, the pottery wheels and advanced leather tools kits will also help prevent youth from migrating to other jobs from their existing traditional art forms."

Hailing the initiative taken by KVIC, Subrato Pathak said, "This initiative of KVIC will benefit 100 families of Bee Keepers, 100 potters and 100 leather artisans in the region. It would help multiply the livelihood manifolds and reduce migration of youth to the cities. Above all, this initiative will complement the existing perfume industry and help to reboot, with a new zeal and business ideas." Interestingly Kannuaj once upon a time was hub of Agarbatti manufacturer, which later declined due to imports. KVIC chairman announced that 5,000 Agarbatti manufacturing machines will be setup in Kannuaj by March 2020 under PMEGP.

Quite noticeably, earlier the Kannuaj Parliamentary constituency was represented by Dimpal Yadav, daughter in law of first family of UP but no such initiatives were ever taken to create job opportunities for locals. This step of KVIC has created 750 direct jobs in Kannuaj and will certainly help support the existing industry of perfumes in the region, while creating new avenues of growth and livelihood for the people of Kannauj. Saxena and Pathak also planted 500 bamboo saplings of Bamboosa Tulda varieties, apt for Agarbatti manufacturing.

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