Jamshedpur, Dec. 13: Tribals from East Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan will soon see better employment opportunities.
The Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (Trifed), a wing of the Union ministry of tribal affairs, will venture into the two districts for the first time to open more job avenues for tribal youths.
Trifed, which already has set up centres in Khunti, Lohardaga and Gumla districts, is now working on employment generation schemes like teaching tribal youths how to make leaf plates, cultivate lac or produce honey.
“Trifed works for the development of tribals across the country. This is the first time we are looking at employment generation in these two districts. We have already chosen tribal youths who we will train with the help of NGOs working here.
“We have chosen pattal plate making (tribals already have expertise in the art) and wild honey production because we want to promote the activity here,” said Trifed regional manager (Jharkhand and Orissa) S.K. Mishra.
Trifed will introduce dona pattal plate-making machines for swift work and greater output. The technique, however, needs to be mastered by tribals. The organisation has selected 140 youths in Seraikela-Kharsawan district and about 50 in East Singhbhum for the workshop and training.
All raw material, machines, working capital and shed-cum-godown will be provided by Trifed. However, the the NGOs — the implementing agency — will take care of the marketing part. The budget of Trifed in these two districts is about Rs 12 lakh.
“There is always a demand for leaf plates. We will also prepare them in bulk if we get particular consignments. For example last year, we had bagged a consignment from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam to supply about one crore leaf plates. These orders help tribals earn more. If we find no special orders, tribals will supply finished products to local markets,” said Mishra.
The training is free of cost. Mishra said workers would earn Rs 40 per 100 leaf plates compared to the current rate of Rs 10 per 100 now.
Rockbee honey collection is also in the pipeline. Rockbee is a wild variety of honey being promoted in Jharkhand. Tribal youths will be given scientific training to save time.
The initiative will be taken with the help of the Khadi Gramodyog Board. Trifed will provide the honey collection kit costing Rs 75,000 to a group of 25 persons.
“First of all, wild honey collection is not so common in Jharkhand. Also the training will help tribal youths finish the process of collection in a shorter span of time,” Mishra pointed out.