The spice-grinding centre at Jharia Bihar Colony in Belgarhia on Tuesday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Jharia Rehabilitation Development Authority (JRDA) has renewed efforts to start a stalled job oriented training programme for underground fire affected families in Belgarhia.
JRDA, the nodal agency executing the rehabilitation process involving 50,000 non BCCL families from 595 underground fire and subsidence affected areas of Jharia Coalfield Region under the Rs 7,028 crore Jharia Master Plan, will create job opportunities for 1,040 families who have already been rehabilitated in Belgarhia since 2010.
The rehabilitation and resettlement in-charge of JRDA Gopalji will soon write to Dhanbad deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar, who is also managing director of JRDA in this regard.
Of the programmes already underway, one is a spice-grinding unit funded by BCCL that provides employment to 10 persons. More than 100 women are being trained in stitching and tailoring at the community centre inaugurated in 2011 with the help of BCCL Officer’s Wives Association and Nari Shakti Samiti (NSS). Another 68 women are being provided education at the Adult Education Centre being run in the colony by NSS since December last year.
“Lack of employment opportunities for the newly-settled families is sending a wrong message to others living in the fire affected areas who are to be rehabilitated later,” said Gopalji. He added that a wrong message about lack of employment opportunities going out at the very onset of the rehabilitation process would hamper future initiatives.
Gopalji said JRDA would also draw the attention of the district rural development authority towards the stalled plans for establishing a tailoring-cum-garment manufacturing centre, which was to be set up at Belgarhia at a cost of Rs 1.37 crore.
Notably, more than 600 women were to be engaged in the centre to be operated under the Swarna Jayanti Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) of the government. Fifty per cent of the funds for it were to be provided by the rural development authority and the rest by BCCL. The foundation stone was laid by then commissioner of North Chotanagpur A.K. Pandey on June 25, 2010.
“Ten sewing machines have been provided by the rural development authority for the centre and a Ranchi-based NGO, Society for Integrated Development, has been selected to run it,” said Gopalji, adding that lack of interest on the NGO’s part led to the project being shelved.
“We would request the authority to select a new NGO in order to bring the tailoring centre project back on track,” said Gopalji, adding that efforts were also on to provide job oriented training to educated youths with the help of government-run Industrial Training Institute (ITI) of Dhanbad.
When contacted, the district rural development authority’s Dhanbad director Krishna Kumar said he was not aware of the project.
“We will demand training programmes in nursing for women settlers and vocational training for other youth at the polytechnic and mining institute,” Gopalji said.