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BCCL eyes silk route for jobs

Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) will team up with Jharcraft to generate livelihoods for villagers in the coal major’s project areas in Dhanbad district.

Initial talks between BCCL authorities led by its department of sustainability head S.C. Prasad and Jharcraft managing director Dhirendra Kumar held on May 16 in Ranchi decided on broad areas of cooperation.

As of now, BCCL will extend the ambit of its collaborative skill development programme to 226 villages across the district. Skills being mulled upon include sericulture, handloom and handicraft, raising ducks, pigs and fish. Mukunda (Baliapur block) and Gaderia (near Kendua Bazar), two villages, will pilot the programme.

Jharcraft managing director Kumar confirmed the meeting with BCCL functionaries and said an MoU draft between BCCL and Jharcraft had been sent to the coal major.

Jharcraft will help BCCL with its expertise in handloom, handicraft and sericulture. The reputable state government undertaking will also buy back the products made by the rural trainees under this livelihood programme.

To ensure training meets people’s needs, BCCL’s Prasad and Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research scientist M.S. Alam are carrying out an intensive survey in Mukunda and Gaderia households.

Groundwork has already started. Two societies of villagers in Gaderia and Mukunda, with 336 and 200 households in each, have been constituted and their accounts opened in Bank of India for loans to help people invest in self-employment schemes.

“Our plan is to reach most number of people. Initially, we will start with Gaderia and Mukunda but we plan to extend the training to 226 villages in Dhanbad,” S.C. Prasad said.

On the survey, he said: “We are visiting every household in Mukunda, Gaderia and their surrounding areas to see for ourselves what people need. We don’t want to impose anything,” Prasad said.

Jharcraft’s Kumar said they had also asked BCCL for a building in Koylanagar, which could be used as training-cum-production centre.

“We partner with public sector giants such as SAIL to impart similar training in Bokaro, Gua and Durgapur,” said Kumar. “We will try to replicate this in Dhanbad as well.”


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