The Telegraph
Saturday , November 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fair touches a chord with greenhorns

No points for guessing what one may see at a skill development fair of the youth, by the youth and for the youth.

More than 10,000 young men and women on Friday swamped the state government’s touted Yuva Evam Kaushal Vikas Mela at Morabadi grounds, Ranchi, to pick up finer nuances of self-employment opportunities that promise to be economic game-changers.

From dairy and poultry farming to pisciculture and cocoon cultivation, every government and individual entrepreneur stall was sheer inspiration on the second day of the three-day fair, which was inaugurated by chief minister Arjun Munda and state co-ordination committee chairman Shibu Soren as a part of statehood celebrations on Thursday.

Munda visited the fair on Friday too to see for himself the response from youths. He was certainly not disappointed to see the surging crowds.

“I am here simply because I want to learn everything about dairy farming and improve my family’s economic condition,” said Narayan Naik of Hatia who was looking up the milk processing and marketing exhibits at the animal husbandry department stall.

Ratu native Shankar Bhagat too was spotted fishing for better livelihood opportunities.

“We have a pond and want make business out of it. I have heard that fish farms have changed economic conditions of many families. I wanted to meet people who have been successful in real life so that I can follow in their footsteps,” the 25-year-old said.

Where there are learners, there are mentors too.

Dairy farmer from Palkot, Gumla, Manish Kumar was one of them. “In June 2005, I began business with two cows, which produced 30 litres of milk. I went around on my bicycle and sold the milk. Today, I have 117 cows, a milk counter and a sweet shop in Gumla,” the 28-year-old summed up his success story.

After graduating from Gossner College, Manish had first embarked on a government job hunt. But, his father Shiv Prasad Sahu dissuaded him from what he called a wild goose chase. “Instead, he bought me cows. Today, my farm produces 1,000 litres of milk every day for supply in Palkot, Kolbera and other parts of Gumla. I am also taking up fish farming,” he said, cherishing his achievements.

Emu farming at the animal husbandry stall was also a top draw for the youth. “We also have hens that need less care compared to broilers,” said Dr Neeraj Sinha, a government vet at the stall, pointing out how the “low-technology birds” could turnaround fortunes.