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Tripura Forest Minister declares to make state free of jhum, bamboo huts

A village, made up of bamboo huts covered in tarpaulins, is seen

Ambassa (Tripura) : Tripura Forest Minister Naresh Jamatia has said that the state could achieve the highest literacy rate in the country, but first it needs to get free from jhum cultivation, open defecation and bamboo huts.

Speaking on the occasion of “Women’s Role in Bringing Changes” by Indo German Development Cooperation (IGDC), the Forest Minister said till now there is a small section of people living in the forest areas who earn their living by practicing shifting cultivation or jhum and shifting cultivation is our enemy therefore, we have to make Tripura free from shifting cultivation.

“First I said shifting cultivation less Tripura, second is bamboo hut free Tripura. We shall distribute free houses to everyone under the IAY (Indira Awaas Yojna) but just getting house is not enough, everyone has to make arrangements for earning in the land surrounding their house and IGDC along with ADC, Agriculture and various other departments will help for that. We are trying for bringing together 30 to 40 families in cluster villages so that we can provide them electricity, water etc. There is no crunch of fund but this will only be possible if the women come forward and participate in it,” he added.

More than three hundred women, belonging to the tribal community from remote areas, participated in the workshop oganised on “Women’s Role in Bringing Changes” by Indo German Development Cooperation (IGDC) in assistance with Tripura Biodiversity Board at the Ambassa Panchayat Raj Training Institute here.

Jamatia inaugurated the workshop in presence of Monika Datta Roy, Chairperson Tripura Commission for Women, Dr. A. K. Gupta, CEO and Project Director of IGDC and other dignitaries.

Meanwhile, A. K. Gupta discussed on how under the IGDC project a big section women belonging to the tribal jhumia families got skill development training on various trade and through community participation.

“planning and executing various self-employment schemes for value addition utilizing the locally available resources has not only started earning at their home places but are also saving the forest of Tripura by keeping themselves away from the traditional practice of jhuming which not only destroys forest and environment but also is not profitable,” he said.

Gupta said, “In Dhalai and North Tripura district we have gone for socio-economic development of 28,500 jhumia families under the IGDC project. Here not only male but right from the initiation of the project we have given much importance to empowerment of women”.

Gupta further said that they have provided various vocational training and in those training 46 percent of the trainees were women participants.

“After completion of training the material supports that we provide like for tailoring we provided two types of sewing machines, in such material supports 52 percent of the beneficial are women. This proves that this project right from its starting has taken special initiative for women empowerment,” he added.

Other than discussion loan were also distributed among various SHG and woman entrepreneurs as capital for their business from revolving fund, a special fund created by the beneficiaries of IGDC by voluntarily contribution a percentage of their earning and for providing loan to needy members at very nominal interest. (ANI)

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