Express News Service
RANCHI: In a first of its kind initiative towards women empowerment in Jharkhand, ‘Nursery Entrepreneurs’ are being created by providing proper training to women Self Help Group (SHG) under ‘Didi Bagia Yojana’ in rural areas of the state.
The plants produced by these SHGs will cater to the requirement of various plantation schemes launched in Jharkhand to create jobs for the migrants who returned home during the lockdown.
Officials claimed that more than 235 nurseries have already been established in different districts of Jharkhand, each having 10-15 thousand plants. The scheme has been conceptualized by Rural Development Department by convergence of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) under which the women entrepreneurs will also get man-days for the work done by them in their nurseries.
“Didi Bagiya Yojana is an innovative initiative of Rural Development Department, under which, SHGs are being encouraged to become nursery entrepreneurs. With this initiative, training and technical help is being provided for establishing and operating nurseries,” said JSLPS CEO Nancy Sahay.
The initiative will ensure additional income to the SHG women, she added.
The CEO further added that as many as 235 nurseries under the scheme have already been established and are expected to produce more than 25 lakh saplings next year making the state self reliant in terms of saplings. So far, the saplings being planted under various schemes of MGNREGA is being procured from outside, she added.
“With this initiative, the saplings produced by SGH women will be purchased directly for plantation under MGNREGA,” said the CEO.
Pushpa Devi, 39, one of the beneficiaries under this scheme, said is preparing more than 10,000 saplings in her nursery after getting training from JSLPS.
“This is beneficial in both ways as we are getting paid for the work done in our own nurseries. Secondly, we will also be making money by selling each of the saplings for Rs 80 to the state government once it is ready,” said Pushpa Devi from Guphu village of Khunti.
Mainly, she is preparing saplings of Seasam, Mahogany, Gamhar and mango, which is required for plantation under ‘Birsa Harit Gram Yojana’ of MGNREGA launched last year. Under ‘Birsa Harit Gram Yojana’ a total of 192 saplings in each acre of land is planted.
According to officials, financial support for the ‘Didi Bagia Yojana’ will be provided under MGNREGA for the next one and a half years, which includes materials required for setting up the nursery. Therefore, all the saplings prepared in these nurseries will be given primarily for MGNREGA schemes till financial support is being provided, they said.