Patna: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday launched the Satat Jivikoparjan Yojana (graduation approach to sustainable livelihood), aimed at providing alternative employment to poor families that were dependent on the country liquor and toddy (fermented palm sap) trade for livelihood before prohibition was clamped on Bihar.
“Some families were traditionally connected with production and sale of liquor and toddy. A survey showed us that their economic condition turned weak after prohibition and they had no alternative employment. We have begun Satat Jivikoparjan Yojana for such families and also targeted extremely poor families belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other communities,” Nitish said after launching the scheme.
The scheme, conceptualised by the rural development department and approved by the state cabinet in April this year, is expected to provide alternative employment to 1 lakh extremely poor families in the initial stages.
A total sum of Rs 840 crore will be spent on the implementation of this scheme, which will provide livelihood, capacity-building and financial help to targeted families. “We are getting a survey done to find families that were traditionally engaged in liquor-related works and experienced deterioration of economic condition after prohibition. They are being encouraged during the survey to take up alternative work and accordingly, arrangements are being made for them. Jeevika didis (women working with Jeevika self-help groups) are working hard to make this scheme successful,” Nitish added.
Nitish said the scheme was initially being implemented in 16 of the 38 districts. But it will cover all by the end of this year. “A master resource person will be there for every 35 to 40 such families, who will be trained in various enterprises. They will be connected to cattle- and goat-rearing, poultry, agriculture-related activities and manufacturing of incense sticks – whichever they find suitable. The state government will give them Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh for this,” Nitish said.
These families will also be given Rs 1,000 per month for seven months as assistance to start their ventures.
Speaking on the occasion, Nitish also pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi believed that the government was the trustee of the treasury and not its owner, hence, he was properly utilising the state’s resources for the people.
The chief minister added that the state government was spending Rs 54,100 on every girl child to ensure her care and education till graduation.
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, rural development minister Shrawan Kumar, development commissioner Shashi Shekhar Sharma, rural development department secretary Arvind Kumar Chaudhary, Union rural development joint secretary Neeta Kejriwal, Jeevika CEO Balamurugan D. and several others were present on the occasion.
Courtesy: The Telegraph