Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has taken a big step towards “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”. They have created local employment for migrant workers through its “Honey Mission” program. Minister of State for MSME, Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi distributed 700 bee boxes to 70 migrant workers of Saharanpur and Bulandshahr districts of Uttar Pradesh. Thus, they are trying to provide them with livelihood opportunities under Honey Mission.
Bee boxes: Distribution and Training
The migrant workers – 40 from Saharanpur and 30 from Bulandshahr – had returned to their hometown from states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat. They returned because they were facing financial distress due to Covid-19 lockdown. Rising to the call of the Prime Minister for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, KVIC identified these workers.
KVIC has given them 5-days training on beekeeping. They have also provided the necessary tool kit and bee boxes to carry out beekeeping activities. Bee boxes were distributed at KVIC’s training center in Panjokera. The entire western Uttar Pradesh region is ideal for honey production. They have an abundance of flora that includes a variety of crops.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sarangi praised the initiative for providing employment opportunities to local migrant workers. This is a great move of beekeeping during this COVID-19 pandemic. It will also contribute to increasing India’s honey production which is the core objective of Honey Mission. “It is a great initiative. Creating employment to migrant workers at their doorsteps will make them self-reliant,” the Minister said.
KVIC Chairman, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena was also present on the occasion. He said beekeeping is aligned with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call for ‘self-reliance’ by promoting local industries. “Beekeeping will not only increase India’s honey production but it will also increase the income of the beekeepers. Further, products such as bee wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, and bee venom are also marketable. Hence, a profitable proposition for the locals,” Saxena said.
Migrant Workers views on the Honey Mission
The migrant workers, who were provided with bee boxes and the tool kit, expressed happiness over the government support. They shared their experiences saying they would no longer need to leave their homes in search of jobs in other states. Ankit Kumar was one of them who returned to his hometown Saharanpur from Karnataka. He stated that he was rendered jobless in the lockdown. However, with KVIC’s support, he is now self-employed again. Another migrant worker, Mohit, who worked in Maharashtra, said he would not have to leave his family behind while searching for a job in other cities and that by engaging with Honey Mission. They all will be able to make a better livelihood owing to this initiative.
Notably, the Honey Mission was launched by KVIC 3 years ago. It aims at creating employment for farmers, Adivasis, women, and unemployed youth. It does so by roping them with beekeeping and increasing India’s honey production. So far, KVIC has distributed 1.35 lakh bee boxes in states like Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Tripura among others. This has benefited 13,500 people across the country while producing nearly 8500 MT honey.
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