Road to redemption: Surrendered maoists in Chhattisgarh take up mushroom cultivation for livelihood

The search into livelihood strategies eventually led to create a sort of an agro-based cottage industry through mushroom cultivation.

Published: 10th November 2017 11:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2017 01:58 AM   |  A+A-

The search into livelihood strategies for the surrendered maoists eventually led to create a sort of an agro-based cottage industry through mushroom cultivation.

By Express News Service

CHHATTISGARH: One of the primary challenges for Chhattisgarh Police as well as surrendered Maoists is to secure a stable livelihood that for the rebels after they join mainstream of society. As none of the surrendered  Maoists have studied beyond Class VIII, they are ineligible for skill training programmes, police said.

The search into livelihood strategies eventually led to create a sort of an agro-based cottage industry through mushroom cultivation. A survey by  Rajnandgaon Police found mushroom to be in demand as the district has a  sizeable vegetarian population.

After a month-long training programme on mushroom cultivation for two  dozen surrendered Maoists, they were provided temporary accommodation near the city police line area where they are engaged in mushroom production in a mega-shed.

“Mushroom cultivation doesn’t require any significant capital investment or land. The trainees grasped the technique quite well,” said agriculture scientist I K Sahu who organised the training sessions with four other experts.

“We don’t wish the surrendered Maoists to go out to work due to a  persistent threat to their lives. So a means for rehabilitation was explored. Mushroom cultivation was turned into a suitable income-generating avenue for them,” said Rajnandgaon’s Additional  Superintendent of Police Y P Singh.

“We are from a rural and agriculture background, so we quickly adapted to mushroom growing techniques. It’s gainful enterprise and we look forward to some secured income and stable livelihood from it,” said Ravi Uike alias Ganeshwar, 38, a former military platoon commander of CPI  (Maoist).

The advisory, training assistance and technical support services were roped-in from forest department and agriculture experts. A kilo of mushroom is sold for Rs 200-250. “We hope each of the 10 families trained for mushroom cultivation will earn them Rs 5,000 every month,” said Rajesh Pudo, 30, a former Maoist commander.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp