PATNA: A group of 12 migrant labourers have set an example of what being 'self- reliant' means to be in a real sense in Bihar's West Champaran district.
The group, led by a class 8th pass 25-year-old migrant Suraj Kumar, turned their skills into services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They returned to Bihar on May 28 from Jammu, went into quarantine and after being discharged, none of them waited for employment on the side of state government. They decided to run a pavers-block manufacturing unit in their village Madhopur-bairiya under Gaunaha block in West Champaran. They contributed from their hard-earned money and started manufacturing paver-blocks in various designs at the house of one Suraj Kumar.
“Now, we have taken a piece of 1.5 katha of private land on lease for next five years from a villager and running the manufacturing unit on it," Suraj Kumar said.
The pavers blocks designed and manufactured by them had drawn the attention and appreciation of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar also recently. CM Nitish Kumar during his visit to Bagha on flood inspection tour interacted with
two of them and appreciated their collective efforts in creating employment through their own skills. Suraj Kumar and his colleague Om Prakash informed the chief minister as how they worked for setting up the unit with all migrant-labourers of their areas.
Suraj Kumar, who is deeply experienced and skilled in pavers-block manufacturing from Rawalpore in Srinagar, said: “When I returned along with 12 others returned here, we decided not to wait for employment from others. We contributed with whatever money we had saved working in Srinagar and started manufacturing the pavers-blocks besides other things of household and public usages like flower pots and cemented benches and chairs."
Rahul Kumar, another migrant and colleague of Suraj Kumar, said that initially some difficulty were faced but now
everything has started getting arranged for running the pavers-clock manufacturing unit.
"We are arranging stone dust, sand colour, hardeners and cement and other materials for making benches, pots and pavers blocks, foot-walkers, chairs and other things," Kumar said. They wholeheartedly thanked district magistrate of West Champaran Kundan Kumar for helping them in getting loans from a bank.
“Now, we have also started manufacturing bricks in addition other cemented items," Suraj Kumar said, adding that 32 migrant labourers are engaged in it. So far, more than 90000 pieces of cemented items including pavers-blocks have been manufactured and 60000 have so far been sold.
The 1000 pavers-blocks are sold at Rs 14000 to Rs 15000 while one piece of cemented bench with sitting capacity of 4 persons is sold at Rs 8000. “Our products like cemented park-benches, chairs, foot-walkers pathway sheets, flower pots and other things have gone much in demand among the people of city and panchayats," Suraj said.
Rahul Kumar and Sonu Kumar-other migrant-labourers, also said that orders from Panchayats and district administration for more than 6000 pavers-blocks were recovered and supplied. “We will take it to the larger scale with the help of other migrants, who have joined us and decided not go back to other states," Suraj Kumar said.