By Pinaki Das
Agartala, Jan.26 : Many self-help groups (SHGs) in Tripura are today silently transforming the lives of several youngsters. They are helping the local youth to develop self-reliance by personal initiatives to start new ventures putting behind the turbulent past of the State.
Biprajit Barua was one of the several unemployed youths for a long time until he decided to start off his career on his own.
Despite having a good educational background and training in agriculture science three years ago, he set up his own little venture instead of waiting for a government job. He set up a ten-member self-help group to set up a plant nursery in his native village in Kumarghat in north Tripura.
Biprajit Barua, the group leader of Abalamban SHG, said: "In Tripura, the climate and ecology are so conducive, that one can grow anything. Starting from Jarberas, Anthuriums 'the commercial plants' to dwarf, Kavendis, even Vanilla grows so well here. That's why we started this plant nursery."
Today, he manages to earn rupees 10,000 per month besides offering employment to others. The venture has all offered employment to others.
Deepak Das, another member of Abalamban, said: "Two years ago, I was unemployed. I joined this SHG and started growing plants. Now I am earning well and noticing the success of my venture, other unemployed youths of the locality have also joined the SHG. Here we are also growing Jarberas, marigolds and different varieties of fruits."
Fish feed producer Chandan Kumar Das is another example.
Chandan Kumar Das along with his twelve friends established Sukanta Fish Feed, a Self Help Group at Sukantanagar in Kumarghat in 2000.
Initially, his SHG group took a small loan. But later, they took a loan of rupees 650,000 and set up different types of machinery. It bore fruit and earned them good profit. Today they have 7 acres of land, two vehicles and ponds where they cultivate fish. At present each member of the group is earning rupees 15,000 per month at least.
Chandan Kumar Das, fish feed SHG group leader, said: "If people have the will and want to be self-employed and not be dependent on government jobs, they can earn even more than a government employee. We possess that will power and so we can do whatever we desire to do."
There are over 20,000 such SHGs in diverse fields in rural Tripura.
The huge number of such groups is an indication of the success of a central government-aided venture in working towards development and boosting rural economy.
The young generation in Tripura has played a major role in helping to get rid of militancy in the State. These youth are today an inspiration for others residing in rest of the north eastern States. With their success they have showcased how they can channelise their energy not just for personal development but also for the area their live in and its economy.