Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has taken a big leap towards “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” by creating local employment for migrant workers through its flagship “Honey Mission” program. Minister of State for MSME, Pratap Chandra Sarangi distributed 700 bee boxes to 70 migrant workers of Saharanpur and Bulandshahr districts of Uttar Pradesh today and thus providing them with livelihood opportunity under Honey Mission.
These migrant workers – 40 from Saharanpur and 30 from Bulandshahr – had returned to their hometown from states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, facing financial distress due to Covid-19 lockdown. Rising to the call of the Prime Minister for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, KVIC identified these workers, imparted them 5-days training on beekeeping and provided the necessary tool kit and bee boxes to them to carry out beekeeping activities. The entire western Uttar Pradesh region, with abundance of flora that includes a variety of crops, is ideal for honey production. Bee boxes were distributed at KVIC’s training center in Panjokera.
Speaking on the occasion, Sarangi lauded the initiative and said while roping in these workers with beekeeping will create local employment; 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, Vinai Kumar Saxena who was also present on the occasion, said roping in migrant workers with beekeeping is aligned with Prime Minister 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 and hence, a profitable proposition for the locals,” Saxena said.
The migrant workers, who were provided with bee boxes and the tool kit, expressed happiness over the government support shared their experiences saying they would no longer need to leave their homes in search of jobs in other states. Ankit Kumar, who returned to his hometown Saharanpur from Karnataka, said he was rendered jobless in the lockdown. However, with KVIC’s support, he was 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 job in other cities and that by engaging with Honey Mission, he will be able to make a better livelihood.
Notably, the Honey Mission launched by KVIC 3 years ago aims at creating employment for farmers, Adivasis, women and unemployed youth 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 8,500 MT honey.