[UHR Projects philosophy] [The Eco-Friendly educationnal project] [EFEP: Situation analysis] [TV program - 'Mission Justice'] [Mission in Earth - The News Magazine]

Assessing the limiting and contributing factors in the development of self-employment we found, Poverty is common mostly among the following categories of people in the rural areas:

* People having no assets or less assets.

* People having less managerial ability and skill.

* People having less capacity to bear risks.

The main types of unemployment found in rural India are:

a. Agricultural unemployment.

b. Seasonal unemployment.

c. Educated unemployment.

Causes of unemployment:

* Lack of diversification in the activities.

* Inadeq uate vocational training and guidance.

* Personal factors.

* Age factors.

* Illness and / or physical disabilities.

* Technological and economic factors.

* Increase in population.

The solving factors realized to tackle the unemployment problem are:

* Agriculture and allied sectors still offer good avenues for self-employment in rural areas.

* Motivation, training and post training guidance play an important role in helping villagers to do something of their own without getting external financial assistance.

* Motivation through training and guidance create the enabling environment in the villages for self-employment without which the financial assistance can do nothing.

* Confidence can be created in the minds of villagers by establishing rapport enhancing their risk bearing capacity. Exposure to technical skill is an important factor in this regard.

* Interface among the scientist, experts and policy makers involved in developing ideas, technologies for the production and productivity and villagers who are actually involved in translating those ideas into reality and who apply those technologies in actual field situations may go a long way in changing the existing scenario.

* It is convenient and easy to organize rural poor around certain selected economic activities. Their capacity can be built, interest sustained and cohesiveness maintained along with the development of the economic activity they have taken up.

Analyzing the local and environmental resources and Ecological factors in relation to human resource development we are preparing to establish the central project of the Eco-friendly Education System in Assam, the gateway of Northeast India, which is naturally richest but economically poorest part of the country.

Here is an initial idea of the key Economic Activities to be selected for self-employment oriented training programs in Assam.

These are the economic activities that are totally based on locally available resources having good scope for self-employment in the state.

* Composite Farming.

* Area based Horticulture and Floriculture.

* Mushroom Cultivation.

* Animal Husbandry - Scientific Management of Poultry, Piggery and Dairy.

* Food Processing and Preservation.

* Small Tea Garden.

* Diversification of Jute Products.

* Pisciculture Development.

* Cottage Industries - Honey Production, Cane and Bamboo Handicrafts.

* Handloom Designing.

* Computer Education.

Composite Farming:
We have to give emphasis on the importance of taking up composite farming system considering its economic viability. We have to develop a model composite farm to study the dynamics involved in managing the components of a composite farm. It will be a part of the action research to be taken up in the project. Study of the minute details of the activities of a composite farm will help the project to guide the people taking up these activities in the rural situation.

Area based Horticulture and Floriculture:
Horticulture is considered as the mainstay of economy of Assam and thereby it stands as the economy of the state. As per 1991 census, about 89 per cent of the total population of Assam is living in rural areas and about 69 per cent of the total working force are engaged in agriculture and allied activities and also earn their livelihood from these sectors. The following are some of the important points, which explain the role, and importance of agriculture in the economy of the state.

a. Source of livelihood.

b. Source of food supply.

c. Contribution to state income.

d. Higher productivity valuation.

e. Commercial importance.

f. Setting the movement of general price level.

g. Role of horticulture in economic planning.

Our educational project will impart training programs on organic agricultural practice, integrated farming system, area based horticulture activities to educate the rural youth to take up self-employment through these activities and demonstrate how small plots of land belonging to small and marginal farmer can be used productively.

Mushroom is a good source of delicious food with high nutritive attributes, and has some medicinal values as well. Mushroom provides a rich addition to the diet in the form of protein, carbohydrates, valuable minerals and vitamins from the worthless Agro waste. The congenial climatic conditions and abundant raw materials for mushroom cultivation places Assam in an advantageous position for production of mushroom on commercial basis. In Assam four species can be cultivated round the year depending upon their climatic requirement. Mushroom can profitably be started by land less farmers, unemployed youth and other entrepreneurs. It requires less land as compared to other agricultural activities.

In Assam there are tremendous potentiality for dairy farming, as the present production cannot meet the demand for milk and milk products. A major portion of cultivable land is occupied by paddy cultivation. By product of paddy cultivation as well as grass from unused land can be fed to dairy cow for economic production of milk.

Dairy has a definite future in this region, as it is suitable for all sections of people and has no religious rigidity. It will create grate opportunity for unemployed youth for the upliftment of their economic status. The major advantage of dairy farming is that daily income can be achieved through selling milk, which is very much important for economically weaker sections.

In India poultry industry has recorded and impressive growth unparalleled in the history of animal rearing during last three and half decades of its existence due to adaptation of modern poultry production technologies. In Assam it is still in juvenile stage. Although poultry keeping in Assam is as old as its civilization, poultry farming in this region, however, remain a backward venture. Taken up by poor, weaker and vulnerable sections of the society including the tribal households. By following proper management procedure with high producing strains the farmers can easily maintain poultry farming economically.

A Broiler Hatchery Project for providing chicks at cheaper rate and training programs to transfer scientific and managerial skill to rural people in animal husbandry sector will help the poor people to take up poultry farming for their economic wellbeing.

In Assam there is a tremendous potentiality for Piggery development because of the traditional dependence of people on pigs, large consumption trend and absence of any taboo against pig production or pig farming. In tribal areas, pig rearing is a traditional activity but due to lack of a scientific approach they have not been able to maintain the level of production and productivity. Courses on pig rearing in scientific and commercial line have a definite future in Assam in meeting the demand of the people for animal protein.

Food processing and preservation:
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy of Assam. Horticulture plays an important role in the rural economy of the state. It is observed that almost 70% of the people in rural areas have a fruit garden. Various fruits like mango, pineapple, lemon, amla, olive, jackfruit, etc. are grown in plenty in Assam. Most often these perishable commodities fail to provide adequate return to the poor people as the selling of these produce is not up to the mark. A huge part of the annual production goes waste due to lack of processing and storing facilities.

Locally processing and preserving fruits in the form of pickles, jam, sauces, juices, etc. will not only save the wastage, but the poor people will also earn a lot. Unemployed youth can take up food processing and preservation on commercial line for their self-employment.

Our educational project will include a food processing and preservation unit organizing courses on it.

Floriculture with bee keeping:
Assam has a rich array of flora and fauna. The climatic condition of Assam is very much congenial to grow different seasonal flowers and orchids. Assam honey is famous for its quality. Bee keeping is a traditional activity in Assam. But, it is taken more as a hobby than for commercial purpose.

Floriculture was never taken as something that can generate income in Assam. UHR must take up this as a viable economic activity wherein transfer of technology is seriously considered.

Herbal Garden:
There are lots of medicinal plants available only in Assam. An experimental herbal farm in the project campus will help to make the people aware about the indigenous medicinal plants.

Handloom Designing:
In Assam there are lot of expert weavers, but what we need is improvement of the designing skill of the weavers to capture urban market and add value to the products. Qualities of handloom products in Assam are very fine in terms of texture, durability etc. If we introduce new design, colour combinations it will help in catching markets inside the country and abroad. In Assam handloom designs of tribal people are very rich. Putting this designs on costumes, used by people living in other parts of the country and abroad, will increase the marketing outlets for their products.

Training and research will help to orient the weavers in finding a wider market.

Assam is endowed with huge fishery potential. Assam poses fishery resources in the forms of riverbeds, swamps, ponds, tanks, forest fisheries and paddy fields. The twin river system of the Brahamapura valley and the Barak valley brings enough fresh water to almost allover the state through innumerable tributaries. The Eco-logical condition of the state is also quite favorable for pisciculture along with its subtropical humidity and cool climate.

UHR will organize courses on Pisciculture. A fishery unit in the project will allow the students to learn the developed ways of fish farming.

Small Tea Garden:
Although a large number of youth in Assam have shown interest to start small tea gardens due to lack of technical knowledge and skill they are not able to take it for self-employment.

We need to set an example in the project providing technical knowledge and skill to rural youth so that they can manage tea gardens in a profitable way in small plots.

Agricultural equipment:
Promoting indigenous technologies in making agricultural tools and equipment in a modern way, will not only help a pollution free environment but also be cost effective and allow the farmers to look after the repairing and maintains of such farming tools and equipment at their own.

Computer Education:
Courses in Information Technology to the rural youth will promote their managerial and communication skill and give them access to the outer world enabling their social improvement.

UHR has designed a prospectus outlining the basic principles, project illustrations, photographs of successful related components, technical data and information etc. of its proposed Eco-friendly educational project for presentation to potential supporters.

Given proper implementation, the proposed project of UHR will prove immensely beneficial in so far as the global community is concerned.