Generating employment through green mission and social cooperation
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You are surely aware that the efforts to contain the Corona virus pandemic have accentuated the existing crises in employment and agriculture. Prolongation of these crises may lead to social unrest on a large scale. To make matters worse, the atmosphere of fear and suspicion is also threatening to tear our social fabric. While it would be difficult to re-create many of the lost jobs in the cities, the possibility of local sufficiency of food and livelihood in the rural communities can be an attractive one in the aftermath of this crisis.
In this backdrop, our Glob-cal Green Mission offers a proposal for addressing the crisis in employment and agriculture, by generating Self-employment through social cooperation in an environmentally sustainable way. The proposal would need a modest amount of funding, together with permission to channel funds of MGNREGS and various schemes for rural Self-Help Groups (SHGs). The main idea of the project is to put in place a system where everyone in a rural community has a chance to shift to environmentally sustainable livelihood, with the aim of making social cooperation an economically beneficial option. The basic system would be built in a few steps that are demonstrably profitable, at least in the medium term. These steps are meant to serve as a replicable model for further enhancement of the system through local entrepreneurship. Even though the emphasis is on localization as well as humanization of the production-consumption cycle, there would be adequate engagement with markets for viability of the steps taken, with a view to establishing complementarity of market and human relationship and garner its huge potential inspired by the 'Promise of Inclusion, Power of Love'.
Our immediate goal is to build a model, which can extend the working days of the people working under MGNREGS the schemes for SHGs for almost round the year employment through a rejuvenated socio-spiritual engineering with the same fund and involving, wherever possible, National Service Scheme (the biggest youth organisation of the world) and National Cadet Corps attached to our higher education system and National Youth Corps volunteers. At the same time, our urge is to enrich the environment by augmenting it to a food forest that can provide substantial food security. The vision is to double the existing greenery in 10 years mostly with fruit trees, in unutilized and underutilized land. If you may kindly agree to go into the details and orchestrate the various aspects of the mission, we can get at least 40% of our food security from the food forest. Our team expects that this mission can create around 1400 crore more small trees in the farmland (if we grow ten thousand such trees in one square kilometres of farmland) and 1250 crore more big trees in the unutilised land of our country (if we grow at least twenty five thousand such trees in one square kilometres of unutilised land), almost 80% of which would be fruit trees.
When after a brief initial preparation the whole country will take part in this mission, around 14 crore people (10 crore from MGNREGS, 3 crore from the 5 crore members of the SHGs, 1 crore from NGOs+NSS+NCC+NYK volunteers) could eventually get involved with it encircling the whole rural India fully as well as urban India partially. Our 14 crore school children would grow one sapling each and sow them with their own hands in the land specified by the grassroot basic working committee of the mission to reverberate the enthusiasm throughout the country.
The mission team has proposed for a three-share system of distribution of the produce from the fruit trees in the unutilised land, through which each and every one in a rural community would be involved with this mission quite organically --- with a rhythm of giving and receiving. We can expect that this initiative would cast a minimum safety net for each and every one of the society.
The three shares would be for
1. The landowner (be it the Government, a society or an individual),
2. The Self-Help Groups mostly of women folk, who will look after the work as the Intermediary Body and
3. The facilitating agencies (a University, NGO or corporate).
The main workforce for the project would be the women of SHGs, some of whom may take government loans for small projects. These SHGs would get registered with the facilitating agency. Different SHGs would engage in different components of the project such as supply of fodder for animal crèches (mainly for protecting the farmland from animal intrusion), upkeep of the crèches, producing bio-fertilizers and organic pest repellents, cultivating plots leased out by land-owners, running of nursery of saplings mostly for local farming, producing agro-based products such as pickles, pulse cakes (bori), papad and so on, for supplementary income. There will be tuition centres for children to encourage their mothers to engage in the project. The facilitating agency would oversee the flow of material and knowhow from government and other sources. It would try to tap the MGNREGS resources for building of infrastructure through community labour and tap the NSS, NCC and NYK for engagement of college students and volunteers. It would also encourage local entrepreneurs to join in for allied activities.
By involving each and every one of a rural community, this mission has the potential to directly benefit the population of rural India and indirectly benefit the whole of India by utilising her huge natural, social and spiritual resources on top of which there lies the CAPITAL VALUE OF GOODNESS and knowing to learn how to harness it!
Our Green Mission team is working on evolving a paradigm of an all-encompassing green movement for more than a decade now. Once it was accepted by the Government of West Bengal, the core idea was presented in the Parliament of World's Religions held in Toronto in 2018 and it intensely intrigues persons from many countries. We believe that if India explores
the huge possibilities of this great green mission, which is very much localised one and yet having global implications, we can inspire the whole world and vice versa. This grassroot initiative could be one of the most effective vaccines for combating the total corona crisis and cultivating social connectedness in the days of physical isolation.
With warm regards,
Advisor, Globcal Green Mission. Secretary, Amlan Atmiya Samaj.
Member, World Constitution and Parliament Association
Nabagram, Purba Bardhaman West Bengal, INDIA, PIN-713166
Mobile- 863 739 9340 / 9474779844
(Copy to the Chief Ministers of all the states of India.)
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