Empowerment of Women Through Tasar Sericulture Activities in Jharkhand State
Jharkand is a newly created state in India, rich in forest and tribal population. The State is known for tasar sericulture and production of highest tasar silk in India. The State Department of Handloom, Sericulture and Handicraft (DHS&H), has been striving hard for promotion of sericulture in the state by launching several projects. Jharkhand Silk Textile and Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd (Jharcraft) in the state is responsible for promoting post cocoon sericultural activities form cocoon to fabric for livelihood enhancement of rural and tribal population. During 11&12thplan, the department has implemented the Central Silk Board (CSB) sponsored project and its own programme in tasar culture for rural poor and tribal population. The department has established common facilities center in areas where sericulture is practiced widely. Jharcraft used these facilities for empowerment of women by organizing training, facilitating from reeling to fabric making and create marketing network of products. The Jharcraft provides raw material like silk cocoons to reelers and buy back of the silk yarn. Further, the silk yarn are supplied to weavers and the women fabric is procured back. This fabric is then supplied to artisans with necessary raw materials to add value to the fabric in the form of surface ornamentation such as tribal painting, Zardori work, Kantha embroidery, Tie & Dye etc. and buys it back at fixed price. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) evaluated the impact of the project. In the course of assessment of impact, 248 beneficiaries were randomly selected comprising, reelrs (80) weavers ( 85) and artisans (83) representing four districts namely Saraikela-Kharswan, Godda, Khunti and Ranchi. These respondent beneficiaries were interviewed with structured questionnaire in each of the segment. This paper specifically deals with post cocoon activities only. Analysis revealed that the project which are implemented have contributed to empowerment of women through training, creating network for marketing, and income generation. Among the interviewed, 91.12% were trained. The annual income of the reelers is Rs. 20,000 to 25,000, weavers is Rs. 50,000 to 60000 and the artisans is Rs.10, 000 to 50,000. On an average, based on the number of days of job on hand per month and production output, the beneficiaries have realized an income ranging from Rs. 26,000 to 41,000 per annum. The income so realized, is in addition to the regular income of the family. This has enabled the beneficiaries to get jobs in local and surrounding areas, earn reasonably by making use of their free time by utilizing the facility available without any investment. This paper describes the methodology of the study, socio economic background, types of support given to women, benefits from the sector, employment opportunities , socio economic improvement of women etc.