Rasulpur: Non-inclusion of artisans other than weavers by NABARD for monetary assistance has triggered resentment among people of Gopalpur village under Prathamakhandi panchayat in Rasulpur block in Jajpur district.
During the recent visit of NABARD chairman GR Chintala to the village, only 250 weavers were picked for assistance. This sparked dissatisfaction among other artisans in the village.
It was alleged that the role of NABARD in the development of rural areas has knowingly been squeezed. During the chairman’s visit, a programme was held where it was announced that 250 weavers from Gopalpur village will receive assistance of Rs 50 lakh as loan from NABARD.
The money will be utilized for procuring raw materials, weaving clothes, designing them and creating a proper market for their products. NABRAD plays a vital role in the progress of agriculture and rural areas.
Besides this, one of its objectives is also to find out those families involved in the nonfarm sector and make them self-reliant by providing them loans. But the inclusion of only 250 weavers has not gone down well with the rest of the weavers and those associated with non-farm sectors.
There are over 5,000 weavers and over 4,000 families who earn their livelihood by making brass and bell metal wares, terracotta products, bamboo articles, wooden and cane furniture and other products.
These families are now passing through a very difficult phase. The outbreak of Covid-19 has dealt a severe blow to their business. “Some of these artisans should have been included in the programme,” some villagers observed.
NABARD has also been playing a crucial role in providing them assistance in the farm sector. Rasulpur block is known as the hub of vegetables. Vegetable growers here have many problems.
But these farmers were also sidelined. It has been alleged that the district administration carried out the programme clandestinely. As a result, the village artisans and farmers were deprived of the NABARD benefits.
Expressing concern, working president of Odisha Bunakar Mahasangha Sridhar Behera said, “The visit of NABARD’s chairman to our village is a great thing. But it would have been better if all the artisans had been given a chance to attend the event.
I think it would not have been a big problem if they were invited” he said. Terracotta artisan Parshuram Behera said he has no information about the visit of NABRAD’s chairman.
Organising an event with artisans from a particular stream is not acceptable at all. NABARD’s development manager for Jajpur district said he is not authorized to say anything about the event. The programme was conducted by the district administration.
He suggested collecting information from the DIPRO. Collector Rathore said the program is a pilot program of NABARD. In the first phase, with weavers from Chaka Gopalpur, a non-farm producers’ community has been formed.
They will be provided with financial assistance and their progress will be monitored. Considering the success of the programme, others will be included in phases.
The meeting was attended by MD of NABKISAN Finance Limited Suseela Chintala, chief general manager of NABARD (Odisha) C Uday Bhaskar, Collector Chakravarti Singh Rathore.