KD Joshi, Project Coordinator, 19 July 2021
Economic Empowerment through Forest Management
Danda tole, Chandrapur Municipality-01 is densely populated by indigenous people with low socio-economic status. There are families whose source of livelihood majorly depends upon collection of firewood from nearby Community Forest in absence of enough resources and skill. In coordination with ECCSO project, Pragatishil Women Community Forest User Group located in Danda tole, Chandrapur-01 decided to establish Duna-Tapari Udhyog to support their livelihood and ensure forest management.
For effective operation, Pragatishil WCFUG selected 17 women from marginalized and vulnerable group having low socio-economic status. ECCSO project handed over the Duna-Tapari Machine along with 3 sized dye to produce duna, bota and tapari to them on 19th July 2021. Along with the manufacturing machine, the selected women were provided with technical training on collection, drying, stitching, production of leaf plates and operation of machine. The abundance of Saal trees in the community forest contributes to availability of raw materials (saal leaves) required to manufacture the leaf plates.
The Pragatishil WCFUG manages the Nunthar Tourism Area, major destination place for picnic among domestic tourists. The Plastic plates used during the picnic and other festivals organized at tourism sector are polluting the environment along with serene Bagmati river located nearby. The eco-friendly traditional saal leaf plates are religiously valued and will contribute towards natural resource management, control environmental pollution (plastic and river) and equally benefit vulnerable and marginalized community members dependent on forest products through economy generation. The WCFUG plans to replace plastic plates consumed at the spot with traditional saal leaf plates. The nearby Bagmati and Chandrapur market will also be added local market for sale of product.
It is estimated that the machine will manufacture around 3000 pcs of duna, bota and tapari per day amounting to NRs. 5500 of production per day. As per the estimation per member of the group will have monthly income of around NRs. 9000-10000.
The Pragatishil WCFUG is currently managing the production and storage of dry leaves and will come into full operation from coming week. Ward Chairperson of Chandrapur-01 and Pragatishil WCFUG have committed to add more machines from their fund if the demands from market are not met from production of this machine.