For numerous inmates who have been taking shelter for the last five months at various relief camps, starting a livelihood from ground zero has been the most excruciating task so far.
But the initiation of livelihood training at the relief camp opened at Manipur College, Imphal has opened up the horizon for several inmates who do not have a place to call ‘home’ at the moment.
“It gives us hope. It makes us feel alive to learn new skills and earn a living out of it. The journey we have had to endure since the crisis erupted has been treacherous but such programmes have reawakened the zeal to fight on,” said one of the inmates at the relief camp while speaking to the media.
The inmates exuded confidence that the training would aid in creating job opportunities and sustaining their livelihood during the long-drawn-out conflict.
Under the aegis of ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region Manipur centre, Lamphelpat and ICAR KVKs, State Rural Livelihood Mission and Imphal West District Administration has been organising a 30-day skill cum vocational training programme for inmates at various relief camps in Imphal West.
The training programme at Manipur College kicked off on September 22 and will continue till October 31 during which the inmates will be taught 12 different skill sets.
On Monday, the trainers from ICAR Lamphelpat taught the inmates about mushroom farming and food processing specifically in the area of pickle making and candied fruits.
Technical officer of ICAR Lamphelpat Thokchom Surjit highlighted that training programmes were structured according to the preference of the inmates at relief camps.
He mentioned that several such training programmes had already been completed at various relief camps.
“We have already completed the programme at around four relief camps so far. The programme was initiated so as to motivate the inmates and enable them to earn a respectable living even after they move out from the camps,” he said.
He informed that around 19 inmates were taking part in the mushroom farming training and pointed out that self-employment was the primary objective of the entire programme.
Meanwhile, Nodal officer Arti Ningombam noted that local clubs and groups could also avail the training programmes by informing ICAR, Lamphelpat.
The vocations provided in the training programme include mushroom cultivation, food processing, bee keeping, vermicomposting, piggery, poultry production, ornamental fishery, floriculture, seed production, vegetable gardening, farmers’ schemes and credit linkages.