Global Warming. Unemployment. How do you come up with a solution that addresses both these issues? S M Raju, a civil servant in Bihar has done just that. Raju has started a campaign to encourage unemployed village folk to start planting trees. This campaign has been linked with the government’s NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and thus the village people earn money by planting these trees.
Amarnath Tewary writes in this article at the BBC:
An Indian civil servant, SM Raju, has come up with a novel way of providing employment to millions of poor in the eastern state of Bihar.
The article quotes that about 44% of Bihar’s population is under the poverty line. And Bihar has not been able to successfully spend the NREGA funds allocated to them mostly due to lack of awareness. Here comes Raju’s idea of bringing in tree plantation as part of NREGA.
Raju’s program has brought in significant benefits, as he says:
“So the idea struck to my mind, why not involve families below the poverty line in social forestry and give them employment under this scheme for 100 days?
“Under the scheme, each family can earn a minimum of 10,200 rupees ($210).”
Read the complete article here, which lists how Raju conceptualized and executed this successful idea. A special thanks to reporter Amarnath Tewary for writing about this.