Press Trust of india

Operation Goodwill: Army distributes bee boxes among 28 rural women in JK’s Doda

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Bhadarwah (JK), Oct 28: Over two dozen women in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district were given bee boxes for honey farming as part of the Army’s ‘Operation Goodwill’, an official said.

The women have been trained in beekeeping under a three-week programme organised by the Rashtriya Rifles based here in collaboration with Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) in Jammu.

The programme was conducted under the Prime Minister’s Skill India initiative to impart basic skills among rural women in bee rearing, their management and how to make it a profitable business, the Army official said.

Twenty-eight women from various far-off villages of the hilly district participated in the training programme, aimed at encouraging them to develop the required skills to become successful entrepreneurs using local resources with very little or no investment, he said.

“I was in a fix over what to do after completing my studies, as in this part of the world, jobs are very hard to find. Luckily for me, the Army took the initiative at the right time and I enrolled myself for the training programme,” Sheetal, a trainee from Rounda-Seri village, told PTI.

She said the training gave her the confidence to start her own business and the bee boxes given by the Army helped her get the equipment to rear bees.

The training was held under the technical guidance and supervision of SKUAST, senior scientist, Neeraj Kotwal.

“The Chenab valley is best suited for bee rearing and production of high quality white honey. Traditionally, almost every household used to produce honey here, but since the last one decade production decreased considerably due to changing lifestyle in rural areas,” he said.

Kotwal said it was heart-warming to see the Army coming to the revival of this ancient trade and “I hope the female brigade will grab this opportunity to empower themselves and become entrepreneurs in the near future”.

The official said all the trainees, after successfully completing the training were given certificates beside bee boxes so that they can immediately start their own business to financially empower themselves.

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