Making India prosper: Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

Making India prosper: Unnat Bharat Abhiyan

Tanya Gupta | Feb 04, 2020

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The Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) is an initiative by the Government of India aiming for transformational change in rural development processes. It is the flagship program of the Ministry of Human Resources Development with themes such as organic farming, water management, renewable energy, artisan industries and livelihood, and basic amenities as the objective. Under the aegis of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, NIT Rourkela has been chosen as the Regional Coordinating Institute (RCI) for Odisha.
On the occasion of the 71st Republic Day, faculty and students of our institute visited the village of Jamsera, located on the outskirts of Rourkela, to attend the Gram Sabha Meeting being held. Around 30 odd villagers had gathered and following the hoisting of the flag, an informative session was held for the adopted village with regards to vermicomposting. The session was presided over by Dr P. Balasubramanium and Prof. Angana Sarkar from the Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering Department and Prof. Singam Jayanthu from the Mining Department.

The session started with the explaining of the disadvantages of using chemical fertilizers for farming by Abhijeet Pathy, a 3rd year B. Tech student from Biotechnology. He further went on to explain why vermicomposting is an appealing and viable alternative as it produces quality compost. Vermicomposting is a process involving the preparation of organic compost from readily available material like cow dung, rice husk and kitchen waste with the assistance of earthworms. Thus, a vermicompost pit can be easily set up on a small scale in the neighbourhood, according to the requirement of the locals. A video depicting the setup and the working of the vermiculture system was shown to the people and their queries with regards to it simultaneously addressed. Following that, the villagers had been gathered around for a quick demonstration of the setup. A future date was chosen to follow up on the progress with the vermiculture. 

The response received from the villagers with regard to the session was great. They engaged with the faculty and students presenting their questions regarding the procedure and displayed an interest in the information being furnished to them. One of the women attending the session stated,

This session on vermicomposting has been very informative with the organizing team being very helpful and interactive. However, there are demanding problems and issues in the village that need to be addressed first, such as lack of adequate healthcare facilities. Only after such pressing matters are handled, can the rural populace participate completely in sessions like these that concerns their development as a community.

The volunteer team, comprising of B.Tech., M. Tech. and Ph. D. students from the Department of Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering, ensured that the entire process went on without any hitch and the successful organisation of the session can be largely attributed to the effort put in by them.

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