Empowering Odisha’s Tribal Youth With Flourishing Micro Biz Ideas Via TYME Initiative

Bhubaneswar: The Tribal Youth Micro Entrepreneurship (TYME) initiative, by Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) Rayagada, has changed the lives of several tribal youths.

Subash Pidisika, of Alanda village in Budaguda gram panchayat under Rayagada’s Kalyansingpur block, had once gone to Kerala and worked as sales assistant in a shop for over a year and half. Now, he is back home and earns a decent Rs 15,000 a month from his mobile phone repair centre, thanks to assistance under TYME.

Subash, currently catering to Majhiguda, Karpa, Budaguda, Sikarpai, Dhamunipanga and Narayanpur gram panchayats (GPs) of Kalyansingpur block, is hopeful of extending IT-related services for his community as well from his centre which will push up his income three to four folds within a year’s time.

Kabiraj Kanhar, a degree holder from Phiringia College in Kandhamal district and diploma degree holder with electrical work from ITI, lives in Saitingia village, within Pobinigia GP.

Kabiraj, with a family of five to support, worked as a part-time taxi driver. But his earnings were not enough as he was getting limited trips in a month. A recommendation from Rupsinghar Janajati Jeevika Parishad (JJP), under Mukhya Mantri Janajati Jeevika Mission (MMJJM), to ITDA Phulbani as a suitable candidate for TYME, worked wonders for Kabiraj.

Armed with a monetary support of Rs 1 lakh facilitated by ITDA Phulbani, and his personal contribution of Rs 80,000, Kabiraj got a new car and has become a micro-entrepreneur.

Within the first 20 days of operation, Kabiraj managed to earn Rs 35,000 from 10 trips. He intends to set aside Rs 13,500 for his monthly instalment and utilise Rs 10,000 for purchasing a car mat and other ceiling work, still maintaining a net profit of Rs 11,500.

Ratnakar Halba, hailing from Keraput within Jeypore block of Koraput district and an active member of Randapali JJP, is known for his interpersonal skills. His event management business had begun to flourish when, in one of the JJP meetings organised by ITDA Jeypore, Ratnakar was introduced to TYME.

He applied for assistance, and there was no looking back.

“In my first three events I could earn Rs 15,000 and plan to touch around Rs 1.85 lakh in a year,” said Ratnakar, adding that with his affordable costs, families of his locality are now able to celebrate special occasions without facing additional financial burden.

TYME initiative

Raghunath Mahali, of Shilphadi village under Pathuri gram panchayat in Sarasakana block of Mayurbhanj district, was a traditional bamboo craftsman who used to earn between Rs 150 and Rs 200. Now, thanks to the financial aid of Rs 1 lakh and training through ITDA Baripada under TYME initiative, he earns Rs 200 to Rs 400 a day and aims to upgrade his craft to produce high-end products like sofa sets, chairs, beds, inning tables and fancy items like fruit baskets, pen stand, bamboo glass, flower stand/vase and dustbin.

Roopa Roshan Sahoo, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Scheduled Tribe & Scheduled Caste Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department, said that the overall objective of promoting TYME is to empower the tribal youth of needy households as “micro-entrepreneurs (Juba Udyogis), by developing their potential, and enabling them to earn their livelihood and become role models for others in micro-entrepreneurship building initiatives.”

TYME is not confined to traditional ideas and fiscally supporting the conventional business and livelihood modules. It has also helped tribal youth in having other new avenues to learn their bread and butter and set examples for others.

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