To give tribal youth an opportunity to adopt fish rearing as a means to earn their livelihood, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Bhadarwah in collaboration with Directorate of Cold Water Fishries Research (DCFR) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) organised a series of training programmes and exposure visits.
The programmes in which 36 tribal youth including 23 girls were trained in cold water and ornamental fish rearing at KVK Bhadarwah and Bhimtal-Nanital of Uttarakhand simultaneously, was sponsored by DCFR under Tribal Sub Plan (TSP).
"Recently 14 tribal youth were sent on exposure visit cum training programme organized at DCFR- ICAR, Bhimtal, Nainital, Uttarakhand under the umbrella of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Doda for enhancing their knowledge and skill on fisheries, particularly on ornamental fisheries," said Dr Ghansham Jha, Scientist Fisheries KVK Bhadarwah.
"At DCFR, the tribal youths interacted with the field experts and got their support in preparing fisheries projects as an enterprise to establish their own business. They also visited to the farms of the progressive farmers to learn from their experiences," Jha added.
"The main objective of the programme was to impart knowledge and practical skill to the tribal youths regarding different models of hill aquaculture and its socio-economic importance, small scale fish farm management, scope of ornamental fisheries and aquarium manufacturing.
"It was also aimed to motivate tribal youths to opt fisheries as their enterprise in general, and ornamental fisheries in particular so that an opportunity for creating self-employment can be created," said Dr A S Charak, Incharge KVK Bhadarwah.
"It's a life changing opportunity for me, as I was bit depressed earlier because of the uncertainty regarding the future to earn my livelihood.
"After getting basic training here, we have formed a group and have so far made one dozen aquariums ready to house ornamental fish," said Nirja, a tribal girl from village Gatha.
"Although I was doing my M Com, due to cut-throat competition, I was not sure to get job immediately. Now I am confident to at least earn my livelihood by selling and maintaining ornamental aquariums, as I have already formed a group with five other trainees and we are ready to sell our product, "said Sunil Kumar, another tribal student of village Gwari.