Rajouri: Handicrafts Training with Pine (Chir) needles as raw material was conducted in Sunderbani Range with the aim to generate livelihood among local youth and to prevent the forest fires, for which chir pine needles act as fuel.
Every year forest fires occur in Nowshera Forest Division causing loss of forest and wildlife. Collection and processing of needles would help in prevention of forest fires thus averting possible disasters.
The Sunderbani Range of Nowshera Forest Division has already started preparation of handicraft items using Chir Pine Needles and is now training the locals to enable them to take benefit of this skill.
A number of items such as Baskets, Trays and Hats have been made using Chir Pine Needles by involving Village Forest Committee Brevi.
Two VFCs Salheri and Brevi have been selected for taking up innovative work as pilot project. To start with a self help group of 10 women has been constituted at Brevi, who are preparing the handicraft items. Training is being imparted to the participants by forest Guard, Kala Khan who has developed the skill of manufacturing Chir Needle handicrafts.
Suresh Manda, Divisional Forest Officer Nowshera is supervising the training and has held a series of interactions with the members of SHG and members of VFC.
During interactions, he informed the members of SHGs that all possible help will be provided to them by the Forest department. He also mentioned that the forest department is working towards Market linkage of SHGs for the marketing of the Chir needle Handicrafts. He informed them that ‘our core trainers have also prepared bio briquettes using Chir Pine Needles at Range Office Sunderbani.’ The members of VFCs were shown the samples of bio briquettes as well as the items prepared by SHG out of Chir Pine Needles.
The project is being implemented under the direct supervision of B Mohandas, Conservator of Forest West Circle Rajouri Suresh Manda Divisional Forest Officer Nowshera Rakesh Verma Range Officer Sunderbani.