CSR of DS Group: Rubber Tappers Training Program for Unskilled Tribal Youth

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Following  the success of the first phase , the   second phase of the Rubber Tapper Training program started in Agartala in July 2012. The training will be held at 6 locations Sabar Colony Para, North Sarashima, Paikhol, Woangchara(Kalabon) , Dhuptali and Teliamura in Tripura . The first training of this phase has been conducted in Sabar colony, South Tripura where 20  unskilled and semi skilled rubber tappers have been trained to carry out scientific rubber tapping.

By Rusen Kumar
Dharampal Satyapal Group (DS Group),Rs. 2200 crore rapidly growing multi-diversified conglomerate has always been a responsible corporate who strongly believes in contributing back to the society. CSR is not just a corporate initiative but a way of life which is embedded into the mission and vision of the company. It strongly believes that CSR is not about giving to the society but capacity building and support for sustainable growth.

The Company has been working on various CSR initiatives in various regions of the country. It has also laid a special emphasis on supporting sustainable growth in the North East. The company has a successful CSR program in Tripura which works on training unskilled tribal youth to scientifically tap rubber trees. Besides providing employment, this special training also increases the output per tree and ensures there is no damage to the tree, this increasing the life and productive capacity of the tree.

This initiative was taken up by the company in Tripura as it was found that latex output decreases significantly during monsoon as the tappers are not aware of tapping techniques for the monsoon, resulting in less productivity and consequently less income for the tappers. The basic objective of this initiative is to train trappers in scientific latex extraction to increase the rubber yield and minimize the damage to the rubber plant by teaching them precision in tapping.

The DS Group has identified five locations in Tripura – viz Balonia & Taido in South Tripura and Melaghar, Hezamara & Mohonpur of West Tripura where the training programmes will be conducted.

The curriculum highlights the method of rubber tapping in monsoon and also about protection of plants from fungal infections in rains by conducting theoretical and practical training programs by the experts with the help of the Rubber Board, TFDPC and TRTC.

The duration of the programme will be one month, three hours daily for each batch. The module will comprise of theoretical sessions and practical training. Additionally, in conjunction with an NGO’s resource panel, life enrichment education and other information will also be imparted to the trainees and the process of evaluation will be learner-friendly.

On completion of the 75 hours of training in compliance with the Rubber Board guidelines, certificates will be issued to successful candidates by DS Group and DISHARI (NGO Partner). The implementation partner will help place the trained youth and also hand- hold the ones placed, for a period of three months to ensure that they guide & help them on the job.
The company has conducted five training programmes till May 2012 where 125 trainees. Mostly participants were young; the average age was 25.10 years. 83.2% participants belonged to backward communities (SC, ST & OBC).  Out of total participants, 28% were women.

An impact assessment was conducted to understand the outcome of the training programs.  Before the training 53.2% participants were garden labourers, who just support tapping activities. Only 22.6% participants were involved in rubber tapping as a primary occupation. After attending the training program all the participants are now working as rubber tappers. 88.7% participants are full time tapper (primary occupation is rubber tapping) and rest are engaged in other form of rubber tapping business like managing nursery and latex marketing.

Before the training program, the average income of the participants was Rupees 2458 per month, while after the training program the average income has increased to Rupees 3951 per month. The improvement in average income is mapped at 60.74% as comparatively post training.

Following  the success of the first phase , the   second phase of the Rubber Tapper Training program started in Agartala in July 2012. The training will be held at 6 locations Sabar Colony Para, North Sarashima, Paikhol, Woangchara(Kalabon) , Dhuptali and Teliamura in Tripura . The first training of this phase has been conducted in Sabar colony, South Tripura where 20  unskilled and semi skilled rubber tappers have been trained to carry out scientific rubber tapping.

DS Group has set up an ultra modern Heat Resistant Rubber Thread manufacturing plant in Agartala. This state-of-the-art manufacturing facility has an installed capacity of 5000MT per annum and has earned the status of a Mega Project from the state government. The opening of this plant, has given an impetus to the socio economic growth of the region and a lively hood opportunity to more than 200 tribal families, by buying the latex they tap.

Do let me know, if this interest you. We will happy to coordinate your interaction with the Spokesperson from DS Group.
(Rusen Kumar is the editor at INDIACSR. He can be reached at editor@indiacsr.in. He can be contacted at 9981099555)

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