Adivasi women in Jabapanposh and other villages surrounding Rourkela are learning to cultivate mushrooms for their livelihood, thanks to the initiative of RC Rourkela Steel City, RID 3261. “Life has been hard for the villagers. Covid had taken away their jobs and they could not go out to seek work,” says club secretary Annabelle DeSouza.
Gouri Nag, the project co-chair, is in mushroom cultivation and with support from club president Suchismita Biswas, she has trained to grow oyster mushrooms. The local Food and Safety explained the procedure to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. “As Western Odisha lacks an agricultural research centre to supply at subsidised rates, we will provide the seeds to the SHGs,” says Annabelle. She is confident that each family can earn at least ₹100 daily from the vocation and “we will also help market the produce in our circles.” Project Chairman Kumar Behera is working with the government to support the women.