bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Queens to counter Maoism

Beekeepers tend to underestimate the significance of beekeeping, but the government of the state of Jharkhand in Northern India certainly doesn't:
Realising the importance of keeping its rural populace economically contented, the Jharkhand government has decided to introduce beekeeping in Maoist-prone areas to wean people away from the guerrillas' influence.
Forty-eight self-help groups will be given 20 beehives, and the state government has allocated $3,280 for the scheme.
“The idea is to engage people in some positive work so that they do not fall into the clutches of Maoist guerrillas. If our experiment is successful then we will introduce beekeeping in other Maoist-infested districts,” a forest official told IANS.

Apparently, the idea of providing employment to counter Maoist influence came from the local police force. The report says that Maoist Guerrillas are active in 18 of the 22 districts of the state and that nearly 510 people including 210 policemen have been killed since creation of the state in November 2000.

With a population of nearly 22 million, Jharkhand per capita income is just $93 (profile).


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