The Indian Army, in its renewed and re-energised focus to rehabilitate ex-insurgents, has undertaken a self-employment project called “Manufacture of Tamul Plates”.

The project is primarily in operation at Borrangajuli Village in Tamulpur in Baksa district.

As a pilot project, few ex cadres are being engaged in making biodegradable, environment-friendly, cost-effective tamul (areca nut) plates, which can be used in catering services to serve meals in offices/institutes for large gatherings.

The project is conceived and executed by Indian Army in coordination with  Aseem Foundation- a Pune-based NGO.

The project aimed at improving economic conditions and providing an opportunity to earn through self-employment is currently providing employment to ex-insurgents and is planned to be further expanded in scale and scope also additional machines are being purchased this year to augment existing capacities.

Aseem Foundation is planning to market the product in Maharashtra and Assam thereby generating more sales and resultant earning thereby improving the financial conditions of employees.

The venture has transformed the life of D Sagar and Roshan Chhetry as now they have realised their inner potential and have contributed financially towards their personnel needs.

The raw material for the plates is collected from farms located at remote villages and the finished product is supplied to establishments and institutions as far forward as possible.

The success of the pilot project can be gauged from the response of the locals who have requested to replicate the project in many more areas.

The ex insurgent’s families are happy since it would offer them an opportunity for dignified earning. The villagers are also excited since the areca nut leaves and barks which were earlier being thrown as waste are being commercially sold.

The local youth are being engaged for collection and stocking of raw material.

The success of this project will stimulate mushrooming of more such ventures leading to Engagement – Empowerment – Employment of the youth of Assam.

This project will further facilitate constructive mainstreaming of more ex-cadres.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: