- To experiment and endeavour to formulate and implement appropriate S&T Interventions for Sustainable Development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.
- DST has conceived to adopt a few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand and transform them to become self-sustainable through the tools of Science and Technology (S&T).
- The aim is to utilise local resources and locally available skill sets and convert them in a manner using science and technology, that substantial value addition takes place in their local produce and services which can sustain the rural population locally.
- The local communities are not compelled to migrate from their native places in search of jobs and livelihoods. Once this concept is validated in the few selected clusters, it can be repeated across large number of village clusters in the country.
- Four clusters at Gaindikhata, Bazeera, Bhigun (in Garhwal) and Kausani(in Kumaon)have been selected for the intervention by officials of DST , Uttarakhand State Council of Science and Technology and other experts.
- About a lakh of people would benefit directly or indirectly through this project in four identified clusters of 60 villages in Uttarakhand for pilot phase which are located at different altitudes (up to 3000 meters).
Highlights:As the living conditions and resources available at different altitude is different, the adopted strategy would help in creating models that are appropriate for different altitudes and could then be implemented in other hill states as well.
Areas of interventions in these selected clusters would be
- Processing and value addition of milk, honey, mushroom, herbal tea, forest produce,
- Horticulture and local crops, medicinal & aromatic plants and
- Traditional craft and handloom of Uttarakhand,
- Post-harvest processing of Kiwi, Strawberry, Cherry, Tulsi, Adrak, Badi Elaichi through solar drying technology,
- Extraction of apricot oil using cold press technology.
Sustainable employment and livelihood options within the clusters such as eco-tourism, naturopathy and yoga, are also planned to be promoted.
These clusters would act as model production,training and demonstration centres. There is a possibility of replicating this pilot phase initiative in other hill states of the country once it is established and stabilized.
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Chairman, Gramodaya Network and Coordinator Gram Sankul Yojana is guiding this initiative.
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