Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday announced an assistance of Rs 111 crore in the second phase for the kendu leaf workers in the state. This assistance will be available for the 2022 crop year. In the first phase, assistance worth Rs 83 crore was directly deposited in the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. In addition, kendu leaf workers will get the assistance of Rs 194 crore, which is an all-time record in a single crop year.
More than 8 lakh kendu leaf workers will be benefitted from this announcement of the state government. About 7.75 lakh kendu leaf pluckers and 40,000 regular and seasonal workers (binders) will get this assistance.
Each kendu leaf plucker will get financial assistance of Rs 1,000 along with Rs 2,000 and Rs 160 for water bottles and sandals respectively. Similarly, Rs 1,500 will be given as financial assistance to each kendu leaf regular and seasonal worker.
Beneficiaries of all the 22 districts, except Jharsuguda, of the state where kendu leaves are collected, will get this assistance. The beneficiaries of Jharsuguda will get this assistance after the election model code of conduct ends.
It is worth noting that financial assistance of Rs 83 crore was provided to the beneficiaries in the first phase. This announcement will help in improving the standard of living of kendu leaf workers, who are mainly from the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste communities.