24 November, 2020

Return Of The Red Glue

Lac once turned around the fate of several districts in MP, it's being revived once again

Return Of The Red Glue
Till two years ago, the story of the government middle school at Upma in Shahdol district, MP, was that of any rural government school—lacking in essential infrastructure and perpetually short of funds. Now, the school boasts of its own well and classrooms have new furniture and blackboards.

This is not because of any government grant but voluntary work put in by students on a nine-acre tract of wasteland next to the school. They were farming lac on the palash trees on the wasteland. They generated Rs 12,000 in ’05 and this year the figure will rise to Rs 15,000. More importantly, the students passing out are now equipped with a skill—that of farming lac.

Dr Moni Thomas, a scientist from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, a unit of the Jawaharlal Nehru Agriculture University, Jabalpur, is behind the revival of lac farming in this tribal belt comprising Shahdol, Anuppur and Balaghat districts. And the school in Upma is not the only beneficiary. His effort has helped hundreds of farmers boost their income. A side benefit is that it gives the community a solid reason for...



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