Sahan explores traditional employment avenues

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Write-up and photo by: D D Sharma

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A woman and a man in Holi (Chamba) at their spinning wheels

A small village of Holi, about 64 km from Chamba town, for the past four years is laying much emphasis on plantation of fodder trees. Situated on the banks of River Ravi, at an altitude of 3,500 mts opposite Lamnu village, Holi of Sahan panchayat falls under the Bharmaur forest division of Chamba district.

The main occupation of the people of this panchayat is agriculture and sheep rearing and hence various schemes related to these two occupations have been encouraged in this panchayat. People believe that the condition of scarcity of fodder is deteriorating with time and the quality of grass found is also decreasing.

It is for this reason the people of this panchayat are impressing upon the plantation of fodder trees. In the year 2003, this panchayat was selected under HPFSR (Himachal Pradesh Forest Sector Reforms) Project on the basis of its geographical, social and economics backwardness and the conservation values of the local people.

Under the project, Rs 20 lakh have been spent for the sustainable livelihood of the local people and forest conservation. According to Roop Chand, panchayat pradhan, efforts have made to bring the barren land under broad-leaf plantation. This will ensure a secured supply of fodder to the livestock in the future. Tradition employment avenues have been promoted by helping the various self help groups of the panchayat by providing them trainings in khadi and weaving of carpet so that they can prepare the product as per the demand of the market. People are also perfect in preparing the famous Chambayli rumal.

This panchayat has a population of 3,023 and constitutes of the five wards of Banog, Bharari, Sahan, Bhatara and Dalali.