Dehradun, Oct 10 (PTI) Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Saturday urged the youth to shed the old mindset of doing a government job, and become entrepreneurs. Addressing an interactive webinar on social entrepreneurship here, Rawat said it was time to adopt Mahatma Gandhi's concept of achieving development by pooling in the resources available locally. Rawat asked them to tap into the resources scattered around them both for their own financial independence and for the development of the state. 'We are gifted in terms of natural resources. Apart from our biodiversity, our geographical diversity is also our strength. If we can grow apples in the hills, we can also grow paddy in the plains. We should try to use them to our advantage,' Rawat said at the webinar where young entrepreneurs shared their success stories. Rawat said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's motto of 'vocal for local' is an extension of the Gandhian concept of development through utilisation of local resources. Highlighting steps initiated by the state government in that direction he spoke of what was being done in Uttarakhand to generate electricity from dry pine leaves considered traditionally as a major cause of forest fires. 'By a rough estimate, Uttarakhand produces 15 lakh metric tonnes of dry pine leaves. Something which was considered responsible for destroying Uttarakhand's biodiversity and wildlife is now being used to produce electricity. It can also be used to produce charcoal and fuel. Dry pine leaves alone can give employment to 40,000 people in Uttarakhand,' he said adding that its environmental benefits are immense. Explaining how small investments at the local level are being encouraged by his government he also spoke of the Mukhya Mantri Saur Swarojgar Yojana under which 10,000 youth and migrants of Uttarakhand will get self employment in the green energy sector.
Locals will get loans from cooperative banks at eight per cent rate of interest for setting up mini solar plants of 25 kw each under the project. He said there are opportunities galore in the dairy sector too. A2 ghee made of the milk of a breed of cows (Badri gai) found in Uttarakhand hills sells for Rs 1,200-1,500 per kg. Its urine rich in medicinal qualities also sells for Rs 25 a kg, Rawat said. The chief minister congratulated young entrepreneurs who had chosen to invest in remote areas of the state despite the odds and are doing well today for themselves and the state. He named Vikram Singh Panwar, an IIM, Ahmedabad alumnus who had built a resort at Koti Kanasar in Jaunsar Babar area to improve tourist facilities at the remote place. He also praised Divya Rawat nicknamed 'the Mushroom girl' of Uttarakhand for what she had done in the field of mushroom farming and manufacturing mushroom products. Asking young entrepreneurs to explore the investment opportunities around them, Rawat said they should get over the old mindset of getting a government job and make the most of the state government's thrust to self-employment schemes. PTI ALM ANU ANU