Roorkee (The Hawk): A virtual workshop on "Mushroom Cultivation for Self-reliant Farmers" was organized by the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, Regional Coordinating Institute (UBA-RCI), IIT Roorkee. At the outset, Prof. Ashish Pandey, Regional Coordinator, UBA-RCI, IIT Roorkee, welcomed the keynote speaker Ms. Divya Rawat, who is popularly known as 'Mushroom Lady of Uttarakhand' among locals. Prof. Pandey informed that after completing her graduation, she was getting lucrative offers from MNCs, but her love for villagers led her to reject all the proposals, and she went to Delhi to pursue Masters of Social Work. Having a professional degree like MSW, she left several job offers in the private sector to become self-employed and give others employment. Initially, she started mushroom farming in a tiny house and was only experimenting with it. But when she got unexpected results, she planned to take up mushroom farming to a new level. Ms Divya has been felicitated with several awards from the state government like Sanjivani Rattan for agri-entrepreneur. She was also felicitated with the 'Nari Shakti Samman' award by President Shri Pranab Mukherjee in 2016 on International Women's Day. With a motive to empower other women. To propagate mushroom farming, she handed a CD containing invaluable information about mushroom farming to the Women Empowerment Ministry of Central Government.
Prof. M Parida, Deputy Director, IIT Roorkee, said that this is not necessary for the villagers that they should start entrepreneurship at a larger scale, but they can take the initiative at a smaller scale too. He added that the UBA-RCI, IIT Roorkee, is making the efforts in this direction would undoubtedly be beneficial for the villagers.
The keynote speaker Ms. Divya Rawat discussed cultivation, marketing, and other essential aspects of the professional cultivation of the mushrooms. She apprised the training and other related aspects to beginners interested in mushroom cultivation to start their business.
Ms. Divya answered the queries of the participants in the interaction session of the workshop. Coordinators of the UBA participating institutes of Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, students, faculty, farmers, Gram Pradhans, Sarpanch, and others joined the workshop.