In an attempt to empower women in villages, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday started sand mining and sale through women belonging to Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) as part of its “victory over poverty” campaign.
A group of eight women comprising members of DWCRA as well as Self-Help Groups will run the village organisation involved in sand mining, marketing, taking orders online, and sales on the field. The group will not only involve other interested women in the business,
but also oversee operations and sales through a process that is being worked out by the AP Mineral Development Corporation and Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty.
They will work in two shifts — four in each shift — to monitor the operations.
The TDP government Monday allocated a loan of Rs 5 lakh through banks to each such village organisation to put into place the apparatus needed for sand mining and start the sale.
Once the women’s groups start working fully, customers can order for sand online by registering with their Aadhar number on Mee Seva or through Indira Kranti Patham-SERP website. The consumer can pay the amount online through a bank transaction.
The customer would be informed about the status or movement of the vehicle carrying the ordered cargo of sand by continuously monitoring it through GPS trackers from the control room at the stock point centre. The GPS tracking systems, CCTV monitoring of the stock point centres, and other installations would be outsourced, said Women Empowerment Minister P Sujatha.
The GPS trackers will ensure that truck drivers do not divert the sand or sell some portion of it on the way, and make deliveries promptly. The CCTVs installed at the stock point centres will ensure that there are no discrepancies while loading sand.
Of the 81 identified sand reaches in the state, sale of sand has begun in 70 of them. 11 reaches (four of Orissa, one in Karnataka, four in Puducherry and two in Telangana) are inter-state sharing sites.
In a pilot project carried out in East Godavari district, 1.9 lakh cubic metres of sand has been excavated through women’s village organisations. Of this, 40,000 cubic metres has been sold and has fetched Rs 2.95 crore. According to officials, 75 per cent of this amount earned in the pilot project would be transferred to Farmers’ Empowerment Corporation.