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Lessons to learn: Tribals collect beedi leaves keeping lockdown norms intact in Khammam District

Lessons to learn: Tribals collect beedi leaves keeping lockdown norms intact in Khammam DistrictBeedi leaf collection going on in Kothagudem district
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Khammam: While all professionals and sectors across the country have been facing economic crisis due to lockdown, tribals, who eke out a living by coll...

Khammam: While all professionals and sectors across the country have been facing economic crisis due to lockdown, tribals, who eke out a living by collecting beedi leaf in agency areas, have continued beedi leaf collection like every year and earning money. Everyone should appreciate them for following social distancing and wearing masks though they are collecting the leaves in forest.

More than 80,000 tribal people are dependent on beedi leaf collection for their livelihood, which they do in May and June months every year for about 45 days. The leaves will be collected in Bhadrachalam division, Yellandu, Kothagudem, Manugur and Sattupalli divisions.

During the 45-day beedi leaf collection process, a four-member tribal family will earn around Rs 10,000 and a six-member family will earn around Rs 15,000. Beedi leaf collection is the main source of income for the tribals during summer.

The tribals faced a few troubles from middlemen when they started beedi leaf collection a week ago in some areas like Kommanapalli, Lacchigudem, Arlagudem, Lakshmipuram and other places. Middlemen of beedi leaf contractors, who came from Karimnagar and Adilabad containment zones, had consumed food, water and other things of the tribals. Tribals became furious and told the officials that they will not collect the leaves. Later with the officials' interference, the middlemen stopped to trouble the tribal people.

This year, the forest department has targeted to collect as many as 35,700 standard bags of beedi leaves as last year 34,600 standard bags of beedi leaves were collected.

District Forest Officer Ravinder Naik said beedi leaf collection started one week ago in the district and it is going on a brisk pace.

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