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The Tendu leaf bonus festival kicked off in Chhattisgarh, on Saturday, and Chief Minister Raman Singh distributed bonus to the tendu leaf collectors of Bastar and Bijapur.
The 10-day festival began from the Bijapur district.
"Bijapur completed its 10 years of formation, and we are inaugurating the distribution of Rs 247 Crore bonus of tendu leaves in the state, from Bijapur," Singh told reporters after the event.
"It is a historic event for Bijapur and Chhattisgarh. In the first phase, we celebrated the festival of paddy bonus to farmers. Now from Bastar to Sarguja, where the primary means of livelihood is Tendu leaves, we are celebrating Tendu leaves bonus festival," Singh added.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Minister said the state government, in addition to increasing the tendu leaves collection rate from Rs 1800 to Rs 2500 per sack, also announced a bonus to the collectors. He remarked that it was a landmark move considering a large population was to be covered among the beneficiaries.
"We began this scheme for improving your lives. Chhattisgarh government has not only increased the rate of collecting tendu leaves, we will not just give you bonus, but we also work to assist you in your life," Singh continued, and added that under the bonus scheme, the government will also provide free clothing and insurance to the collectors, and scholarship and healthcare to children.
Ten years after its formation, Bijapur has shown tremendous improvement in healthcare, roads, and other infrastructure, Singh said.
The Chief Minsiter will be visiting some of the districts in the state during the festival.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)