Mrunal Manmay Dash

Odisha government on Friday declared financial assistance of Rs 111 crore for the kendu leaf collectors in the State.

The move is set to benefit more than 8 lakh kendu leaf workers in the State.

As per a press release from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), each kendu leaf plucker will get financial assistance of Rs 1,000 along with Rs 200 and Rs 160 for water bottles and footwear respectively.

Similarly, Rs 1,500 will be provided as financial assistance to each seasonal kendu leaf worker.

It is pertinent to mention here that Odisha had last announced assistance for Kendu leaf pluckers in November 2022 just ahead of the Padampur by-polls.

One of the most important non-wood forest products of Odisha, the kendu leaves are used for wrapping Bidis.

The state Forest Department regulates the trade through Orissa Kendu Leaves (Control of Trade) Rules, 1962 and Orissa Kendu Leaves (Control of Trade) Act, 1961.