Intensification of the IASST’s scientific social responsibility
Tribal community development programme (TCDP)
Since 2015, IASST has been promoting erisilk rearing in limited areas for tribal community (Bodo) women in two districts namely, Nagaon and Morigaon. Initially, 10 families in each of the two villages were provided disease free erisilk worm seeds, host plant (castor) seed, mosquito nets for erisilk production. During subsequent years (2016), each of this family trained a women member of one more family in the neighbourhood who also took up erisilk rearing with input supplied by IASST. During that year, 14 improved reeling machines were provided to them which resulted in 16% efficiency in silk recovery from cocoon compared to hand reeling. This activity was carried out in collaboration with Nagaon College as the houses of the beneficiary families were situated near the college campus. The staff of Department of Zoology, Nagaon College helped in monitoring the activities and providing expert guidance to the beneficiaries. With this initial success of the erisilk rearing, IASST decided in the year 2016, to adopt two schedule tribe community villages (Bodo/ Rabha community) situated about 20 km away from IASST campus in Rani Development Block of Rural Kamrup district. The 198 families of the two villages (Kollapara and Bakrapara) were surveyed for details of their economic status before intervention of rural technology. During 2017-18, four production venture items namely erisilk rearing, mushroom cultivation, high value black rice cultivation and vermicomposting have been continuing. At the end of two and the half years, a change is beginning to be visible in these two villages where most of the families were in the poverty line during 2016.