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Making of Sal Leaf Plates in Bio Mass operated Moulding Machines developed by IIT., Kharagpur at Jhalda-II and Bandwan, Purulia, Raipur and Sarenga, Bankura, Md. Bazar, Birbhum.

Collection of Green Sal leaves from nearby Jungle, get it semi dried in the courtyard, make the improvised thali by stitching it with the help of Neem stick and sale it in the local market at a average price of Rs.8-10 per hundred Sal thali is a traditional economic activity of tribal women of Jungle Mahal area. Some times, the local agents or ‘Farias’ do collect the improvised Sal Thali from the homestead in the alternate days. However the price varies from season to season. The activity continues for 8-9 months in a year where Sal leaves are abundantly grown in the forest areas. Dealing with such Sal leaves is the main livelihood activity of Tribal women.

After introduction of Power Operated ‘Thali’ making machine, and installation of such machines by individuals in Semi urban / ganja Area, the women thali makers become mere supplier of raw material to the machine owner.

As the electricity is not available in all remote villages and capital investment for installation of Power Operated machine is beyond the capacity of poor tribal women, the R.D.C. cell of I.I.T. Khargapur has developed one machine called ‘Bio Mass Operated Sal Plate moulding machine for making moulded Sal Plate/bowl.

The special features of the machine are follows:-
i)The machine is operated with the help of bio-mass as fuel and does not require electricity to run on.
ii)The machine can be set up in the remote Village being portable.
iii)Moulding of Sal Plate/Bowl with the help of this machine can further be value added with the help of sewing, machine for stitching the Sal Plate for better cohesiveness and to reduce the requirement of leaves for making a single Thali, which is to be sold at a higher price of Rs.45-48 per hundred.
iv)The machines are run by using bio-fuel available from un-used portion of the product through cutting / shaping.
v)The machine is cost effective and easy to operate by the tribal people.

It has been observed that the lively hood of these tribal people particularly women in the form of S.H.G.’s could be improved by taking up cluster development programme with the help of I.I.T. Khargapur developed Bio fuel operated Sal Plate moulding machine.