Joupi in Chandel district of Manipur is one of the most underdeveloped areas in Manipur owing to its remoteness, mountainous terrain and inclement weather lasting a prolonged monsoon season.
The local inhabitants of the region have always depended predominantly on the cultivation of the Poppy Plant for such geographical factors. However, 29 Assam Rifles under the support of HQ IGAR has been able to motivate the populace to shun poppy cultivation and embrace lemon grass instead.
Accordingly, the villagers have pledged to cultivate lemon grass as an alternate means of livelihood in that area. In order to encourage the villagers Brigadier Neelesh Bhanot, DIG of the 28th Sector of Assam Rifles distributed lemon grass saplings to five villages of Joupi, Saibol Joupi, Tolbung, Hencham and T Bollen. A total of 2 Lakh saplings were distributed to the villagers as a part of the initiatives 9in an event.
The event went a long way in showing the population the involvement and dedication of the Assam Rifles towards providing an alternate sustainable livelihood option to the Hill people. More such initiatives are planned as an outcome to fight the all-pervasive illicit poppy cultivation in the area.