From Rags to Riches: Kulgam youth’s eco-friendly business unit a symbol of success, earns crores out of scrap

From Rags to Riches: Kulgam youth’s eco-friendly business unit a symbol of success, earns crores out of scrap

Umaisar Gull Ganie

Kulgam, Dec 02 : In the face of growing environmental concerns, a beacon of hope shines from the village of Gadihama in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district—Tariq Ahmad Ganie, a visionary entrepreneur driven by a passion for environmental sustainability, has become a symbol of transformation, turning scrap into success with an impressive turnover of Rs 3 crores, all achieved despite lacking formal education.

Tariq, who had gone outside J&K to work as a laborer, was employed to work at a scrap unit in Delhi. In 2014, he learned about the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) scheme through the radio, which mentioned that people could register at the District Industries Centre (DIC) for various types of units.

Tariq’s initiative goes beyond profit; it’s a solution to the environmental challenge that has marred Kashmir’s breath-taking landscape, by focusing on reducing waste and promoting the recycling and reuse of plastic, he has become a pioneer in eco-friendly entrepreneurship.

“I observed a significant amount of scraps littering Kashmir, and I thought, why not start a unit in Kulgam to collect these scraps from the environment and initiate a business. Subsequently, we began collecting these scraps, graded them, and employed dozens of youths,” he told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), adding that “We grade the scraps and send them for recycling based on their category. The District Industries Centre (DIC) Kulgam played a crucial role in helping us to establish this unit. By collecting scraps from every corner of Kulgam, we actively contribute to maintaining a clean environment.”

Beyond the ecological impact, Tariq’s venture has become a lifeline for the local youth. It has generated employment for over 50 individuals, including post-graduates and graduates, offering them a chance to contribute to both the economy and environmental conservation.

Shakoor Bashir, an employee at the unit said, he has been working at the unit for three years. “The unit ensures recycling in an environment friendly manner,” he said, adding that “The unit compresses the scraps and are later sent in trucks to other states for recycling. My message to the unemployed youth is that they should visit such units and start earning their livelihood.”

Talking to KNO, Saqib Bhat, Industrial Promotion Officer, District Industries Centre Kulgam said Tariq is a successful entrepreneur, his investment is around Rs 20 lakhs and his turnover from last three years is around 3 crores. This activity of crushing and processing of scrap is an eco-friendly activity. It has a lot of potential any entrepreneur can invest on this,” he said.

“Entrepreneurs can come to District Industries Centre Kulgam and take consultation and incentives for such units. My message to the unemployed youth will be that the manufacturing and service is not having that much saturation and has a lot of potential and this activity mainly of crushing and processing of scrap, plastic has a lot more. It has very low investment and profit very much,” he said.

He said, Tariq started under Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) scheme and his latest incentive is Rs 6.5 lakhs which is at the rate of 3 percent of the turnover—(KNO)

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