Lokadrusti is a voluntary organization working for the poor communities residing in the inaccessible pockets of Western Odisha since 1988-89. The geographical location of the intervention is Kalahandi, Bargarh, Balangir and Nuapada district and priority of Intervention is Social mobilization, Women empowerment, Natural Resource Management, Education, Migration, Health and Nutrition. Agriculture and Income Generation Activities. Special focus on Women, Children, Small & Marginal farmers and Landless from ST, SC and OBC categories.
LOKADRUSTI INTERVENTION IN BRIEF:
Introduction about Lokadrusti:
Lokadrusti came to exist at Nuapada in the late eighties during the drought situation at Kalahandi district and especially Nuapada came into limelight due to reasons like intensive drought, starvation death, child sale and underdevelopment. The prevailing situation attracted politicians, researcher, planners and media and compelled them to think for its development. Lokadrusti also took initiative of micro studies, village group discussion and interface with the people to understand the situation and
find out certain solution to this drastic situation and gradually became Non-Governmental Organization which was registered under society registration act 1860 on dated 28th February 1988. After this Lokadrsuti centered its efforts to get insight into the situation to designed the intervention strategies with the association with other organization under the banner of Kalahandi Action Forum and organized a workshop named as “Hunger and Underdevelopment: Is there a Way out for Kalahandi?”in the year 1991. A number of social activists, bureaucrats, planners, intellectuals, politicians, community people participated and agreed upon the idea of Watershed management as the answer to the chronic problem of the region. The outcome of the workshop became the guiding principles for implementation. In the initial period Lokadrusti work as a catalyst to change the mindset of the people towards development through individual contact, village meeting, focus group discussion, awareness camps, training and exposure. Later on try to intervene on the issues of Natural Resource Management, Sustainable livelihood, sustainable Agriculture, Education for the migrants and deficit learners.
Mission: The Mission of Lokadrusti is to create an enabling environment for social change to empower the powerless/weaker section/down-trodden.
Vision: Lokadrusti is a proactive organization that works:
- To promote participatory people centered process of development.
- To advance equitable social change and Distributive Justice.
Lokadrusti has worked on various issues which were identified from time to time on priority basis. These include watershed management, protection of child rights, women empowerment, organization of grass root CBOs, promotion of Self Help group and federation, natural resource management, livelihood support, MGNREGA, RTE, Sponsorship management etc. In the mid to fulfill our desired mission and vision we got meaningful and timely support from various government and non- government agencies.
- To strengthen the people organization through organization of training and social mobilization.
- To address the problem of children of distress migrant parents through learning enrichment program (LEP).
- To provide technical support to Sarva Sikshya Abhiyan Authority (SSA) to setup seasonal hostel for the children of migrant households in different districts of Western Odisha.
- To organize children alliances to strengthen the participation of children in the village community.
- To strengthen the process of social audit and effective implementation of Right to Education Act through the active participation of School Management Committee.
- To make economically, socially self-reliant women’s community through access to means of production and natural resource (Land, Water and Forest)
- To improve the livelihood and food security in drought prone villages.
- To strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institution at grass root level and effectively implementing the MGNREGS work for stemming distress migration through participatory planning by the village community.
- To organize Village community to sensitize on the issue of debt. Bonded.
- To improve community health system through participatory approach in different Govt. ongoing scheme in the project villages.
- Fostering partnership with Govt. PRIs and line departments for sustainable development.
- To eliminate child labour by proper implementation of Right to education through enhancing knowledge of the primary stakeholders.
Lokadrusti Fixed Assets and Infrastructures:
Lokadrusti operational Area:
Lokadrusti has its establishment in Gadramunda village under Chindaguda Gram Panchayat of Nuapada district very close to Khariar town. The overall activities of the organization revolve round its Head Office operated through the field offices based at different districts and Block headquarters. In the initial stages Lokadrusti started its activities in 5 remote villages of Boden Block and now it is working in almost all the villages of Nuapada district (through direct / broad based approach). In addition to this it is working through the other likeminded NGOs/VOs of Bolangir, Bargarh and Klahandi district in a consortium approach through Indian Donors.
Lokadrusti is committed to the fulfilment of its objectives, to realize it goal Lokadrusti gets constant support from various national and international donors agencies and the government, its activities can be broadly classified in to the following categories on the basis of the issues being addressed.
Social mobilization is most essential before implementing any programme in the community. Without proper mobilization the programme will be haphazard and unrealistic for the targeted communities. Looking at the need Lokadrusti organize regular awareness camps, meetings, trainings and exposure visit for the women and farmers at community, Gram Panchayat, Block and District level before launching of any project. In addition to this Lokadrusti believes in people’s organization who can play a crucial role in development of the villages. In this connection Lokadrusti formed and strengthened 1200 Women Self Help Groups, 3 Block level Federation, 80 Youth Clubs, 120 Farmers Clubs and 48 Farmers Producer Groups. These groups were strengthened through Training and capacity building to address the local issues at the village level. The entire Block level Federations are registered under Society Registration Act-1860 and facilitated by our organization to make them self-reliant.
Lokadrusti always believes the pillar of the home is women and they need special attention to play their role. In this connection Lokadrusti always
sensitizing the community to create an environment where women have equal rights like their male counterpart both at home and outside. The traditional village leaders who are the key players in the rural society are taken into confidence to change their male-hegemonic approach and adopt a gender sensitive institute. Lokadrusti ensured and encouraged women
participation in the grass root level political organisation such as Pallisabha and Gram Sabha. As most of the women are residing in the village they are encouraged to supervise their village school, negotiate with the local self-governance to mobilize more funds for their villages. Again the liquor is the most important issue at the village level which may be risk full for the
women in the society hence the SHG members are facilitated to raise voice against liquor in their villages through rally, workshop, street play, meeting etc. Entitlement of property is one of the issue for the women so proper steps are taken to make minimum of Joint Patta(land record) both in the name of husband and wife. Due to regular training, exposure, meetings mobilization efforts now a days the women could able to break the traditional taboo and assert themselves. Now they have begun to be actively involved in politics also.
sensitizing the community to create an environment where women have equal rights like their male counterpart both at home and outside. The traditional village leaders who are the key players in the rural society are taken into confidence to change their male-hegemonic approach and adopt a gender sensitive institute. Lokadrusti ensured and encouraged women participation in the grass root level political organisation such as Pallisabha and Gram Sabha. As most of the women are residing in the village they are encouraged to supervise their village school, negotiate with the local self-governance to mobilize more funds for their villages. Again the liquor is the most important issue at the village level which may be risk full for the women in the society hence the SHG members are facilitated to raise voice against liquor in their villages through rally, workshop, street play, meeting etc. Entitlement of property is one of the issue for the women so proper steps are taken to make minimum of Joint Patta(land record) both in the name of husband and wife. Due to regular training, exposure, meetings mobilization efforts now a days the women could able to break the traditional taboo and assert themselves. Now they have begun to be actively involved in politics also.
Natural Resource Management:
Natural Resource Management (NRM) refers to the sustainable utilization of major natural resources, such as land, water, air, minerals, forests, fisheries, and wild flora and fauna. Together, these resources provide the ecosystem services that provide better quality to human life. Natural resources provide fundamental life support, in the form of both consumptive and public-good services. It is an ecological processes which maintain soil productivity, nutrient recycling, the cleansing of air and water, and climatic cycles.
The region is dominated by hills and forest with intervening plains and valleys and has a rugged and undulating topography, mainly inhabited by the tribal population. The region being in the south-western part of the state, fall in therein shadow area of the south-west monsoon and hence receive highly erratic rainfall. The summer season is from March to the middle of June. This is followed by the South-West monsoon season, which usually very erratic, lasts up to about the last week of September. November to February is the winter season. The typical characteristics of this region is hot moist and sub humid climate with mean summer maximum temperatures 40⁰ celsius to 50⁰ celsius and mean winter minimum temperature ranging from 27⁰ Celsius to 11⁰ Celsius.
The soil type is red mixed, red and black. The red soil which is predominant in Nuapada are strongly to moderately acidic with low to medium organic matter. Their water retention capacity is poor. As mentioned Nuapada district is characterized by erratic rainfall, poor irrigation facilities and low soil productivity. The average normal rain fall of the district is 1200 mm but due to prolong dry spells in the rainy season causes drought situation. Recurring drought manifested in a cycle of almost alternative year diminishes the opportunities of agriculture and employment in agriculture sector forcing people to migrate in large numbers.
Subsistence farming practices are the main livelihood for most (95%) of the target people, which is characterized by increased pressure on land, undulated, fragmented and small sized land holdings, shifting cultivation, deforestation, increased run-off, erosion of top soil causing infertility of the soil leading to low agricultural output. The poor people in the target villages
are also vulnerable to climate change impacts because of their limited capacity to adapt to natural resource degradation, which include increasing moisture stress, declining soil fertility, soil erosion, availability of water, coupled with climate change. For agriculture, the people completely depend on rain, which is usually uncertain, erratic and less and as a result there is low yield (rice 700 kg Acre. millets 100 kg/Ac. and pulses 300kg/Ac.) and often result in crop failure. Low agricultural production is one of the primary constraints to food security among the target community. The causes of low production is poor land quality(undulated, unbounded, sloppy and infertile with less moisture) , mono cropping, inability to access extension services, lack of crop rotation, cropping pattern, poor quality of seeds, low use of inputs, excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, longer period dry spell, erratic and uncertain rainfall and lack of irrigation facilities. To make the land fertile and useable for better agriculture production there is need of proper treatment of forest, Land and water. Looking at the need Lokadrusti in collaboration with different donors like the German Agro-Action, Watershed Mission, UNDP/MoRD, KKS Germany and NABARD make an effort to develop NRM based infrastructures in different drought prone villages of Nuapada district. The village community play a crucial role to implement the NRM based activities at the field level to make the area eco-friendly and the agriculture a remunerative one. Lokadrusti in its intervention strategy always give emphasis on afforestation, plantation and other necessary catchment treatment like Check-dam, WHS, Gabion Structures, Gully Plugs, Contour bund, stone bund etc. To conserve the flora and Fauna watershed measures are also taken. For proper and safe irrigation Water Harvestings structures, Open Wells, Ring Wells, Farm ponds, land levelling and bunding are also created. Adaptation of climate resilient crops and infrastructures is important component for the natural resource management. ICRG project implemented by Lokadrusti with the assistance of IPE Global is one of the best example to address the issues. Till March-2020, 200 hectors of plantation, 100 hectors of Horticulture plantation, 20 numbers of check-dam, 58 numbers of open wells, 283 numbers of Ring Wells, 250 numbers of diesel/petrol and electric operated pump sets, 100 numbers of KB Pumps, 132 numbers of Rain Water Harvesting Structure, 53 numbers of Farm ponds,5000 acres of land development, 150 numbers of Gully Plugs, 1000 Mts. of Stone Bunding, 50 numbers of Gabion Structures etc. were made and restored the eco-system of this district. Due to these interventions the depleted forest of this area rejuvenate and not only providing oxygen to the human being but also keeping the soil moisture condition to a suitable level and recharging the ground water for continuity of the crops. The productivity of land increased by 50% from the base line and now the agriculture became a profit oriented activities.
WHS, Check Dams are normally constructed in the waste land zone near to the foot hill or the upper catchment area of the villages so that the total rain water can be preserved and later on use for the irrigation purpose. All the structures are made by using two types of method one is traditional method and another is the scientific method. During construction both sides were given importance to make the programme successful. In the initial stages all the bush are cut and the tank areas are cleaned. Foundation dug in the main embankment and selected soil are put to make the bund strong. Bund are made in such a way that the entire rain water could be preserved and no any single drop of water seen in the top of the bund. Proper slopes are maintained to percolate rain water to avoid trenches in bunds. For compaction machine and tools are used. To drain excess rain water there is provision of mechanical Surplus which normally save the structure from flood. For the judicious use of storage water there is provision of mechanical sluice with iron gate. To reduce the seepage of water there is provision of earthen bund of alkaline soil. In case of necessity there is provision of stone bund/wall to protect the WHS which will help to reduce risk of breakage or seepage. By adopting such method, the WHS are providing these benefits for a longer period.
- The standing water percolates into the ground and recharges the water table
- Wells in the surrounding areas have plenty of good water
- Green cover increases in the surrounding areas
- Soil erosion is reduced
- Silting of rivers is reduced
- Floods and runoff get controlled
Sustainable agriculture is farming in sustainable ways, which means meeting society’s present food and textile needs, without compromising the ability for current or future generations to meet their needs. It can be based on an understanding of ecosystem services. There are many methods to
increase the sustainability of agriculture. Sustainability depend upon the production, storage, marketing and recycling of waste. When developing agriculture within sustainable food systems, it is important to develop flexible business process and farming practices.
Agriculture has an enormous environmental footprint, playing an outsized role in causing climate change, water scarcity, land degradation, deforestation and other processes; it is simultaneously causing environmental changes and being impacted by these changes. Developing sustainable food systems, contributes to the sustainability of the human population. For example, one of the best ways to mitigate climate change is to create sustainable food systems based on sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture provides a potential solution to enable agricultural systems to feed a growing population within the changing environmental conditions. To address the issues Lokadrusti in collaboration with different donors try to introduce organic farming, mixed cropping, Line transplantation, crop-rotation, NPM and others. Till this day Lokadrusti along with the farmers promoted organic farming in 1300 hectors, mixed cropping in 645 hectors, Line Transplantation of paddy in 1140 hectors, crop rotation in 600 hectors and NPM in 850 hectors in trial basis in different year. The result was very good and the farmers harvested a bumper crops of 30 to 40 quintals per acres.
Organic farmingcan be defined as: an integrated farming system that strives for sustainability, the enhancement of soil fertility and biological diversity while, with rare exceptions, prohibiting synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, and growth hormones.
Lokadrusti always try to motivate the farmers not to use the chemical fertilizer and pesticides which harm the human body and effect to the
environment. As of now most of the people are demanding the organic product in the market and as we are the social activist it is our role to motivate the farmers to produce organic product in large scale without hampering their productivity. For these we had trained the farmers on different methods of organic cultivation and preparation of organic manure and pesticides. We are giving more trace on the three types of organic manure: animal (compost, vermi-compost), green (leaves and fruits), and wood ashes. Using some of each will give best possible soil and grow the best vegetables. Organic manures in the garden will release half their nutrients the first season and half the next season, so they feed the soil slowly over time.Till date we had supported 150 farmers with vermi-compost and linked 200 more farmers with the horticulture departments for construction of vermi-compost and the farmers are now producing vermi-compost with a volume 5 to 10 tons of vermi-compost in each unit and use in their agriculture field. As stated above we had promoted organic farming in 1300 hectors of land till date by using the organic compost alone. The result of the organic farming is appreciable and the farmers are satisfied with this method.
areas characterized by a cool wet season (which charges the soil, with virtually all the moisture that the crops will receive prior to harvest) followed by a warm dry season. As Nupada district is semi-arid zone and it always prone to dry spells and drought, dry land farming is one of the best technique to address the issues of the small and marginal farmers to reduce risk of crop loss. Looking at the
need Lokadrusti along with the farmers’ club of different villages chalked out a plan and introduced the dry land farming, mixed cropping, inter-cropping, or co-cultivation (is a type of agriculture that involves planting two or more plants simultaneously in the same field). The main crops which were taken in dry land farming are the Arhar(red-gram), Black gram, Green gram, Maize, Cotton, Millets, ground-nuts etc. Among Mixed and Inter cropping we had taken paddy+Arhar, Ground nuts+Arhar, Millets+Arhar and Mango orchard+ Black gram, Green gram. Till March 2020 we had covered 5000 farmers and practiced these methods of cropping system in 8000 acres of land. By adopting this method of cultivation the farmers harvest a good product amounting to 30% extra benefits and avoid crop loss to a greater extent.
Non-pesticides Management (NPM) describes various pest-control techniques which do not rely on pesticides. It is used in organic production of foodstuff, as well as in other situations in which the introduction of toxins is undesirable. Instead of the use of synthetic toxins, pest control is achieved by biological means. Some examples of Non-Pesticide Management techniques used by Lokadrusti:
- Introduction of natural predators.
- Use of naturally occurring insecticides, such as Neem tree products, Margosa, Tulsi / Basil Leaf, Citrus Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Onion, Garlic spray, Agni Astra, Brahmastra, Nimbastra etc.
- Use of trap crops which attract the insects away from the fields. The trap crops are regularly checked and pests are manually removed.
- Pest larvae which were killed by viruses can be crushed and sprayed over fields, thus killing the remaining larvae.
- Timely sowing.
- Nutrient management.
- Maintain proper plant population.
- Deep summer ploughing.
The farmers were capacitance on the subject of pest control measures looking to the resistance level of the insect from time to time. So proper steps were taken to create natural enemies of the pest in the farmers’ field so that the harmful insect to be killed and escape the crop. Farmers should recognize different stages of insects and their behavior. The efforts to minimize pests should aim at restoring the natural balance of insects in crop ecosystem but not elimination of the pest. Looking at the pest attack Lokadrusti always encourage the farmers to practice the Deshi seeds (traditional seeds) which have the drought and pest resistance capacity.
Case Crop Promotion: During Kharif agriculture season most of the farmers cultivate paddy. In case of failure of timely monsoon, they either lose the entire crop or result in low yield. Small and marginal farmers, who invest on cultivation by borrowing money, end up with
indebtedness and poverty. Hence, agriculture in the target area has become a gambling on nature. Only few families have some source of irrigation facilities (bore well/Pond) and cultivate 2nd crop. All other farmers leave their land uncultivated. There are a few farmers who think that cultivating land is risky and prefer not to go for cultivation. It saves them indebtedness and misery. The practice of mono crop (paddy) is
yet another problems being faced by majority of the farmers in the target area. It is seen that nearly 5% of the total households in the village cultivate vegetables where some short of irrigation facilities are available. A major portion of the vegetable so cultivated is sold at the local market and a part of it is consumed by the respective families. Otherwise, majority of the families do not cultivate vegetables and include greens in their daily diet.
As such consumption of vegetables by majority of the people in the target area is very minimal. All the families have small piece of land around their house. If such place is utilized for cultivation of different vegetables, it will help those families to add vegetables in their daily diet and in improving nutrition status of women and children. The surplus vegetables could be sold to get additional income for the families. Poor agriculture yield, failure of crop, dietary habits has resulted in food and nutrition insecurity of the target households and as a consequence a large number of women (43%) and children (62% of children below 6 years) are malnourished. Hence Lokadrusti try to promote vegetable cultivation in massive scale in the target villages through providing irrigation facilities like the open wells, Ring wells, Farm ponds, WHS and Check dams, Water lifting devices(diesel, petrol, kerosene and electrical operated pump-set) and Seeds capital as well as the training to the beneficiaries. Till end of this financial year 2020 we had identified 2500 potential farmers from different villages and cultivate vegetables in 2000 acres of land during Khariff and Rabi. Now the farmers are well trained and acquainted with the system and cultivating vegetable in continuous process in organic method. It is seen that each farmers has yield up to 10 to15 quintals of vegetable from each acre of land and earned an additional benefits of Rs.30,000/- to Rs.40000/- per Annum.
The onion is one of the most important commercial vegetable crops grown in the region. In the target area of Lokadrusti a few farmers i.e. 40 families were cultivating onion in around 20 acres of land for their personal consumption. It is seen that some part of the district is more suitable production for the onion cultivation and it need some intensive work for
large scale. In this connection we had planned and executed the onion cultivation in mass scale and now a day more than 200 farmers are producing onion in 250 acres of land. While evaluation it is seen that each acres of land is now producing 35 to 40 quintal each. It is also seen that during harvesting the rate of the onion is Rs.5/-to Rs.10/- depend upon the year of production. If it can be fetch for 2 to 3 months, the rate is becoming more than double. Hence priority was also given for onion storage centre in cluster level to preserve the onion and sale it in future by storing the onion for 2 to 3 months, the farmers can get better income varying form Rs. 20 – 25 per kg. It will help the farmers to earn profit of about Rs. 40000/- from an acre of onion cultivation.
AGRICULTURE PROMOTION CLUSTERS:
Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own.’ This oft-quoted statement is not just hyperbole. The first occupation of humankind, agriculture is the foundation of civilization and industry. And even today, a thriving farm sector is a prerequisite for a stable economy and has immense potential to combat poverty and maximise human capital.
To trigger growth in the farm sector and empower struggling farmers in the backward tribal highlands of Orissa, BRLF signed an MoU with the
Department of Horticulture, Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment, the Odisha Livelihoods Mission (OLM), Government of Odisha and PRADAN for the promotion of agriculture production clusters (APCs) in November 2018. Based on the APC model, 17 civil society organization are working to establishing 650 micro-APCs producer groups (PG) aggregated to form 30 producer companies (PCs) in 40 blocks in 12 districts. The aim is to sustainably double the income of 100,000 small and marginal farmers, especially women. Of these, about 64 per cent of households belong to the ST and SC communities.
With the establishment of block, district and state level co-ordination committee and tremendous capacity building efforts by Lokadrusti in the project, progress on ground has been rapid. Since Dec-2018 to till date the project was able to mobilize revenue of Rs.184.92 lakhs. Further 27 PGs have already been formed with a member ship of 2700 poor households. 300 acres has been brought under high value crops benefitting 600 households. Among the high value crops Vegetable like Barbati, Ladies finger, Bitter guard and Ground nuts are important one. In addition to this 200 acres of land brought under irrigation. The identified 27 Udyog mitra are trained and started entrepreneurial activities’. The producer groups(PGs) are now active and try to doubling their agriculture income from different crops. In addition to this 756 land less households has adopted non-farm activities and an an additional income of Rs. 15,000/- Per households. The Dept. of Horticulture is the key players of them and till end of this reporting period they have provided all necessary materials for developing horticulture garden in 355 acres of land. The storage centres made by Lokadrusti in 14 clusters are now in use of Producer Groups for hording the final product till marketing. The Cluster building are also used regularly by the PG for different training and meetings.
Farmers Producer Company:
During intervention Lokadrusti organised 27 FPO and federate them in one federation namely Dokribudhi Farmers Producer Company. The Producer Company is operating from Khariar and opened a organic vegetable outlets at Gadramunda and sailing the products. In addition to this one solar operated cold storage is also now in running condition which will help them to store the agriculture products during distress sale.
More than 700 million people live on less than US$1.90 a day (PPP), and there is an international agenda to drive this share to zero by 2030. Reaching this objective will mean enabling the poorest families, who are often the most marginalized within their communities, to shift from insecure and fragile sources of income to more sustainable ways of earning a living. One possible avenue, popular with both development organizations and governments, is to promote self-employment activities such as sustainable farming practices for small land holders, animal rearing or petty trading for the landless families. As everybody knows 30% of Annual income is normally come from the Animal husbandry sectors in rural economy it is essential to focus on such indigenous activities in the villages for their sustainable development.
Looking at the need of the ultra-poor households Lokadrusti in collaboration with different donors like Trickle-Up America, KKS Germany, BRLF and others try to develop a strategy to address these issue through promotion of different off farm activities. Among them promotion of Animal husbandry like dairy farming, Sheep/goat rearing, poultry farming & fisheries are important one. During Lokadrusti intervention we had identified and covered 3140 Ultra-poor HHs from 130 villages of Nuapada and Balangir district of Odisha and promote
Animal husbandry and fisheries. Due to this intervention 3140 households earned an additional income of Rs. 12,000/- per annum. For the successful intervention of this programme the farmers were capacitated by organizing different raining and exposure visit. In addition to this to reduce morbidity and mortality proper measures like the vaccination and insurance were made. In addition to this the Vet. Community Link Workers were identified and trained to meet the emergency need and establish linkages with the Animal husbandry departments. Proper linkages were also established with the Gram Panchayats for construction of Goat and cow-shed. Till end of March 2020 we had constructed 350 numbers of cow and goat shed in convergence with the MGNREGS.
Rural-Non–Farm-Sector (RNFS) includes all economic activities viz., household and non-household manufacturing, handicrafts, processing, repairs, construction, mining and quarrying, transport, trade, communication, community and personal services etc. in rural areas. It is fact that there is vast diversity in culture, tradition and livelihood pattern of
the people residing in a same place. Hence it is essential to study the need and their livelihood pattern 1st before execution of any activities. In this connection Lokadrusti in the initial stage of intervention organized focus group discussion, village meeting and personal repo building exercise etc to know the capacity and will of the community. Later on Poverty Assessment Tools (PAT) were used to know the status of the families and after a vivid verification/scrutinisation Business plan were developed for 2110 Ultra-poor households form 125 villages and activities like broom making, Rope making, petty business, vending shop (vegetables, Fried rice, Bengals, fancy items), Grocery shop etc. were taken and proper training and necessary seed capital were given to the beneficiaries. As a result of it each and every households are now able to earned an additional income of Rs.10,000/- to Rs.20,000/- per Annum.
Skill Development: Address unemployment in rural areas is a critical factor as because most of the youths are semi-literate and they do not like to remain engage in agriculture sectors which lead to youth migration in ram-pend in our areas. Looking at the difficulties Lokadrusti use to identify the youths in regular basis and trained them through self-employable skill in different sectors like tailoring, welding, driving, mobile repairing, plumber and computer education. In addition to this the trained personals were linked with the different Govt. and other corporate office for employment. Till date 450 youths were trained in different sectors and 340 youths have got opportunities in different Govt. and other agencies. Remaining 110 are self-employed and they are running their activities at their own or nearby village and town.
Watershed is a geo-hydrological unit of an area draining to a common outlet point. … By capturing the Water Resources Management and improving the management of soil and vegetation, Watershed Development aims to create conditions conducive to higher agricultural productivity while conserving natural resources.
Nuapada district is very prone to drought and it is seen that there is a drought in every 10 years and famine like situation in each alternative year.
Looking at the problem Lokadrusti organized a State level workshop on the subject of “Hunger and Under Development, is there a way out for Kalahandi?” in the year 1991. One of the most backward blocks of the district,
During 1993 our first collector of newly formed Nuapada district and the present sitting chief secretary Sri.Asit Kumar Tripathy took the class of Lokadrusti staffs at our field office Jambahali under Nuapada district on watershed development. It was the 1st training before implementation of the watershed activities.
To address the issues as suggested by the expert committee Lokadrusti in
the initial phase implemented a watershed project in Bhainsadani village of Bhainsadani Gram Panchayat under Boden Block of Nuapada district with the support of German Agro Action Germany for a total treatment area of 500 hectors. To make the programme people centric and ensured people’s participation one Uhulen Sajada Samity (Watershed Committee) and one Forest protection committee was formed. The Micro-Plan was developed and executed with the active participation of Uhulen Sajada Samity and the watershed became a model for others. The measures which were taken are the Gully plugs, Contour bund, Contour trenches, Gabion structures, Stone bund, Field bund, land levelling and bunding, Plantation, check-dam, Earthen dam, WHS, canal and Vikash Kutir. After implementation of the project it is seen that the village community can avail the water near to their house (previously they have to fetch water from 2 kms. Away). The water table is increased by 15’ (from 25’-30’), the soil moisture condition improved, vegetation developed the protected and planted forest became dance forest and now a days the village became self-reliant in term of water resources, forest resources and livelihood option. The dry land became wet land and the agriculture became remunerative.
Looking at the successful intervention of the Watershed Lokadrusti try to implement some more watershed in other dry zone area of the district and became successful in implementing 11 more watershed (1 from NABARD and 10 from Watershed Mission Govt. of Odisha under
WORLP) in 5500 hectors of treatment area. These watersheds provide sustainable livelihood option to 3000 HHs of 18 villages of Khariar and Sinapali Block of Nuapada district. As replicated model the entire watersheds were developed with the support of the Uhulen Sajada Samities(Watershed Committee) the Pani Byabahar Samity (User Groups) and the Jungle Surakshya Samity (Forest Protection Committees). The land, forest and water based activities were carried on with the active involvement of the small and marginal farmers and off farm activities were carried on by the active participation of the landless households.
The remarkable achivements which were done are the establishment of Forest committee and protection of forest. Till date the forest committee of Dharuapada watershed, Bhainsadani watershed, Kenduguda, Bhimapadar and Salepada forest is witnessing the achievement. The environment is clean and the forest growth is satisfactory.
Education and Child Rights:
Lokadrusti believes that all children in the age group of 6-14 who are out of school are child labour and condemns any argument in favour of this social evil. Lokadrusti begins its intervention on education in the year 1990 with the support of Ministry of Human Resource Development(MHRD), Govt. of
India with the “Innovative Education programme” in 11 villages of Boden Block where the never enrolled and drop out children were taught with a special design class for three years to complete the deficit level of education and enrolled the children in Govt. formal school for
continuation of higher education. As a result, among 330 students of 1st batch 120 students could continue higher education and 35 could avail Govt. job in different sectors. These activities encourage Lokadrusti to continue its effort on education sector and till date it is continuing its efforts to provide education to the drop-out, deficit learners and the poor students of this region. This successful model replicated 11 villages to 250 villages of Nuapada, Balangir, Bargarh and Kalahandi district of Odisha later on. To make the education programme effective and accessible to the entire children under the age of 6-14 advocacy against child labour is done at all levels. For these intervention MHRD Govt. of India, HIVOS the Netherlands, American India Foundation(AIF), Sarva Sikshya Abhijan(SSA) Govt. of Odisha, UNDP, Save the children, OXFAM India play a crucial role by supporting us from time to time. At the village level the community is sensitized through the use of local f olk media and at the policy level strong lobby is created to curb child labour. Supply side intervention such as improving school infrastructure, drinking water, regularization of mid-day meal, supply of school uniforms, rationalization of teachers in the rural area etc. are done to streamline education. SHG members are mobilized to monitor the school and create awareness among parents on this issue. Seasonal Hostels are used to open by the help of SSA Nuapada to keep the children of migrant’s families for a period of six months in each year (2017). Proper awareness camps are organized to sensitize the community on RtE Act. Help the SMC to procure Teaching Learning materials, Play materials etc. To address the deficit learning level of the migrants and drop out children Learning Resource Cenres (LRCs) are functioning and till date 120000 children got benefits out of it. To address the issues of higher education one IGNOU Study centre is running at Lokadrusti Boden where the deprived students are getting opportunities to complete their higher education. To cope with the shift of attention towards information technology based education we have opened Lokadrusti College of Advanced Technology(LCAT) at Khariar with the due permission of Dept. of Higher Education Govt. of Odisha and affiliation to Sambalpur University, Sambalpur where the poor students of this localities get opportunity to complete their degree courses in computer Education (BCA & PGDCA) and Science (BSc) from 2014. The Degree College is performing well and most of the students acquired good percentages and avail opportunities of employment in different Govt. & Non-Govt. Sectors.
MGNREGS: As 70% of the total households depend on daily wages in the rural area the Govt. of India passed an amendment to provide ensured
employment to the rural poor under MGNREGA Act in the year-2005 and it is implemented by our state as MGNREGS since then. This act ensured 100 days’ employment to the rural poor. It also envisages unemployment allowances for not providing employment in due time for the job card holders those who has applied for job. To provide ensured employment it also reserved one third of the job for the women in the community.
Lokadrusti always try to work with the Govt. and do not want to create a parallel structure for the progress of the village community. It has given priority to incorporate the entire programme with the Govt. existing infrastructures, programmes and schemes. It is known that the Govt. funding is bigger one in comparison to others. Hence Lokadrusti always try to converge the entire Govt. schemes and programmes in its ongoing projects. As MGNREGS is an opportunity for the large scale employment and creation of durable and fixed assets for the rural poor Lokadrusti in collaboration with Ford Foundation New-Delhi, BRLF New-Delhi, IPE Global and District Collector Nuapada try its level best to provide ensured 100 days of employment to the rural poor. Emphasis was given for formation of Job Seekers committee at the village, G.P. and Block level to ensure job, creation of durable and productive assets like the WHS, Ponds, Farm ponds, Wells, Land development, Goat shed, cow shed etc. to provide immediate employment and perineal source of income. To make the Job Seekers Committee effective proper training and exposure were conducted at different level and handholding support are given from time to time. Due to proper job demand and implementation of MGNREGS works and advocacy at State & Centre level the Govt. of India has increased the man-days from 100 to 150 days in the drought and migration prone district of Western Odisha.
It is seen that during our intervention most of the potential farmers has created their own infrastructure like Farm pond, Dug Wells, Land development, Goat, sheep and cow shed etc. and continue their activities in their farming field and stopped their inter-state migration. In our project villages the MGNREGS could arrest distress migration by 30% and able to make a change in the living condition of the poor families in the community.
Nuapada district has a thick tribal population. In the operational area of Lokadrusti the tribal groups form the bulk of the population. These people are vulnerable to exploitation. There are primitive tribal groups like Bhunjia and Paharia apart from other tribes like Gond, Dal, Kandh etc. The Bhunjias and paharias live in the inaccessible areas of hills and jungles. They live a secluded life amidst these hills and jungles. They are not at all conscious of their rights. The Bhunjias are of two types- Chuktia Bhunjia and Chinda Bhunjia. The Chuktias live in the deep forest and speak a language different from the others. It is called “Halbi”; a combination of Chhatisgarhi, Koshli and Marathi. But the Chinda Bhunjias are in the process of acculturation and live closer to the mainstream civilization.
The Paharias are the unfortunate lot. Ironically they are not included in the state tribal list and that way are not ST officially. They are treated as Other Backward Caste (OBC) . This is due to a language confusion. The Paharias are also known as ‘Kamara’ and it in the coastal Orissa and official Oriya language means Blacksmith. The Blacksmiths are not tribe and therefore the Paharias are not included in the tribal schedule. Prior to the formation of a separate Orissa state in 1936 the paharias were considered as ST and even today they are ST in the neighbouring Chhatisgarh state. They are treated as primitive tribe there. Even the Chhatisgarh Government is implementing a micro project for the development of Paharia community. Of late with Lokadrusti initiative, the Paharias have united under the banner of “Paharia/ Kamar Vikash”. They are raising their voice against the injustice meted out to them. During the current year their delegates went to Bhubaneswar twice and met the Chief Minister, the Tribal Affairs Minister and also the Secretary Tribal Development. They claimed their right over their inclusion in the scheduled list. The Chief Minister and other responsible authorities have assured them to consider their demand with sympathy.
35% of the total population in Lokadrusti operational areas are Tribal and Lokadrusti always give emphasis on development of the Tribal community like Paharia, bhunjia, Gond, Sabar, Kandha etc. In the entire programmes implementation Lokadrusti give priorities to the Tribal communities. For the upliftment of the tribal communities we are organizing regular training and workshop at different level. In addition to this linkage are established with the Govt. and other financial institutions to access different anti-poverty schemes and programmes meant for them. Fellowship and sponsorship are provided to the tribal communities for higher education. Priorities are also given in Lokadrusti college of Advance Technology for the enrollment of the tribal students in BSc, BCA and PGDCA courses with a minimum fee. Linkages are also established with the Govt. for availing the land entitlement through the Forest Right Act. During last year Member Secretary of Lokadrusti write a report on “People and Demography in Nuapada District” in the upcoming Gazetteer of Nuapada district 2020.
Lokadrusti try to address the bonded labour issue through convergence with different social safety net programmes of Govt. and other likeminded NGOs. Lokadrusti in collaboration with others, work both in source and destination area and freed 146 persons from 78 households and involve them in different social safety net of Govt. to check the distress migration.
Health, Nutrition and Sanitation:
Basic Health, Nutrition and sanitation play a crucial role in human development index. Due to poor health and sanitation measures most of the earned money in the rural areas washed away and the poor families came to distress condition. Poor Health lead due to malnutrition and improper sanitary measures. Hence Lokadrusti in its holistic projects try to
incorporate the issues as a compulsory measure. To sensitize the community proper measures like the village meeting, mass meeting, campaign, training and distribution of pamphlets and posters are done. Proper training are also given to the front line workers like the AWW, ASHA, HW(M), HW (F), Doctors and Health Supervisor from time to time. Proper emphasis was given at the AWW level to address the issues like 100% immunization, 3 ANC, 2 PNCs etc. Focus was given on training of the Front line workers in Aspirational District Programmes.
Health infrastructure is virtually absent in Nuapada district. Except in urban centres the villages are deprived of basic health facilities. They either depend upon the mercy of the God or fall prey to the unauthorized medical practitioners. Bad communication, lack of awareness level make them more vulnerable to exploitation. High rate of IMR and MMR are common. In order to address the situation, Lokadrusti has trained the Para health workers and have given them the minimum required kits to come to the help of the people. It has also promoted Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) to facilitate safe delivery in the villages. But the programmes are quite inadequate in the context of the present problems.
The project “Integrated Nutrition and Health project-II” has been running since 2002 with the support of CARE India. Under this project 31 Demonstration Sites (Anganwadi centre) are covered from Khariar, Boden and Sinapali ICDS area. The total population covered in this project is 31689. Through this project effort are made to improve the nutrition and health status of women and children. Proper handholding support were given to activate the Anganwadi Workers to cater to the need of primary health care and creating awareness among the people Change Agents. The SHG members in the villages are trained to change their mindset on health aspect. They in turn work as change agents to change the mindset of the mothers in their hamlets. The major thrust was to change the attitude of the Anganwadi Workers. The other important objectives of the project were as follows:
- Developing location specific Behavior Change Communication (BCC) plans.
- Reducing left -outs and dropouts from health and ICDS schemes.
- Integrating Gender.
- Encouraging PRIs and CBOs to participate in the project activities.
- Involving adolescent girls.
- Data Triangulation and presentation at different level for accuracy in figure.
Basic Health and Nutrition depend on the food intake of the person. If there is shortage of food and nutrition component in the human body there will be numbers of disease like malnutrition and anaemic. Absence of sound health create different problem and reduce the productivity of human being. Hence Lokadrusti always try to address the issues of malnutrition and anaemic through promotion of kitchen garden in almost all the
targeted households. The tree crops like the Banana, Papaya, lemon, drum stick and vegetables like bitter guard, chilly, pumpkin, to mato, brinjal, spinach, and other leafy vegetables etc. are taken in back yard kitchen garden . Most of these Kitchen gardens are initiated by the SHGs members. Vegetables and fruits from the Kitchen gardens are consumed mostly by the respective families. At the same time, surplus vegetables are shared among the neighbours and a few families have also sold the same in the local markets for fetching additional income. Till date we had covered 5400 Households from Bangomunda and Muribahal block of Balangir district and Khariar, Boden and Sinapali Block under Nuapada district. Each family got vegetables from the kitchen garden worth around. Rs. 3000/-. It is indeed a good step towards promotion of vegetable cultivation, consumption and ensuring food and nutritional security of the target group especially women and children.
Research and documentation:
Research and documentation is one of the integral part of Lokadrusti. To conduct different developmental research and documentation Lokadrusti established a Regional Resource Centre in its premises lead by Dr.Lohitakshya Joshi( Phd in English), Mr.Prasanta Kumar Panda( M.Phil), Dr.Sagarika Panigrahi (Phd in Chemistry) and Mr.Abani Mohan Panigrahi. Till date a numbers of Research and studies were conducted in different sectors and among them these are the important one:
- Factors Responsible for children out of work and into schools: Sponsored by EdCIL, MHRD New-Delhi.
- Learning difficulties of Children of Bhunjia Tribe sponsored by: OPEPA, Govt. of Odisha.
- Reasons of drop out of Girls children in Komna Block sponsored by OPEPA, Govt. of Odisha.
- Working condition of teachers in Odisha by NUEPA, New-Delhi.
- A Study on Lesser known Tribe of Odisha(Paharia): By UNDP, New-Delhi.
- People’s and Demography in Nuapada by District administration for Nuapada Gazateer-2020
- Base line Study on Community Based Pro-poor initiatives by UNDP, New-Delhi and MoRD Govt. of India, New-Delhi.
- Evaluation study on rehabilitation of Bonded Labour in Kalahandi district by Panchayati Raj Dept. Govt. of Odisha.
- Evaluation study of National Afforestation Programme(NAP) by D.F.O. Khariar (Forest Dept.)
- Baseline Study on Leadership Development programme in Keonjhar & Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, Supported by CARE Odisha.
In addition to this numbers of Research scholar from different University like Jamia Milia University, Delhi School of Economics, London School of Economics, Sambalpur University, Tata Institute of Social Science(TISS), Xavier Institute of Management were visited Lokadrusti Field and stay for more than one month each and conducted their study. Dr.Walter Fernandes, Mr.Aurabinda Behera(IAS)(R.D. Secretary Govt. of Odisha), Mr.Sumit Bose(Bangalore) were conducted evaluation study of Lokadrusti in different phase and appreciated our works.
Sustainability of the Projects:
The focus of the entire projects of Lokadrusti is on improved livelihood and nutritional status, Awareness and Education, Health and sanitation, establishing a good repo and
linkages with different financial institutions and developmental agencies. It implies sustainable agriculture which improves agricultural productivity, ensures food and nutrition security, generates income for the target community. Enhanced income ensures reduced money lending and indebtedness, distress migration, children’s education, reduced drop out and child labour, improved health, reduces malnutrition among women and children and infant and maternal mortality etc. In addition to this the project activities also envisages for the economic and political empowerment and participation of women and thus it ensures gender equality and above all ensures greater ownership and active participation of all sections of the society in their development process. Hence, the projects lay emphasis on natural resource management, Low External Input & Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA), rain water harvesting, conservation and management, organic farming, soil and land conservation and management, income generation activities etc.
Agriculture is the only source of food and nutrition for the majority of target people. As agricultural production increases and diversifies, households see increased income, food security and better nutrition which in turn leads to increase in human capital and productivity. Agriculture influences nutritional outcomes through production of nutritious food for household consumption and through increased household income through sale of food produced or through wages from farm labor. All these aspects are envisaged under the projects to ensure sustainability.
In the case of women SHGs, all the 1200 SHGs strengthened, federated/integrated with the existing Block level SHGs federations, Farmers Producer Groups and established linkages with Odisha Livelihood Mission, Mission Shakti and financial institutions to meet their credit needs for economic development. Even after the project period, the activities of all SHGs and PGs are monitored and co-ordinated by its federation, Apex body of the SHGs. The SHGs members are participating in political processes and local governance by contesting elections to the local bodies. They are also involve in development initiatives within the community, bringing qualitative changes – in the field of children’s education, health, nutrition, preventing school dropout, migration of children, indebtedness and migration of families. The Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) which are established by the donors and Lokadrusti are continuing at their own through generating contribution from the community and address the deficit learning level of the migrants and drop out children for a longer period. All these processes are ensured empowerment of women and children and thus continuity and sustainability.
Migration of nearly 20% population in our project villages is indeed a concern. Poverty and lack of sustainable livelihood in the target villages force many families to migrate to other state to earn their living. Hence, the project focuses on reducing and mitigating migration though the planned activities to enhance agriculture production, promote off farm activities, income and food security. The planned initiatives and promotion of sustainable livelihood immensely benefit poor families who migrate every year and thereby reduce their indebtedness and migration. Moreover, mobilization of different government schemes, increased employment opportunities under MGNREGS, establishment of SHGs linkages with financial institutions also helping in reduction of migration and ensuring sustainability and continuity of the program even after the project period. Third, self-help structures like women SHGs and its integration with the existing Block level SHG federation, Producer Groups, Farmers Clubs, Village Education Committee, Water User Society play their crucial role for integration of the entire developmental activities at the door steps. Skill upgradation through different training and exposure and implementation of different Income Generation activities help in reduction of migration and in achieving sustainability and continuity of the whole programs.
Further, the development of a cadre of potential persons as Master Trainers (the well trained and oriented farmers) as harbinger of best practices continue to play their role in the community even after the project period. The Farmer’s clubs are strengthened and established linkages with Farmer’s co-operatives at district level and other relevant departments. The planned measures like formation of Water User’s Committee and establishment of maintenance fund ensured proper maintenance, management of WHS and judicious use of water for irrigation. All self-help structures enabled to foster partnership and seek to leverage different government schemes and funding for achieving tangible results and ensure its future continuity. Thus Lokadrusti activities planned in such a way as to ensure sustainable rural livelihood, poverty reduction and food & nutrition security on sustainable basis.
Impact of the project on children and child rights
Lokadrusti has formed Child Protection Committees in most of its operational villages. Such committees facilitate in building awareness among the parents and children on child rights and protection. Efforts are made to form and strengthen Child Protection committees in all the target villages to ensure safety of children from abuse, neglect and violence. Moreover, awareness among the children, parents, women SHGs members are created on child rights and protection and promotion and strengthening of child rights committees. In addition, preparation and use IEC materials, documentary films, street plays carried out in the target village as part of mass awareness creation on child rights and protection. Efforts are also made to reduce migration of families and their children and child labour with the help of Sarva Sikshya Abhijan(SSA), American India Foundation, Save the Children, OXFAM India to reduce school dropout and deficit learning level among the children.
Lokadrusti has adopted proper financial management system within the organization and promptly comply with all the required legal procedures and policies, stipulated by the government and donor agencies.
Lokadrusti follows systematic procedure in procurement of goods, equipment and services required for the organization and its projects. As per the norms of the organization a marketing committee consists of 5 members has been set up for purchasing any items costing more than Rs. 10,000/- The members of the marketing committee include the Project Coordinator, Member Secretary, Treasurer, one senior staff of Lokadrusti and one of the Governing Body Members. The concerned Project Coordinator place requisition for the purchase of any items mentioning the budget head, and amount to the Member Secretary. On receipt of the request, the Member Secretary invites sealed quotations from 3 reputed vendors/firms. After receiving the quotations, the Marketing Committee goes through all the quotations and prepares a comparative statement. After discussion within the Committee, it approves the supplier who quoted lowest price with required quality and provide proper after sale service. Based on the decisions, required items are purchased locally or from the nearest market. In addition to this Lokadrusti always try to make its account system transparent for the entire staffs, Board Members, Donors, Auditors and Govt. Most of the payment above Rs.2000.00 are paid either through Account payee cheque or Bank Transfer.
Our Development partners from India:
District Environment Society; CAPART, New-Delhi; NABARD, Bhubaneswar; MHRD, GOI New-Delhi; MoRD,GOI New-Delhi; NCLP, Nuapada Dist; ICHR, New-Delhi, OPEPA, Govt. of Orissa Bhubaneswar; P.R. Department, Govt. of Orissa; UNDP, New-Delhi; WORLP/ Watershed Mission; SSA/DPEP, Nuapada. Mission Shakti, Dept. of Women & Child Development Govt. of Odisha, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) New Delhi, Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF), New Delhi; IPE Global, Bhubaneswar; ICRISAT, Hyderabad; UNFPA, Bhubaneswar, HINDALCO Hirakud, sambalpur, Aditya Aluminum Koraput.
Our Development partners from abroad:
HIVOS, The Netherlands; German Agro Action, Germany; KKS, Germany, CARE, India, AIF, America; ChildFund India; Trickle-up, America; FORD FOUNDATION, New-Delhi; Save the Children UK; OXFAM India.
Assets created so far: