Project Title :- Sustainable livelihoods and NREGA
Project Location:-4 Villages of Sunapur GP of Boden block of Nuapada district.
Implementing Agency :- Lokadrusti , Khariar
Funded By :- Ford Foundation and Chetna Organic
Reporting Period :- April 2010 to March 2011
Introduction: – In partnership with Ford Foundation and Chetna Organic, Lokadrusti started the NREGA ( Sustainable Livelihoods and NREGA) Project in 1 Grampanchayat that is Sunapur covering 5 villages of Boden Block of Nuapada district since 2007.Nuapada is one of the most backward districts in India. The development index like Health, Education, Sanitation, Communication, and access to information, Employment and quality of living as compare to other district are poor. On the other hand drought and famine like situation occurring in every alternative year. This ultimately broke the economical back bone of the society. Though Government is implementing a lot of programmes for poverty alleviation still it is not reaching to the needy people.
Due to lack of proper employment in the agriculture and forestry sectors the small and marginal farmers as well as the landless laborers are use to migrate to the outside district or state in search of job. As the people of this region are mostly illiterate and skill poor by nature they have to migrate in distress condition. Due to distress migration they are facing lot of trouble during travel as well as working period. In addition to this, they live in shanty places and very unhygienic condition which affect their life expectancy.
Looking at the difficulties Lokadrusti implemented the NREGA project to streamline the activities. During the implementation period we have given more emphasis to provide proper employment to the landless and marginal farmers. Areas of concern during the implementation of the programme are as follows:-
(i) Demand based work (Work application, receipt and unemployment allowances etc.)
(ii) Work site Facilities
(iii) Timely payment of Wages and wage rates
(iv) Grievance redressal Mechanism, Transparency and Accountability Mechanism
- Demand Based Work:-
The Community mobilization for job demand under NREGS has geared up the process as compared to the previous years where a shift from 162 HH in the year 2008-2009 to 572 HH in the current year out of 1030 HH was noticed. In this regard the job seeker association (5 nos. in 5 Villages) played a key role in mobilizing the households for job application. 53 nos. of village meetings were organized and the peoples were sensitized on these issues. The awareness of the people eventually led to allocation of job for all application within the stipulated time, reducing the occurrence of seeking unemployment allowances.
Still, the seasonal Migration has laid its impact as 56% of HHs applied for job during this period which is quite less than the potential of the villages. Also the stigma of late payment under this scheme has restricted some people from job application. However the awaken spirit of the villagers encouraged the women to raise voice for their rights as a result on the occasion of Women’s Day ( 8th Mar 2010) , 78 nos. of women went to the block office and submitted a mass application before the BDO and they were allocated job at WHS Hagrimunda( Sardhapur).
- ii) Worksite Facilities:-
The worksite facilities have also availed in some of the projects due to the regular demand by the workers to the implementing agencies. The workers have realized their entitlements resulting in demand for facilities like drinking water, Shed and fast aid. Still it was noticed that all facilities at all worksites are not ensured yet.
- iii) Timely Payment of Wages and wage rates:-
So far as wage rate is concern the payment through account has brought changes in the pattern and the labourers are getting the right amount. But the corruption dynamics has taken new shape where the labourers are motivated by the middlemen and they are not going personally for money withdrawal as a result such elements are getting scope to exploit the labourers. In spite of the regular demand by the labourers for timely payments, the scenario has not improved much because of the shortage of Junior Engineers at block level which led to delay in work measurement and delayed payment.
- iv)Grievance redressal Mechanism, Transparency and Accountability Mechanism:-
The transparency aspect has been limited to the construction of “Transparency Pillar” at the worksites and the so motto disclosure by the Panchayat at the GP office regarding the self of projects. The Social audit by the department seems to be a formality only where the people’s participation is seldom invited. In this regard 4 nos. of Social Audit have been conducted by the villagers with the initiatives of Lokadrusti where discrepancies with regards to worksite facilities were found out.
- V) Convergence
Lokadrusti is closely working with all government line departments and advocacy for pro worker and program panchayat in block as well as in district level. We regularly attending the grampanchayats monthly meeting, participate and contribute in successful implementation of the NREGA programmes .We are also guiding the beneficiaries in documenting the required paper works for the individual projects by the block office. Some of the achievement during this year in this regards are as follows in the table given below:-
|Sl. No.||Total nos. of Ben. linked||Area in Acre|
|Sl. No.||Total No. of Beneficiary||Type of Seeds||Total Qty. of Seeds||Area in Acre|
|1||15||1010, Nabin & Swarna||15 Kg||7.07|
|Total||15||15 Kg||7.07 Acre|
Beside that we have some bitter experience when we are working with Gram Panchayat because at the time of awareness camp on NREGA and Social Audit the GP personnel turned their faces. So more thrust and recognisation from the district administration is essential for better implementation of the programme.