The Role of Ngos in Developing Tribals Through Watershed Programme A CASE STUDY OF RDS 1. DR. K. PRABHAKAR, 2. DR. K. LAVANYA LATHA 3 PROF. A. PAPA RAO 1. POST DOCTORAL FELLOW, DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY, SRI VENKATESWARA UNIVERSITY, TIRUPATI – 517 502. 2. ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES, PONDICHERRY CENTRAL UNIVERSITY, PONDICHERRY-605014, INDIA 3. PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY, SRI VENKATESWARA UNIVERSITY, TIRUPATI–517 502. ABSTRACT
THE BASIC PHILOSOPHY BEHIND VOLUNTARY EFFORT IS TO MAKE THE PEOPLE AWARE AND LEAD THEM TO THE GOAL OF SELF-RELIANCE. SINCE THE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES ARE UNABLE TO MAKE ADEQUATE RAPPORT WITH THE TRIBAL PEOPLE IN THE PROCESS OF THEIR INTERACTION WHERE AS PEOPLE FROM VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS CAN STIMULATE THE INTEREST IN THE COMMUNITY WITH THEIR INNOVATIVE ATTITUDE AND IDEAS. PRESENTLY, AN ATTEMPT IS MADE HERE TO STUDY THE EFFORTS MADE BY SUCH NGO NAMELY RDS TO DEVELOP THE TRIBAL FARMERS IN CHANDALURU VILLAGE WHICH IS LOCATED IN PRAKASAM DISTRICT OF ANDHRA PRADESH.
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RDS WHOSE MISSION IS POVERTY ERADICATION IN RURAL VILLAGES AND PRIMARILY ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS OF SAFE DRINKING WATER, FOOD AND SHELTER IS PRESENTLY WORKING VERY EFFECTIVELY IN THE AREAS OF TRIBAL PEOPLE IN PRAKASAM DISTRICT. IT ALSO INVOLVED IN IMPROVING THE HEALTH CARE COMMUNICATION, EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES, EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN. Voluntary organizations are not new phenomena. The concept of voluntary social service is ancient. In the recent past it acquired momentum and significance.
The potential and valuable contributions of voluntary organizations to promote micro-level development are universally accepted. Currently in India, great debates are going on in different forms regarding the role of voluntary agencies, especially with regard to tribal development. During the evolution of voluntary organizations in India especially since the beginning of the nineteenth century till today, they are more or less progressive in providing relief and protective service to the women, children, weaker sections, educations, health etc. , Some of them organize literacy camps and awareness camps.
It is clear that each organization has its own initiative, innovative intervention into social and class milieu. Each has its own ideology and implementation machinery to bring in integrated rural development. In India, tribals constitute about 8. 0 percent of the total population in the country. And about 58 percent of them are below the poverty line. Development of tribals and tribal areas is a challenging task to government, as tribals live in wide spectrum of diversities of geographical location, socio-economic and political-cultural conditions besides the tribal areas are far-flung and inaccessible.
Since the government programmes are unable to make adequate rapport with the tribal people in the process of their interaction where as people from voluntary organizations can stimulate the interest in the community with their innovative attitude and ideas. Presently, an attempt is made here to study the efforts made by such NGO namely Rural Development Society (RDS) in watershed programme and its impact on tribal farmers of Chandaluru village of Prakasam district, Andhra Pradesh. The study was based on fieldwork conducted in Chaaduluru village.
Chandaluru village is one of the poorest villages in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, with 90 percent of households below the official poverty line and literacy just above 10 percent. Poverty, ignorance and illiteracy are the root causes of backwardness. Hunger, malnutrition and under-employment are the main problems. Eighty percent of households are landless, small and marginal farmers; they own only 35 percent of the land. The majorities (70 percent) of households belong to scheduled tribes, 10 percent are scheduled castes and 20 percent are other castes.
Dry land farming is the predominant activity in the area. Any programme for poverty alleviation must therefore aim to increase agricultural productivity and generation employment. Erosion is extensive is common in the village, where the plains are almost completely denuded of trees except around villages. RDS first began their operations to promote watershed schemes in 7 villages of J. Pangaluru mandal, Prakasam district of AndhraPradesh. In 1999, RDS started watershed program in Chandaluru village under the scheme EAS 2nd batch of government of Andhra Pradesh and named it as “ Chandaluru ? Watershed Management”.
The project approach is comprehensive, as the aim of the various activities is to develop the natural resource system in a sustainable manner and to increase agriculture production, without causing excessive stress on the environment. The three main components of the project are: (a) awareness building for target group participation; (b) improved agricultural practices promoted through training and extension; and (c) implementation of soil and water conservation measures. RDS initially collected socio-economic data of the village and engaged an informal discussion with local leaders, particularly older community members.
Subsequently, the RDS organized village meetings to explain the goals and ideas of the project. The villagers selected four committee members, a headman, one landless person, one women and one small or marginal farmer. Training was given to committee members by RDS to explain the content of the project and to outline the specific roles the members to play. After the training, RDS and watershed committee worked out the details of the project, its objectives and components. Village-level meetings informed the villagers of the different benefits of the project, and the villagers were able to express their needs and preferences.
Initially the participation of the villagers are low at the pre-project stage and planning stage, as the project was moving on the participation level increased at implementing stage, maintenance stage and evaluation stage. RDS focuses on soil and water conservation measures for increased production. The total cultivated land increase from 597 hectares to 725 hectares (21 percent) after watershed programme. The production of the crops like tobacco, chilies, black gram, corn, red gram and groundnut were increased after watershed programme.
The landless obtained some benefit as wage labourers and employment (days per year) were increase 170 days to 200 days (17. 33 percent). A number of income generating activities were also initiated like blacksmithing, carpentry, rope-making and bamboo crafts. The RDS have been vital in identifying beneficiaries and creating Self Help Groups. Now after the programme, women take part in decisions within the households, but men dominate outside. Women began to play an important role in all types of agricultural work, collecting water, gathering fuel wood, forest products and grass, caring for livestock and working as labourers.
Now women began to participate in meetings. So far 10 women’s Self Help Groups, each consisting of 10 to 15 women, have been formed around activities like bamboo crafts, leaf-plate making, duck keeping and spice making. These groups have saved about Rs. 30, 000 that helped free from indebtedness to local moneylenders. Local initiatives and leadership among women are developing gradually. Awareness of the importance of cleanliness, health and sanitation and the use of safe drinking water has improved.
RDS initiated educational, motivational and consciousness-raising programmes among the people, working through village committees, Self Help Groups and youth forums. In total, literacy rate increase from 70 to 100 percent (30 percent), health from 50 to 100 percent (50 percent) and communication increase from 75 to 100 percent (25 percent). THE RDS ADOPTED THE METHOD TO MOTIVATE, EDUCATE AND ULTIMATELY BRING ABOUT SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION INCLUDE: (A) VILLAGE MEETINGS, (B) THE INVOLVEMENT OF VILLAGE YOUTH FACILITATORS, (C) REGULAR TRAININGS AND (D) FIELD DAYS FOR THE VILLAGERS.
PASTURE ACTIVITIES AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF VILLAGE PONDS HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT ON COMMON LAND. IN SOME CASES, USER GROUPS FOR THESE ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN FORMED. THESE GROUPS HAVE ORGANIZED THEMSELVES INTO CO-OPERATIVES AND CONTRIBUTED LABOUR TO CREATE THESE ASSETS. THEY HAVE BEEN ENCOURAGED TO SET UP REVOLVING FUNDS TO MANAGE THE PROFITS. THIS WILL STIMULATE DEVELOPMENT AND OVERCOME THE RISK THAT, AFTER THE PROJECT LEAVES THE AREA, NO FURTHER EXPANSION OF THE SYSTEM TAKES PLACE. EXTRA FUNDS GENERATED CAN BE USED FOR OTHER LOCAL IMPROVEMENTS FOR WHICH THE COMMUNITY NEEDS.
THESE SUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN MADE THROUGH CONSTANT DIALOGUE WITH THE PEOPLE THROUGH THE STAGES OF PLANNING, IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING OF THE ACTIVITIES. CONCLUSION RDS AS AN NGO HAVE PLAYED AN ESSENTIAL ROLE IN FACILITATING THE PARTICIPATION OF VILLAGERS IN PLANNING, IMPLEMENTING AND MONITORING PROJECT ACTIVITIES. THE ROLE OF NGOS IS RECOGNIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT, EVEN IF GRUDGINGLY!. AT THE SAME TIME, NGOS ARE ALSO BEGINNING TO REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING WITH THE GOVERNMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES IN THE WATERSHEDS, RATHER THAN BEING CONFRONTATIONAL.
HOWEVER, THE PROJECT STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO. REFERENCES: ANNUAL REPORT. (2005-06), DISTRICT WATERSHED MANAGEMENT AGENCY, PRAKASAM. DISTRICT PLANNING OFFICE (2004), HAND BOOK OF STATISTICS, PRAKASAM-DISTRICT GHOSH. D. K. 2001. NGOS INTERVENTION IN POVERTY ALLEVIATION, KURUKSHETRA, MARCH 2001, PP. 2-9. GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (2001) GUIDELINES FOR WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT, MINISTRY OF RURAL AREAS AND EMPLOYMENT, DEPARTMENT OF WASTELANDS DEVELOPMENT, DPAP, PRAKASAM DISTRICT. GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. (1966) ENCYCLOPEDIA AND SOCIAL WORK PLANNING COMMISSION, NEW DELHI.
KALLUR. M. S. (1997), ROLE OF PEOPLE’S PARTICIPATION IN ADOPTING ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY TECHNIQUES IN FARMING-A CASE STUDY OF MINE WATERSHEDS OF WADIGERA KALAAMANDARGI AND LIMBU- MONO TANDA OF GULBARGA UNIVERSITY, GULBARGA, INDIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS, 52(3), PP. 556. OM RAJ SINGH. (2003), ROLE OF NGOS IN FOSTERING SELF HELP GROUPS- A CASE STUDY OF MYRADA, KURUKSHETRA , VOL. 51, NO. 4, FEBRUARY, PP. 33-35. PRADEEP KUMAR. (2005), RURAL DEVELOPMENT – A COLLABORATION OF GOS AND NGOS, KURUKSHETRA, VOL. 53, N0. 10, PP. 5-41. RAJASEKHAR D. (2000), MICRO-FINANCE PROGRAMME AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT. A STUDY OF TWO NGOS FROM KERALA, JOURNAL OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, 31, JANUARY-JUNE, PP. 76-74. RAMESH SINGH. M. (2004), NGOS ACTIVITIES IN TRIBAL A5EAS OF MANIPUR. A CASE STUDY, VANYAJATI, JANUARY, PP. 3-9. RAMMOHAN RAO. M. S. (1996), SOIL AND WATERSHED CONSERVATION THROUGH WATERSHED MANAGEMENT IN THE SEMI-ARID REGION OF SOUTH INDIA WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT, PROCEEDINGS OF DANIDS INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT, NEW DELHI
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