Special project for the sustainable development of tribal livelihoods - A joint initiative of Tribal Development Department and Kudumbashree
The Tribal special project is an initiative of Kudumbashree in collaboration with the Tribal department to address the special issue of the tribal population of the state, in a systematic manner. The project primarily targets at bringing the marginalized tribals under the aegis of the Kudumbashree network and provide them with facilities which were otherwise less accessible or denied, as part of its poverty eradication mission.The objectives of the mission is planned to be achieved with the active convergence of various government and non government agencies as well as departments. The project was initiated as a pilot in select 10 panchayats of 4 districts namely Idukki, Wayanad, Palakkad and Kasaragod in the first phase. In the second phase the project was expanded to 10 selected panchayats of the remaining district excluding Alappuzha, owing to less number of tribal inhabitation in the district. In the third phase the project has been expanded to all panchayats with tribal inhabitation.
Community mobilization and NHG formation is important for people- centered, integrated development. It is a process for empowering local communities especially vulnerable groups like tribal and combining awareness creation, self organization and action so that communities can work for changes that will benefit the social, emotional, financial and physical needs of beneficiaries. The Tribal special project facilitates the creation of ST NHGs as well as at ADSs, if necessary in areas where there are more than two Tribal NHGs. The project provides a corpus fund of Rs. 10,000 at all newly formed ST NHGs. Micro finance and Micro enterprise activities are given special; focus among the tribals as part of the project activities. Measures have also been taken to ensure cent percent tribal participation in the MNREGS actives. Formation of special Ashraya projects, provision of supplementary food for the malnourished aged, infants and adolescent girls, formation of ST Balasabhas and adolescents club, holistic health programme, etc are some of the highlights of the project.
The past 10 years, about 106162 tribal families were covered under 6375 NHGs under the project. Formation of NHGs alone was not the prerogative of Kudumbashree in tribal areas. It is such instances that prompted Kudumbashree to form Special Ashraya projects for tribal beneficiaries. State Kudumbashree Mission has sanctioned 77 Special Tribal Ashraya Projects with 4440 families from districts.
During this period 43556 Women got registered under the MGNREGS. Efforts were also undertaken to train the women in different skills which could help them to start their own micro enterprises so that they needn’t depend on somebody else to provide them opportunities for a livelihood. The skill development programme is gaining a steady momentum in the districts as more and more women come forward to initiate micro enterprises on their own. By this process 435 Group Micro Enterprises and 131 Individual Micro Enterprises started along with 2035 Joint Liability Group (JLG) groups. Training programmes were also given to NHG functionaries in maintaining records and convene meetings regularly. Corpus fund was also distributed to newly formed NHGs to ensure the sustainability of activities associated with NHG formation. General trainings and awareness classes for women and teenaged children, based on specific subjects and medical camps were also a regular feature of activities undertook for tribes by the mission in Kerala.
Tribal special project facilitates the creation of ST NHGs as well as At ADSs, if necessary in areas where there are more than two Tribal NHGs. The project provides a corpus fund of Rs. 10,000 at all newly formed ST NHGs. Micro finance and Micro enterprise activities are given special; focus among the tribals as part of the project activities. Measures have also been taken to ensure cent percent tribal participation in the MNREGS actives. Formation of special Ashraya projects, provision of supplementary food for the malnourished aged, infants and adolescent girls, formation of ST Balasabhas etc are some of the highlights of the project.
100 days Paniya programme
100 days Programme, financed by the ST department, being implemented in 100 Paniya colonies of Wayanad, Kannur, Malappuram and Kozhikode. The project proposes to provide food through a community kitchen in each of the 100 colonies by engaging special NHGs. The food would be prepared in consultation with the need and demand of the tribal population in each district. The project proposes to incorporate certain key interventions, besides providing three meals a day, to address the issues that have pushed the Paniyars to their present vulnerable situation and has resulted in their exclusion and marginalization. Special NHGs, comprising tribal women were identified to cook food, three times in a day, for the beneficiary includes in tribes. The beneficiaries includes under the category of pregnant women, children, lactating mothers, elderly and the bed ridden.
The project also implemented Non- Formal Learning Homes (NLH), This was envisaged to address the issues in a holistic manner than mere distribution of food for 100 days, which was seemed to be quite unsustainable. As a part of the NLH, houses/ community spaces/ halls under the panchayats were taken as NLH. Paniyar women completed matriculation and unmarried was selected in every colonies if them not selected the Paniya young men were selected and participated in three days training programme as the caretakers and non- formal teachers of the proposed NLH.
All the 100 tribal hamlets conduct a cleaning campaign by the initiative of Asha workers, community and the NLH teachers. Panchayats and CDS took active participation in this campaign. NLH teachers took initiative to identify the drop outs and toddlers who are not going to Anganwadis and both of them were joined attend the NLH. The medium of communication at NLH is Malayalam, so that the children, when they go to regular schools, would not find Malayalam that alien. Besides, the atmosphere in NLH is also conceived in such a manner that it introduces the toddlers (3-5years) to the formal schooling environment. This would facilitate the toddlers to get acquainted with the schooling environment in a friendlier and conducive manner rather than a hostile one, the tribal non-formal teacher also uses books, which were availed from Bala Sahithya Institute to introduce to the children to the world of stories.
The above programme completed in the entire four districts.
Micro Level Planning (MLP)
Micro Level Planning (MLP) is an inclusive participatory planning process drawing on the principles of grassroots democracy and democratic decentralization and aims to facilitate regional and culture specific sustainable development. MLP facilitates the process of transformation of contemporary socio-economic, political and cultural structures and processes, foregrounding equity, social justice and empowerment of the tribes.
By actively involving people in the participatory planning process, MLP makes them aware of the various facets of the development problems in their region. It organizes them to react collectively and effectively to these problems and brings to light the conflicts that divide the various interest groups. In the process, people become politically aware and realize that they themselves hold the key to solve their own problems.
MLP is a common platform to bring together different stakeholders – tribes, elected representatives of LSGIs, bureaucrats, panchayat functionaries, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders- with multiple interests for initiating the change processes for better development. Through training and Conscientising programmes, the exercise aims to build capacities of tribes to make their own hamlet- level plans, drawing on the experience and wisdom of their own lives, with facilitation from the formal and technical knowledge of bureaucrats/technocrats. This would further enable promotion of convergence and integration into CDS Annual Plan document, which could be integrated into the Tribal Sub-Plan.