Tribal Special project 2022-23

Tribal Programme (Rs 4 core) Kudumbashree’s tribal programme has been informed by the need to design and implement focused programmes for ensuring inclusion of tribal communities into its network of neighbourhood groups (NHGs) and their federations. The work, initiated with the support of Scheduled Tribes Development Department has four basic tenets to its programme strategy and methods: (1) a community based approach, where it tries to understand each of the 36 tribal communities and localise programmes to suit their contexts and needs, (2) training community resources, (3) devising training programmes that address community-specific requirements, and (4) ensuring convergence with other departments and Local Self Governments. Kudumbashree’s initiative in large scale mobilisation for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the Tribal Plus programme of the Government of Kerala in Attappady has been accepted as a State level model; its micro plan based approach developed for the PK Kalan project for the scattered tribal communities has also been accepted as a model and taken for State-wide implementation. The following are the four programme components as part of the above strategy. (1) Organisation An innovation in the strategy for organisation building among tribal communities has been to set up dedicated tribal NHGs in predominantly tribal areas. Kudumbashree has been focusing on inclusion of various communities, with a special focus on Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) and other vulnerable groups such as Paniyan, Adiya, Aranadan, and Malai Pandaram. Special capacity building programmes and training and deployment of Animators as community resources have been the key components of the programme. In order to overcome some of the basic weaknesses of organisation among tribal communities, Kudumbashree has been implementing a component on self-reliant NHGs’. (2) Micro Finance and Community Fund Management Running thrift and credit programme among tribal communities has been faced with unique challenges. At the same time, it has been noticed that when systematically implemented, a thrift and credit programme has been benefitting most of the communities with the exemption of forest-dwellers such as Cholanaikan and Malai Pandaram. In areas where tribal communities have got access to cultivable land, Kudumbashree has been able to organise them for better farming practices and marketing of produce. This component thus focuses on two aspects – providing corpus fund to newly formed NHGs, and supporting Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) among communities engaged in farming. (3) Livelihood Promotion Several of the tribal communities have been facing serious challenges in protecting and sustaining livelihoods; the series of floods and landslides have worsened it. Communities have been facing multiple livelihood challenges during the lockdown period in the wake of Covid 19 pandemic. The developments over the last five years have led Kudumbashree to adopt a four-pronged approach to livelihood promotion among tribal communities. The approach includes promotion of farm based livelihoods and animal rearing, non-farm livelihoods, value chain based interventions in non-timber forest produce (NTFP), and interventions in marketing of farm produce and NTFP. Another major action has been in convergence with Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and Tribal Plus programme of the Government of Kerala. The achievement in enabling 200 days of work in a year out of the two programmes combined for more than 2000 job card holding families in Attappady block alone has been accepted as a model; this is being replicated in Wayanad, Kasaragod, and Idukki districts. Hamlet based planning and preparation of Village Poverty Reduction Plans (VPRP) and their integration with Grama Panchayat Development Plans (GPDP) have been other major initiatives under the tribal programme. (4) Social Interventions ‘Bridge course’ developed in Attappady and replicated in a few other locations has been a programme that the tribal communities have found extremely useful. Bridge course centres doubled as online learning facilities during the Covid 19 lockdown period in Kudumbashree’s areas of tribal interventions. Gotra Bala Sabha for children and Gotra Gurukulam for training tribal youth for competitive examinations are the other components of the programme.