Chhattisgarh

Partners

  • Lokshakti Samiti, working in Raigarh and Jashpur Districts
  • Sarguja Grameen Vikas Sanstha (SGVS), working in Sarguja district
  • Vardaan Samajik Sanstha, working in Rajnandgaon District
  • Margdarshak Sewa Sanstha (MSS), working in Sarguja district

  • Most of these villages have a fairly high share of ST or SC communities in the population. Overall, roughly about half the population is tribal

  • There is significant outmigration from the areas during the lean season in search of employment. 

  • The villages are poor and backward and people are under-nourishedand and have a fairly high level of indebtedness driven by poverty

  • There has been a lack of sufficient awareness among Gram Panchayat functionaries about the provisions of MGNREGA. 

  • While the areas have a rich resource base, the potential of this resource base is underutilized. For example, barring the areas of Lokshakti Samiti’s operation (Jashpur and Raigarh districts), Gross Irrigated Area as a percentage of Gross Sown Area is below 10%. Overall, this share is below 20%

  • A majority of the population is dependent on agriculture and agriculture labour as its primary occupation and secondary occupation

Work Done and Impacts

  • All partners began work by doing a baseline survey to ascertain the situation of NREGA in their chosen panchayats.

    Late Pratapbhai of  Sarguja Grameen Vikas Sanstha leading a village planning exercise on MGNREGA

    Late Pratapbhai of Sarguja Grameen Vikas Sanstha leading a village planning exercise on MGNREGA

  • Meetings and rallies were held in all selected villages. For example, Lokshakti Samiti also held rallies on NREGAin 14 villages of its area (where it is working intensively with the GPs). These rallies involved school children, youth clubs, women, anganwadi workers, panchayat members, sarpanchs and ward members and village persons, who participated in large numbers

  • Vardaan organized a massive Gaon Garib Samvad Yatra which covered 80 villages of Churia Block in Rajanandgaon district. This Yatra provided the platform on which intense contact was made with panchayat members, panchayat functionaries and village people in which the message of employment guarantee as a right was reinforced.

    At the Gaon-Garib Samvaad Yatra organized by Vardaan

    At the Gaon-Garib Samvaad Yatra organized by Vardaan

  • Vardaan also prepared an audio cassette of songs on MGNREGA which drives home the message of the act along with the need for people to come together to use this act for their development

  • MSS organized a huge padyatra covering 45 villages of Prem Nagar Block in which nearly 10,000 people participated. The padyatra focussed on the provisions of NREGA and how people must come forward to use it as a right.

The task that partners took upon themselves in their awareness campaigns and meetings was to tell people that they must come forward and demand work from the panchayat. This simple agenda had dramatic impacts:

    • Across all panchayats, there was a 34-fold rise in the demand for work from a mere 211 job applications in 56 villages to over 7,000 work demand applications.

    • The rise was equally dramatic in all partner villages, showing that lack of work demand and indifference among the people about the act was indeed ubiquitous.

    • These figures cited above relate to the selected panchayats where partners have worked intensively. However, the impact of their efforts have been more widespread. For instance, during the Gaon Garib Samwad Yatra organized by Vardaan, more than 9,000 work applications were generated and submitted to the concerned gram panchayats in the course of a month.

    • Work sanctioned and started rose 3-fold in all. In Sarguja district, these numbers have to be contrasted with a very low initial base. In Rajanandgaon, Jashpur and Raigarh, while work demand existed, it needed to be stepped up.

The Lokshakti team surveys a site for possible interventions

The Lokshakti team surveys a site for possible interventions

A pond deepened under MGNREGA in Kesala village, Pusor Block, Raigarh District by the Panchayat with support from Lokshakti Samiti

A pond deepened under MGNREGA in Kesala village, Pusor Block, Raigarh District by the Panchayat with
support from Lokshakti Samiti

 

  • Overall, the efforts of consortium partners led to a 7-fold rise in the value of works sanctioned in the gram panchayats from Rs.97 lakhs to Rs.7 crores.

  • In terms of works implemented, the rise was lower but equally dramatic from Rs.73 lakhs to Rs.2.81 crores, or about 4 times

  • In three locations (Wardrafnagar, Sarguja; Pathalgaon, Jashpur and Chhuria, Rajnandagaon)  partners got together with Gram Panchayats and made detailed action plans for all villages. This followed intensive PRA exercises, meetings and surveys.

  • Total micro-plans worth Rs.7.71 crores were made in these 3 locations

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