Skill and small financial support, transformed livelihood

Deoghar, 4 March 2017

In rural Bharat, there are millions of families who has skills to some extent but in the absence of proper support, guidance and complex Government system compelled to live in marginality. In order, to do simplify all this Reliance Foundation, in the year 2011 conceptualise and initiated a flagship rural transformation program know as BIJ (Bharat India Jodo). Today this program has reached out to 12 States, 32 Districts, 500 villages and >50,000 families. The core working principles are Direct Action, Participatory Approach, and Sustainable Development.

Below is one of the small story of a farmer named Sultan Sekh resides in the village Pahadpur. Under the guidance of Deoghar team villages collectively organized themselves and form a Village association (VA). VA members along with other dimensions of the work focused on nurturing the existing skills of the villagers and their transformation into a meaningful livelihood options.

Sultan Sekh being an active member of Pahadpur VA restarted a poultry unit some 3 years back and left due to loss in business. It has caused due to lack in proper skill and know how and encountered heavy mortality of chicks. 

VA members helped him to re-gain his confidence and re-vival of poultry unit by getting proper training from Abhibyakti Foundation, an organisation providing training on Poultry farming. Deoghar team of Reliance Foundation has helped VA in connection with Abhivyakti Foundation. Sekh was the first person to enrolled his wife for training. After completing the training of one month built new confidence in the family and decided to restart the closed unit of poultry in the village. For this he invested Rs 10,000 in renovation of poultry house as per the dimension and shape suggested in the training. Rs 5,000/ were supported as a loan from VDF (Village Development Fund) to purchase 100 chicks.

Abhibyakti Foundation is providing handhold support to the family in timely vaccination, medicines and regular followup. Looking at the performance of the first two very successful cycles there is a prevalent hope to turn up his poultry business as a great success and will became the replicable model for the other VA members.

Gram Panchayats and Corporates for Development in India

1 March 2017

In India there are about 2.5 lakh Gram panchayats (GP) and are the key players for the local governance and take care of all the development initiatives. Under the three tier arrangement of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Gram panchayats are at the base, and headed by Sarpanch as it’s elected head. Constitutional body of Gram Panchayat comprises of Panch or Ward Members elected by all the adult citizens of their respective wards. The Sarpanch, all the Ward Members and Gram Sevak (Panchayat Sachiv), who is appointed by Government to support democratically elected body to perform major functions as:

  1. Implementation of welfare plans
  2. Social justice and development
  3. Upliftment of womene
  4. Economic development,d
  5. Development of infrastructure such as roads, waterways, etc.
  6. Ensuring social justice,
  7. Making arrangement for drinking water,
  8. Improvement in agricultural methods,
  9. Development of improved irrigation methods,
  10. Development of small-scale, cottage and food-processing units,
  11. Eradication of poverty,
  12. Housing for rural people,
  13. Making arrangement for elementary and secondary education facilities for rural children,
  14. Fight illiteracy and encourage adults to learn to read and write,
  15. Improvement in hygiene and sanitation, etc.

Even these functions doesn’t limit the scope of work, GPs can stretched to take up other tasks as well suitable for the welfare and development of the people and region.

However, Government provide enough financial resources for the development but still many GPs are struggling to get the sufficient support not only to have money but how to put available budget in proper use. 

Corporates under their CSR initiatives can proactively support eligible GPs in nurturing their capacities on making holistic, self-reliant and sustainable developmental plans, hand-hold support in making and designing technical plans, projects formation and bringing in dimension of Project Management. 

It is high time to work in association for Corporates with especially backward GPs. One has to take initiative so that left over areas of the country (low in HDI) also became active contributor in the country development.


Vegetables for Nutrition Self-sufficiency

Gangakhed, 25 Feb 2017

Vegetables are essential components of the balance diet, and helps us to maintain nutrients balance in the body. Reliance Foundation under it’s flagship  BIJ (Bharat India Jodo) program, focusses on nutrition self-sufficiency through vegetables, and have developed easy method known as RNG (Reliance Nutrition Garden). 

Usually as first step community is made aware about the significance of vegetables in meeting the required nutrients. Taking it forward, yesterday ‘Vegetable Fair’ was organised by Limbewadi village association in the school campus in collaboration with Zilla Parishad. 

The major focus was on knowldge building, group work,  information sharing about the benefits of eating vegetables in daily diet, etc.

In the program 49 students along with more than 100 villagers had participated. During the day, a group exercise was conducted to sensitize children about money, profit and loss in rural economy. In which, children were divided into different groups and each group was asked to bring different types of vegetables. The major nutrients available in the vegetable that they have brought were narrated, and students sold these vegetables during the fair to the teachers and other participants of the near by villages.

At the end of the program information on nutrition security and how RNG can easily help in meeting the daily needs of the fresh vegetables was elaborately discussed. Seasonality, list of locally grown vegetables, and methods of cultivation were covered. Further, major nutrient deficiency symptoms in the body and by eating which vegetables can be replenish were discussed. Students felt very confident and committed to have RNGs in their backyard and consumption of vegetables in their daily diet.