Strategic Thrust -1:  People’s Empowerment through LSGI

 

KERALA

1.1    Implementation of Government Schemes:

Orientation camps were organised in association with four People’s Development Organisations (PDOs) on various governmental welfare schemes. A booklet on Government schemes applicable to Kerala was printed during the previous reporting period and the same is being distributed among key members of organisations and functionaries of the Village Panchayats (VP). The booklet has become a key source of information and awareness building on and about government welfare schemes.

 

The list of beneficiaries was prepared and the applications to obtain the benefit under Balika Samridhi Yojana, Widow Pension, Pradhan Mantri Rojagar Yojana (PMRY) were submitted by village information centres. The fellows did constant follow up with the beneficiaries and the concerned department in order to avail the benefit. 76 men and women have benefited under the above schemes. The list of beneficiary was confirmed by the Gram Sabha (village council).  Necessary forms were distributed, filled up and same submitted to the VP for obtaining the benefits under NREGA.

                                                                                             

1.2    Strengthening Gram Sabha:

The fellows are playing a facilitating role towards the strengthening of the Gram Sabha (GS). The fellows have become a supporting hand between the Village Panchayat (VP) and Gram Sabha of the local panchayats. The fellows in association with the VP played a key role in motivating the people to attend and participate in the Gram Sabha. The fellows contribution in the gram sabha has resulted into qualitative and quantitative participation and better follow up. This process has also strengthened the co-operative relation with the panchayats. The list of beneficiaries was finalised by the working committee of the concerned panchayats. Ms. M. Geetha, a fellow, who is one of the working committee members played a crucial role in identifying the true beneficiaries for the confirmation by the working committee. Accordingly the village Panchayat notified the names for discussion by the gram Sabha. Thereafter the forms were distributed to avail the benefit for the deserving beneficiaries.

 

1.3    Village Cleaning Drive:

The Kerala State had faced a severe epidemic problem of ‘Chiken Guniya’ during the monsoon season of 2007. It was one of the biggest threat to human life in the state. In the worst affected areas the army was called in to prevent and arrest the further spread of Chiken Gunia. The 5 Pos work area in which village cleaning programmes were organised suffered less impact from Chiken Gunia. The village cleaning drive is one of the task/ programme towards making an ideal village. The drives were organised in 20 POs on Oct. 2nd, 2007; Nov. 13th 2007, Dec. 20th, 2007 and March 11th, 2008. The hospitals, primary-middle-high schools, playgrounds, exercise grounds, market area and other common centre were cleaned.  164 village volunteers, primarily the PO members took active part in the cleaning drive.

 

Strategic Thrust 2:  People’s right over Natural Resources

KERALA

2.1    Land to Landless:

A fresh survey of landless families was conducted by the fellow, Ms. M. Geetha. She identified and made a detailed list of 40 landless families in her five village area around Ambalpuzha. The landless are deprived of availing various benefits from the bank and the government because of not having assets like land. Continuous follow up between the beneficiaries, village panchayats and the revenue department were made in order to get land for the landless in the area of 4 PDOs. Necessary applications were submitted to the village Panchayat and concerned department with a copy to the state-minister Mr. G. Sudhakaran. Total of 38 families submitted the application in prescribed Performa for the land. Application on behalf of 40 families was submitted.

 

2.2    Participation in State Level Conference at Madurai (Tamilnadu):

Mr. Joseph Karoor, Advisor Swaraj-Kerala, Ms. M. Geetha, fellows and Ms. Jiji Haridas, Co-ordinator NNSS took part in the state level river conference which was held on Jan 11-13, 2008 at Madurai. The social activists, environmentalists from Tamilnadu had taken part in this conference and shared their concerns over the growing degradation of rivers and other water bodies in Tamilnadu State. It was a good learning opportunity for the participants from Kerala.

 

2.3    Participation in 3rd National River Conference:

14 people which included fellows and river basin activist/ scientist participated in 3rd National River Conference held on Feb. 16-18, 2008 at Sevagram (Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram). Six papers on following themes /subjects were present from the Kerala side at the conference-

1.         Environmental Problems of Muvattupuzha River (Kerala)

2.         Dams and Rivers of Central Kerala: Time to Rethink River Basin Development

3.         The Degradation of River in Kerala & Its Environmental Impact

4.         Athirappally Dam Struggle in Kerala: Triggers the Need for River Basin Restoration

5.         The Status of Kerala Rivers

6.         The Holy River Pampa: Crying Out for Help

2.4    Village Conservation Committee:

The VCC of Santhampara PDO undertook the production of organic farming in the area with special thrust to prepare organic manure. The surrounding has more cultivation of various spices. The proper training for making organic manures was imparted through the spice board. The board gave subsidy of Rs. 1500/- per earthworm pit of the size of 10x3 fts to six farmers. The committee has decided to include more farmers in this programme. 

 

Strategic Thrust - 3:  Gender Equality

 

KERALA

3.1    Women Education : 

The 100% literacy/education among the women is one of the key target towards making an ideal village. Three women education centres in Ambalpuzha PDO, two each in Chadayimangalam PDO, Angadi PDO and Santhampada PDO are run in which 46 women are taking part. They have been motivated to learn the alphabets and basic reading and writings. This centre has also become a centre of rural women where they share their domestic agony, feelings, experiences, dreams, plans etc. Such sharing provides them opportunity of leanings from each ones reflection and togetherness. The women education centre also enables the women to improve the functioning of the ‘Grameen Mahila Manch’ (GMM), Self Help Group (SHG).

 

3.2    Meeting of the GMM & SHG:  

The following meeting of various SHGs held during the reporting period with the aim to improve its overall functioning.

 

SHG

Date of Meeting

POs Name

Production/ Sales

Annapurna

14th Dec. 2007

Komana

Garments

Vandana

25th Jan. 2008

Kukkazhom West

Umbrella

Shree Raman

21St Feb. 2008

Komana West

Food stall

Pruthawi

26th Feb. 2008

4th March 2008

Komana

Curry Powder, Soap and soap powder

 

The Shree Raman SHG was formed on 2nd Oct. 2007 by the PO, Komana west. 16 women are member of it. This new SHG meets on every Thursday. The Vandana SHG was form on 3rd Oct. 2007 in which 15 women are the members. This SHG meets on every Saturday.

 

3.3    Propagation of prevention of domestic violence act & Child Act:

The Santhampara PDO organised series of awareness programme like workshop, training camps, talk, etc. to propagate the Act. The Act ensures the domestic violence free life of the women. The services of district probationary officers were availed in imparting training of the Act. Ms. Jiji Haridas, fellow got intensive training and learning about the Act in the training programme organised by the state authority.

 

3.4    Vocational training for women

A two-days training camp on paper bag making was conducted by Santhampara PDO jointly with Bapuji Krishi Vigyan Kendra on Nov. 15- & 16, 2007. 53 women from 5 PO participated in this camp.

 

Another similar training programme was conducted on January 16-17, 2008 to learn Banana Fibre Striating and article making. It was organised by the Santhampara PDO jointly with Bapuji Krishi Vigyan Kendra.

 

Another similar training programme was organised to teach Folder Making, X-Ray Cover Making, Chock Making and Screen Printing on Jan. 2 to 26th March 2008 at Panchayat hall Santhampara. 48 women members from 5 POs took part in this training course.

 

A tailoring centre is running at Santhampara PDO office imparting tailoring skill to the needy girls and women.

 

Strategic Thrust - 4:  Strengthening PO, PDOs and Self-reliance of the Village

KERALA

 

4.1    Village information centre:

The village information centre has been opened in all PDO to enable members of POs to obtain the benefit of various welfare scheme of the government. The centre assigns and imparts training in the benefit of members and filling various forms for getting the benefits. The following benefits were obtained because of centres efforts-

Type of Benefits

Nos.

Position Certificate      

134

Income Certificate       

50

Ownership Certificate

29

Residential Certificate

20

Widows Pension         

9

Agricultural Labour Pension

20

General Petition          

24

 

4.2    Distribution of RTI books

The Santhampara PDO distributed a book on Right to Information Act published by Govt. of Kerala. Ms. Jiji Haridas took training on the RTI organised by District Information Office of the state government.

 

4.3    Case Study

Finally Bindu Rajesh got the House Number & Electricity Connection

One day, Ms. Bindu Rajesh from Ten-acre PO approach to village info centre run by Santhampara PDO. She narrated her story that not getting house no. from the panchayat. She built a small houses 2 ½ years before but haven’t got electricity connection due to not having the house number allotted by the VP. The Panchayat stating two reasons behind not allotting the house number- 1). The land document was in the name of her mother and  2). Asking her to submit plan of house dully signed by a engineer. The engineer was asking a hefty fee to do so which poor lady was not able to pay. The Village Information Centre (VIC) took the case and prepared an application in the name of her mother with the statement that the house was built before 31 June 2007. She also raised her firmness to application that the issue will be raised with the help of PO members in the forthcoming meeting of the gramsabha. She got the house number with a week and electricity connection within a month with this approach of village information centre.

 

4.1    Strengthening PO-PDOs:

Monthly meeting of the GB & EC of the PO-PDO were organised to review the progress and plan to fill the gaps. Such meetings have also discuss time to time about the progress of activity like- Implementation Of Governmental Welfare Schemes, Land To Landless, Village Cleaning Drives, Women Education Centre, Village Conservation Committee, Grameen Mahila Manch, Strengthening Village Panchayat and participation in various programme at state, regional and national level.

 

Seven state level fellows meet was organised with the aim to review the progress and plan accordingly. In some of the meeting Kumar Kalanand Mani, Project Director and Mr. Paulraj, Co-ordinator Swaraj Tamilnadu (special charge to Kerala) was also present. Mr. Paulraj also visited and hold meeting with the functionaries of PO & PDO in Angadi, Santhampara, Ambalpuzha and Chadayimangalam.