Ranchi, Jan. 6: The terminal evaluation of state-level livelihood promotion strategies has stressed the need to replicate successful rural experiments in a cluster of districts to the rest of Jharkhand.
“Gobardhan Munda of Janum village in Ranchi district till recently used to work in brick kilns for a meagre daily wage of Rs 80 and that too not on regular basis. Now, he works in his own farms and makes Rs 40,000 to Rs 45,000 in one agriculture season. He is now our resource person and an inspirer for the peer group,” Mott Macdonald project manager Nabaneeta Rudra has stated in her final evaluation report.
She claimed that several multinational companies were now eager to hire Munda, but he preferred working in his own farm.
Similar success stories have been reported from other districts as well.
The areas where barely one or two crop was produced in a year are now having several harvesting seasons.
Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society introduced the project in question in 2008 with active support from National Rural Livelihood Mission and UNDP.
Over 477 villages spread over five districts — Ranchi, Pakur, West Singhbhum, Palamu and Hazaribagh — were taken up on a pilot basis.
The project ended on December 31, 2012.
Mott Macdonald has done the evaluation work.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will soon be requested to set up a technical resource unit in Jharkhand to replicate the success.
Under this project, 673 new self-help groups (SHG) were formed and 1,549 old SHGs were revised. Village development committees and joint livelihood groups, too, were formed.
It also introduced capacity building training for the panchayati raj institutions concerned.
The villagers were told about the benefits of bamboo craft, off-season vegetable cultivation, drip irrigation, poly nurseries, seed multiplication technologies, poultry farming, dairy development, et al.
“In Satbarwa village of Vishrampur block in Palamau, 91 hand pumps were repaired within two weeks. The agriculture productivity has improved, but we also need to extend proper marketing facilities. Regular supply of seeds, too, needs to be taken care of,” Rudra added.
Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society chief executive officer Paritosh Upadhyay added that in a short span of three years his society had demonstrated several prototype livelihood models with greater use of technologies, which were working as catalysts for eliminating poverty in the state.
His society’s area of functioning expanded to conceptualisation and execution of several flagship projects such as National Rural Livelihood Mission, Sanjivani, Johar, model villages and Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Yojana.
“The UNDP is now working on its future plans in Jharkhand for the next five years. These would be finalised within two to three months. The UNDP officials were highly impressed with our achievements. The state’s development commissioner, Debashish Gupta, has also assured us of all help,” said Upadhyay.