Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s leading civil society organisation, Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) while celebrating its 37th Foundation Day on 24th March felicitated the Community Based Organisations (CBOs) for their outstanding contribution by setting examples for others in hard to reach tribal areas of the State. A tribal women led Producer Company in Koraput district for protecting women farmers and collectors of non-timber forest products from distress sale; one Water and Sanitation Committee of a tribal village in Malkangiri district for efficiently managing their Water ATM and reducing the potable/drinking water crisis; a Tribal Youth Club in Raygada district for making their village smart and a model in the district; and one School Management Committee (SMC) in Mayurbhanj district for their exceptional contribution towards ensuring quality learning in their local school, were felicitated during the occasion.
Tupijhola stream is the only source of water for human beings and animals of Chillipadar, a forest fringe tribal village of Khairaput block in Malkangiri district. 57 tribal families face acute drinking water problem during summer. CYSD, in 2017, introduced a solar motorised water ATM project to resolve this gigantic issue, Khairaput being its programme area. Each family of the village paid Rs 100 and received an Water ATM card and continued to paid Re 1 per day for each 20 litres of purified water on a regular basis. Later, CYSD facilitated to form a Water Sanitation Committee in the village and the committee sensitised the community on sanitation issues. Now the committee managing the water ATM well and ensuring that every family gets required potable water daily. “We used to confront much difficulty to fetch potable water during summer from distant sources. Now, the water ATM, with the support of CYSD, has resolved the issue and we will continue to operate, maintain and manage it a sustained manner. As of now, a total of Rs 4000 user fee is collected and deposited in our Committee’s bank account and this money will be used for maintenance and minor repair of the water ATM”, says, Dhabulu Palasi, the President of Chillipadar Water Sanitation Committee.
Tribal women farmers and collectors of non-timber forest products had no other way than selling their products with low price to the middlemen in Koraput district. CYSD, in 2017, initiated to form 256 producer groups in five blocks of Laxmipur, Kundra, Boipariguda, Narayanpatna and Bandhugoan for collectivising the tribal products through collective action. Moreover, the NGO segregated the tribal women producer groups and facilitated for formation of Producer Company in respective block level to check the distress sale of the tribal products. In this process, ‘Maulimaa Producer Company’ in Kundura block sensitized the producer groups about the exploitation of the middlemen and they collected the products directly from 65 producer groups in the Block and ensured value addition in the products to sell in the higher market. “Presenty, 403 tribal producer women have become the members of our company and they are able sell their products in the higher market with a better price through the company. More than 400 tribal producer women are getting benefits out of this company” says, Ms. Pramila Krishan, the Chairperson of “Maulimaa Producer Company”. In this fiscal year, the company invested its own capital amount of Rs 5,65,000 and have set a target of 40 percent increase in the annual family earning of all its members.
Irregularity of students attendance and drop out in “Padiabeda Upper Primary School” in tribal Block of Thakurmunda of Mayurbhanj was a major issue identified during the intervention of the NGO in the area. CYSD team facilitated the School Management Committee (SMC) and sensitised the members of the committee on their roles and responsibilities. The committee identified the educational issues in the village and started an awareness drive for cent percent enrolment and attendance in the school. They also appealed before the District Administration to appoint teachers as per the Right to Education norms. The committee mobilised local villagers/guardians to start vegetable cultivation in one acre of land in the school premises to ensure that nutritious foods are served to students in mid day meal program. Further, the SMC initiated a ‘sanitation drive’ in the school campus and made the surrounding clean, green and student-friendly, resulting which the committee was recognised by the District Administration in 2017 for this exemplary work of SMC.
“Gopabandhu Youth Club” of Imaliguda village under Kolanara block of Rayagada district, played a significant role to drive local self governance process forward in the area. The youth club along with Self Help Groups, child club and farmers’ club strived persistently to see their village smarter than any other. Regularly, they are trying to make the village child labour free and set an agenda that no one can get marriy before the legal age of 18 years. They are successful in ensuring hundred per cent enrolment of children in the school, facilitating entitlements benefits, like pension for all the senior citizens, widows and differently abled-persons in their community.
“This year, on the occasion of its 37th Foundation Day celebration, CYSD felicitated a few community based organisations for their achievements. Undoubtedly, they are the real role models in the hard to reach areas. Currently, CYSD is directly working with 37,000 families in 28 blocks of 8 tribal dominated districts and striving to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)- agenda 2030 and this can only be possible through inclusion and active involvement of the poor, deprived, marginalised and weaker communities in the local governance system”, says Jagadananda, Mentor & Co-founder of CYSD.