NERCRMS bringing Waves of Transformation in North East Region of India

New Delhi : North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Society (NERCRMS) is a registered society under the aegis of North Eastern Council, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region. The society is dedicated towards the transformation of far flung rural areas of North Eastern Region (NER)of India through different livelihood initiatives. The society, so far has covered four states of NER viz. Arunachal Pradesh (Changlang, Tirap andLongdingdistricts), Assam KarbiAnglongand DimaHasaodistricts), Manipur (Ukhrul, Senapati, Churachandpur andChandeldistricts) and Meghalaya (West Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills districts). The society, since 1999, has formed 8,403 SHGs (Self Help Groups) and 2,889 NaRMGs (Natural Resource Management Groups) in 2,532 villages benefiting 1,18,843 households through its project-North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP).

The overall objective of the project is to “To improve the livelihoods of vulnerable groups in a sustainable manner through improved management of their resource base in a way that contributes to preservation and restoration of the environment”.

The society adopted a holistic approach of development with two broad focus areas i.e. (i) social mobilization, organization and capacity building to tap and realize the great latent potential of the communities by employing time tested their traditional value systems and culture, and (ii) Intervene with the economic and social activities and infrastructure with predominant thrust on income generating activities to achieve economic transformation.

The strategy adopted to achieve the goals is:

  1. Consistently promoting an inclusive development approach wherein women, weaker and the poorest participate on equal footing and platform and in the process realizing true participatory approach in letter and spirit.
  2. Formation and establishment of viable and robust community based organizations namely SHGs and NaRMGs.
  3. A deliberate and conscious approach to trust communities and entrust them with corresponding responsibilities.
  4. Promote thrift and saving through revolving fund to SHGs to provide easy access to credit, who initially had mixed purpose of loaning both for consumption and income generating activities (IGAs), but later moved on predominantly towards IGA.
  5. Ensure transparency and accountability at all levels; introduced and encouraged social auditing at all levels.
  6. All village development fund managed by the communities themselves through bank accounts and in transparent manner.
  7. Up scaling and enhancing the Income Generating Activities (IGAs) that are carried out with sensitivity.
  8. Involving Traditional Institutions (TIs) and Social Institutions (SIs) in existence to achieve set goals and objectives through a formal agreement.
  9. Capacity building and training on regular basis covering diverse areas.
  10. Provided space for people (both communities and team members) to grow and also encouraged creativity and evolvement.

Waves of transformation in North Eastern Region of India

Phase Project Villages Households NaRMGs SHGs
NERCORMP – I 860 39161 1012 3168
NERCORMP – II 460 20826 494 1589
NERCORMP – III 1212 58856 1383 3646
Total 2532 118843 2889 8403

 

  1. Capacity building of communities and participatingagencies: Institutional strengthening of community-basedorganisations (CBOs) and strengthening the capacity of participating agencies viz. NGOs, linedeptts etc. on participatory planning, organisational and financial management, technical training on farm and non-farm activities, monitoring etc.
  2. Economic and livelihoodactivities: Promote viable income generation activities (IGAs) for poor households through production of field crops, horticulture, forestry, livestock, fisheries, and non-farm activities using sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Also to support communities with introduction of new technologies, credit/revolving fund to CBOs for internal lending etc.
  3. Social sector development: The specific objective of this component was to provide communities access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation. This was to be achieved by constructing drinking water storage tanks, piped supply of water from a nearby spring or stream and construction of low cost toilets(LCL) with community participation.
  4. Rural Road sand  Rural Electrification: With the objective to enhance communities’ access to markets, health services, education facilities and energy, the component sought to construct common facility centres(CFCs),inter-village roads, culverts and suspension bridges and provide home solar lighting systems.
  5. Community-basedBio-diversityConservation & Communication:The specificobjectiveis toprotectandpreserve theuniquenaturalresources andrichbio-diversityoftheregion.Thesub-componentstoachievethis objective were:(i)bio-diversity conservation and research aimed at promoting community conserved areas(CCAs)as sacred groves, protected catch mentarea sand sanctuaries,

    (ii) forestry development to promote and demonstrate environmentally sustainable non-timber forest products (NTFP)and forestry production systems, and

    (iii)communication and knowledge management to facilitate information and knowledge sharing on good practices and production systems between communities.