Saathi Samaj Sevi Sanstha (SSSS)

Project Theme

Natural Resource Management

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2015 - 31 Mar 2016

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Introduction

Kondagaon block helping artisan community to develop their skills in order to strengthen their livelihood. SAATHI has also set up community facilitation centres (CFCs) in selected villages, where artisan can access basic facilities like electricity, upgraded tools, technical assistance to improve their designs and products. In the course of time, SAATHI recognize that the real problem with marginalized artisan community is not of upgraded techniques and market linkages but of no control over natural resources, which is the sole basis of their crafts and arts. Shrinking base of resources and its exploitation for short commercial gains, and that largely by the outsiders cause deprivation for the artisans. They have to depend on market supply and that too on exorbitant cost, forcing them to reduce their margin of profit. Since the local community has no rights over natural resources, they can’t exercise any control on its use and also can’t manage the resources in long run.  Contrary to that due to mindless exploitation of forest resources for commercial use, mining and industrial purpose, the forest resources have depleted and further marginalized the community dependent on it. 

Apart from agriculture, dependence on forest for collection of minor forest produce, nistari, grazing for livestock, fishing and other related activities is crucial for the community. But over time, community’s control over and access to forest areas have been restricted due to certain reason. One reason among the lack of awareness regarding legislations such as The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 and the Panchayats Extension to Schedule Areas (PESA) Act, 1996 under which communities and Gram Sabha can exercise rights over natural resources in their neighborhood. Community’s inability to some extent demanding the rights as enshrined in the said laws are one of the grave roadblock in accessing the resources and exercise control over it.

Kondagaon lies in the middle of the national highway which link state capital with the port city of Vishakhapatnam, which passes through mystic Adivasi region of Bastar, which is centre of unrest due to State-Maoist conflict. Being a small town Kondagaon still remains as the centre of traditional art and craft, where around 1000 families of artisans live and eke out their bread through traditional craft-making. 

 

About the Project:                    

The theme of the project is to empower the Adivasis of Kondagaon district economically by strengthening their source of livelihood which largely based on forest. The proposed initiative supported by Oxfam India aligns with their strategic intervention of bringing Economic Justice for adivasi community in Chhattisgarh as ensuring their right to Natural Resource Management. 

 

In the locations where SAATHI proposed to work, adivasi community has been deprived of basic services and access to forest for their bonafide livelihood needs. Though, they have been provided with labour work under NREGS and subsidized ration from PDS, but not sufficient for being self-reliant.

Through the proposed project, SAATHI intended to aware the adivasi and artisan community to demand their rights over forest. Develop the community institutions to govern the control and management of forest and can ensure better supply of resources for their craft and art which in turn strengthen their livelihood. 

 

Results to be Achieved / Impact: 

To build awareness among the marginalized community, especially Adivasis about their right to natural resources as envisages in laws like FRA and PESA.  

To empower the village institutions of the community, such as craft cooperatives, Gram Sabha, Forest Rights Committees, and community forest management committees to govern and practice control over natural resources.  

To demand accountability from enforcement agencies responsible for facilitating rights of the community over natural resources, including forest rights. 

Advocate for facilitating public investment and policy for strengthening natural resource based livelihood, particularly tribal-craft and art through control and management over forest. 

 

Outcomes: We have so far achieved (Achivements):

Since it’s a new project, there is no outcome achieved so far.