Badlao Foundation (BF)

Project Theme

Natural Resource Management

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2016 - 31 Mar 2017

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Introduction

Badlao foundation was borne out of a contextual necessity of people whose land was submerged in water due to construction of Maithon dam on Barkar river in early fifties. The displacement created hige problems of livelihood for the affected people and Badlao Foundation organised them to promote non farm income generating activities like sericulture and got affiliated to Khadi and Village Industries Commission in 1984. Since then the organisation has contonouslu expanded its efforts to empower people for social transformationto achieve self reliance and gender justice.

Badlao believes that for effective intervention it is imperative to build community based organisations which can undertake the task of development. Badlao foundation has extended its operations in six districts of Santhal Pargana region and has interventions in the sectors of agriculture development, health nutrition and sanitation, women empowerment and gender justice, education and advocacy. Organization’s larger mission is to empower people for social transformation to achieve self reliance and social justice. For the organisation, “equality” is a belief in “equal opportunity” and “dignity of every individual” irrespective of birth, gender etc. 

Working with one of the most marginalised communities in Jharkhand- the Santhals and Pahariyas, Badlao Foundation has realised that any improvement in their lives has to be based on a process of empowerment  and realisation of rights. Thus it works in remote locations to organise these communities to come together and take benefits of Government schemes. Badlao also engages systematically in advocacy having a strong network of partners and is often the voice of the Pahariya communities in the region in the conservation of natural resources on which these communities so heavily depend upon. 

 

About the Project

The goal of the project is- marginalized communities will have improved livelihoods through rights over natural resources. The present phase of the project aims to improve livelihoods of marginalized community by helping them claim their rights over natural resources. The program is focused on working with tribal and other forest dwelling communities with focus on women. 

 

Objectives:

The overall objective of the project is to build capacity of the forest dwelling communities to claim their right over natural resources with focus of women, specifically land and Non Timber Forest Produce (NTFP).

 

Specific objectives of the project are:

1.Improved implementation of- The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 -and control over natural resources.

2.Promotion of NTFP based livelihoods.

 

The project will be implemented in 21 villages of Sunder Pahari Block of Godda district (Jharkhand). Badlao Foundation has been working in this area for more than a decade and has been trying to make the community conscious of their rights on natural resources. It has been mobilizing public opinion to impress upon the government to concede the demand of allowing community control over forests. However, given the state of affairs in Jharkhand, the process of claims and according rights has been quite slow. As per government record, till 31st January, 2016, total 41691 and 1434 titles under IFR and CFR respectively have been approved. Although, the number of claims approved have increased, but still these are only half of the total claims submitted. 

In Godda district of Jharkhand, some specific hurdles for implementing FRA and recognition of IFR and CFR claims are as follows:

•Implementation of FRA is not a priority of District Administration. 

•Rejection of claims are often happening on faulty interpretation of law.

•Unavailability of Maps and other documents required as supporting towards submission of IFR and CFR claims.

•Lack of Amins (government or private) 

•Ascendancy of forest department on tribal welfare department. 

 

In the above context, the previous phase of the project was designed to work on the forest rights issue and natural resource management with a focus on preparation and recognition of community forest rights. This was ensured by organizing the target communities to demand their entitlements under FRA and sensitizing the major constituency and stakeholders who are involved in the entire process of change. The community was empowered to claim their individual and community rights under FRA. 

The present phase of the project is designed to work with the community to strengthen the community level institutions towards ensuring increased and active participation of women thereby preparing and filing new IFR / CFR claim and post CFR management. This year, the project implementation team will focus on increasing community awareness towards promotion of NTFP based livelihoods and establishment of rural business unit to make community economically empowered. During formation of rural business unit for aggregation and processing of NTFP, project implementation team will ensure the active participation of women in management and decision making.

This would be achieved by undertaking the following set of activities – 

•Capacity building of gram sabha and Forest Right Committee (FRC) members regarding legal provisions of FRA and claiming IFR / CFR 

•Support towards arranging village maps for preparation of claims and village resource mapping 

•Training of FRCs to prepare forest management plans including resource inventory, book keeping, preparing maps and information display board 

•Skill building training on setting up a NTFP aggregation model / processing unit 

•Support cost for creating one NTFP based aggregation model / collection centre and its linkage with market 

•Refresher training on strengthening a NTFP aggregation model / processing unit 

•Training on women’s leadership in FRC 

•Half yearly meetings with SDLC, DLC and to advocate for approval of forest rights claim.

•Documentation on best practices and challenges towards implementation of FRA in Sunderpahari, Godda

•Experience sharing meeting of FRC forum on sharing best practices, challenges and future strategies.

 

Results to be Achieved

The organization aims to empower the community through capacity building and supporting the communities to make their own claims, forest management and development plans. This will enable them to develop and implement business plans and to enhance their livelihood through strengthening NTFP value chain. Project interventions in the area of natural resource management (NRM) is aimed at increased access to entitlements to natural resources. 

 

To contribute to the aim, organizational approach would be:

•Strengthening community and their institutions 

•Strengthening network and alliances

•Gender mainstreaming

•Engagement with media, think tanks, academic institutions

•Evidence based research

•Use of ICT

 

Specific results:

•At least 50 % household and gram sabhas have filed claim under Individual and Community Forest Right.

•At least 30 % household have actualized Individual Forest Right.

•At least 20 % gram sabhas have actualized Community Forest Right.

•All 21 gram sabhas have prepared forest management plan and village level resource plan.

•One aggregation / processing model of NTFP unit has been initiated.

•Increased participation of women in trainings and other community initiatives.

•Increased participation of women in decision making in FRC and other community institutions.

 

Prior Achievements

  • Project has helped in building capacity of the team members and community institutions towards demanding rights and control of tribal and other forest dwelling communities over forest and natural resources. During special drive of FRA campaign, Department of Welfare, Government of Jharkhand engaged Badlao Foundation team members as local resource team.
  • Project helped in sensitizing tribal and other forest dwellers and their village level institutions (FRC, gram sabha etc.) about the provisions and process of filing claim for recognition of IFR and CFR. The organization identified 110 local youth and groomed them as local resource for filing claims more efficiently. 
  • Linkage with SDLC and DLC have been strengthened and engagement of youth and women have increased towards demanding their right towards recognition of IFR and CFR in the project area.  The project has helped in creating awareness among the community towards creation of organized option of NTFPs related business. It has helped the community to understand the value addition in NTFP based product and its aggregation.
  • As on 31st March, 2016, 553 IFR claims prepared and submitted to SDLC. First time in Sunder Pahari 55 IFR claims have been recognized and title were given to community. During this period 138 IFR claims have been rejected. Project implementation team is facilitating the process of resubmission of these claims. 
  • Under CFR claims, 4 claims were finalized during last year and submitted to FRC for their recommendation and further submission to SDLC. Other 11 CFR claims are in process. Its mapping and rearrangement of documentation is going on. Community is trying to collect maps from government for completing these claims. 
  • Project has also helped around 900 families to leverage benefit from different government schemes through convergence (MGNREGA, agriculture, Irrigation, Indira Awas Yojana, Janani Suraksha Yojana, PDS, etc). 

 

Quotes of Beneficiaries :

“We will claim our community forest right. We will have to save our forest to save our life”. 

– Narendra Pahariya (Village - Tadobandh, Block- Sunderpahari, District- Godda (Jharkhand)

 

Case Study

Name:  Devicharan Tudu                                                                                     

Village: Tilabad

Panchayat: Tilabad

Block: Sundarpahari

District: Godda, Jharkhand

Devicharan Tuddu belong to tribal community. He lives with his wife, a daughter and a son in Tilabad village of Sunderpahari block (Godda). A total of two hundred and fifty families reside in Tilabad. He owns 0.40 acre of land. His main source of livelihoods is dependent upon farming(on 0.4 acre of land) and collection of NTFP from nearest forest. It was in 2014 when Devicharan for the first time participted in one of the village level awareness programme organized by Badlao Foundation. During meeting he admitted the fact that he had to work very hard to cultivate crop in his field but as he had no documentary proof of legal ownership of the land faced exploitation from ground staff of forest department. After the awareness programme he showed his immediate intrest to claim IFR for his land. Project team of Badlao Foundation helped him in preparing IFR claim and arrange supporting documents. He applied IFR claim in December 2014. After several followup, Devicharan was finally able to received IFR title for 0.40 acres of land (Khata no-45, Dag no-716). Now he has started cultivating paddy, maize and pigeon pea in this land. In the previous crop season for the first time he was able to get quality maize seed as subsidy from agricultre department on production of the ownership certificate of his land. 

Overwhelmd and motivated by his own success, Devicharan helped thirty nine other families of Tilabad to file IFR claim. As on 31st March, 2016 total 18 families received joint title under IFR in Tilabad. Now Devicharan is happy and also have started saving a part of his income for education of his children. He along with other villagers of Tilabad are preparing CFR claims with support of project staff of Badlao Foundation.