Naya Sawera Vikas Kendra (NSVK)

Project Theme

Natural Resource Management

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2016 - 31 Mar 2017

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Introduction

NSVK has been working towards the empowerment of the poor and the marginalized since 1999. Born out of concern and commitment to serve the multitude living under alien and subhuman conditions, it has effectively worked through towards uplifting the conditions of the denied and the deprived. In this relentless pursuit, NSVK has initiated several interventions to meet the changing socio economic and political context and be relevant and working directly with the communities through the community based organizations and their networks. NSVK is working with Oxfam India since 2009.

The overall goal of the organization is to promote Gandhian thought and action to work towards local governance, community self-reliance and responsible governance. Jharkhand being a tribal majority state, NSVK has closely worked with the forest dwelling communities. Working with the communities NSVK has taken up their issues of access and control over natural resources.

NSVK in this struggle realized that there is a need of a systematic advocacy on this issue. The grass root mobilization will give the much needed public pressure; however there is need of involving other stakeholders and an intense advocacy at different levels. To take forward the advocacy NSVK engages itself with state and national level networks and campaigns. Apart from this at the state level NSVK has actively initiated and participated in networks and campaigns on natural resources.   

 

About the Project

The project’s goal is to improve the quality of life for marginalised tribal and poor people in India by improving access to natural resources with focuses on tenurial rights and governance of forest resources.

This project has been strategically designed to deliver a multifaceted and multidimensional impact on marginalised individuals, communities, policies and systems. The present phase of the project is aims to improve livelihoods of marginalized communities through helping them claim their rights over natural resources specifically land, minerals and energy sources. The program is focused on working with tribal and forest dwelling communities with focus of women that depend on forest land and commons for subsistence. 

During previous year under project area, project has helped in strengthening community institutions (Gram Sabha, FRC, Gram Ikai, Women led Van Palan Samiti etc) with focus of women ensuring their active participation towards preparing IFR and CFR claim, submitting of claims at SDLC and regular follow up for its recognition at SDLC and DLC level and awareness creation amongst community towards creation of organize option of NTFPs related business. 

Project has also helped the community to leverage 78.25 lac from different government schemes through convergence (MGNREGA, Irrigation Schemes, Indira Awas Yojana, Birsa Awas, PDS, etc). During the last panchayat election recognition of IFR and CFR kept as main agenda and elected representative are taking lead for this process.   

In Jharkhand, Some current specific hurdles for implementing FRA are as follows:

  • Implementation of FRA is not in priority of District Administration.
  • Unavailability of Maps and other documents required as supporting towards submission of IFR and CFR claims. Less availability of Amin (government or private)
  • Dormant participation of the SLMC in the implementation of FRA in Jharkhand.
  • Ascendancy of forest department on welfare department.

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

 

Objectives:

The overall objective of the project is to build capacity of the forest dwellers communities with focus of women to claim their right over natural resources specifically land, minerals and energy sources.

Specific objectives of the project is ‘Improved governance and implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006 as key legislation supporting access to natural resources’.

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
  • Training on developing village resource maps for claiming community forest rights
  • Training on Geographic Information system (GIS) mapping of forest boundaries for the purpose of filing claims
  • Capacity building of communities to file/ appeal for individual and community forest rights claim
  • Research study on challenges in implementing FRA at the state level
  • Training of CFMCs to prepare forest management plans including resource inventory, book keeping, preparing maps and information display board
  • Skill building training on setting up NTFP aggregation model and convergence with various government schemes
  • Training on women’s leadership in FRC and conservation & management committees
  • Development of business plan for selected MFPs upon discussion with communities
  • One NTFP based value addition and aggregation model piloted
  • Feasibility and market study on viable NTFP value chain development
  • Meetings with SDLC, DLC and to advocate for approval of forest rights claim
  • State level consultation on status of implementation of FRA
  • Learning meeting of CFMCs and 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 handholding so that the communities are able to make their own claims, make their forest management and development plans and also be able to develop & implement business plans to enhance their livelihood through strengthening NTFP value chain. Project interventions in the area of natural resource management (NRM) is aimed at increasing poor people’s rights and entitlements to natural resources in order to support and augment their livelihood. The strategy will be to achieve the outcome of poor people actualizing their forest and land rights for improved livelihoods forest dependent communities is through the implementation of Forest Right’s Act, 2006 with the help of networks and collectives at the national and state level. The organization follows a multi-pronged strategy that combines implementation of individual and community forest rights on the ground in collaboration with grass roots CSOs, alliance building and networking at state and national level to support learning and advocacy around critical issues around FRA and gathering evidence based research and knowledge dissemination.  

 

Specific results:

  • At least 70 % household and gram sabha have filed claim under Individual and Community Forest Right.
  • At least 30 % household have actualised individual Forest Right.
  • At least 20 % Gram Sabha have actualised Community Forest Right.
  • All Gram Sabha have prepared forest management plan and village level resource plan.
  • 1 aggregation / processing model of NTFP unit have been initiated.

 

Prior Achievements

  • NSVK has helped in strengthening community institutions (Gram Sabha, FRC, Gram Ikai, Women led Van Palan Samiti etc) with focus of women ensuring their active participation towards preparing IFR and CFR claim, submitting of claims at SDLC and regular follow up for its recognition at SDLC and DLC level and awareness creation amongst community towards creation of organize option of NTFPs related business
  • NSVK has been recognized and nominated by the Welfare Department, Govt. of Jharkhand as an important resource organization to provide training and support to govt. officials towards effective implementation of FRA in Jharkhand. 
  • Linkage with SDLC and DLC have been gotten strengthened and engagement of community youth and women have been increased towards demanding their right towards recognition of IFR and CFR in the project area.  Project has helped in building capacity of project implementation team towards preparation of CFR and post CFR management with help of CFR-LA. 
  • Project helped in awareness creation amongst community towards creation of organize option of NTFPs related business. It has been helped the community to understand value addition in NTFP based produce and its collectivization.
  • During 2015-16, preparation and re-documentation of 70 CFR claim for 33702 acres facilitated by project implementation team (32 CFR are at FRC level, 21 CFR are at SDLC level and 17 CFR are at DLC level for review the claim). During this quarter, project implementation team along with community representative of Gram Sabha and FRC actively followed up these claim at SDLC and DLC level. Out of 17 CFR claim submitted at DLC, 4 CFR claim have been recognized (Badki Kudi, Chapri, Barai and Taratand Village of Bokaro District) but titles are yet to be handed over to Gram Sabha. Around 10 CFR claims are going to be recognized soon as per communication received from DLC of project districts. 
  • During project period (FY 15-16) preparation and follow up of 2206 IFR claims for 2019 acres facilitated in 5 project districts (437 IFR are at FRC level, 1474 IFR are at SDLC level and 295 IFR is at DLC level for review the claim). This year 223 IFR claims recognized (till March 2016) for 126 acres and other IFR claims are under process and will be recognized on a phase wise basis in the project districts.
  • Project has also helped the community to leverage 78.25 lac from different government schemes through convergence (MGNREGA, Irrigation Schemes, Indira Awas Yojana, Birsa Awas, PDS, etc). During the last panchayat election recognition of IFR and CFR kept as main agenda and elected representative are taking lead for this process.   

  

Quotes of Beneficiaries :

“Jungle humara hai, hum hi iski raksha karenge. Samudayik aur vayaktigat vanadhikar humare roji roti ke sadhan ko majboot banayega. Hum jungle ko bachayenge aur jungle hume.” – Bhubneshwari Devi

Village- Kusumbha, Block- Vishnugarh, District- Hazaribagh  (Jharkhand)

 

Case Study

Village – Chalkari, Block – Topchanchi, District – Dhanbad (Jharkhand)

 

Background of the community (village)

Chalkari is a remote village of Dhanbad district surrounded by dense forest and situated 5 km away from the Topchaci block headquarter. The community is mainly dominated by the Birhor, Mahto and Turi. There are 60 families who are mostly landless and are totally dependent on the forest produce which are collected and sold in the local rural market . They still practice traditional agriculture methodology and leads to poor crop productivity. Other agricultural produce like pulses and vegetable are rarely grown by the producers. Due to extreme poverty and lack of information they are not able to collectively bargain and thus lose the opportunity of get the right price of the forest commodity.                                         

 

Situational analysis

NSVK started its work with support of Oxfam India towards Creating awareness amongst community about their rights under FRA 2006. At first team worked on repo building with local community and tried to assess their need. There was environment of disbelief initially as no one had any faith on materializing the forest land into IFR or CFR. The journey started in the year 2012 when 42 families received land ownership better known as IFR. All the application was supported by the valid documents substantiated with the approval of the grams sabha.  There are more application which are in the process at various level and which waits for it final approval.

 

Initiatives for change

The movement for getting the patta took momentum when due to government apathy many of the tribal dwellers reverted the land certificate to the local district office in Dhanbad. They expressed their concern that they had not received same area of land as per claim submitted. 

Initially the local district commissioner had refused to look into the matter but under the pressure from the FRC members and other village community he accepted to look into the matter. On the 24/10/2015 district commissioner came to the village for verification and came to know the actual land holding. He met with the local community leaders and had meeting to discuss the facts related to it. He had assured to send the amin for land calculation so that it would be rectified. 

In this way, community of Chalkari got their right with dignity. There are lots of hurdles still between them and their rights but initial success made them confident towards actualizing their rights.