Dignity of Life through Sustainable Livelihood
Kodasiya Gram Panchayat is located in Lailunga block of Raigarh District. While 95% of households primarily depend on agriculture, only 5% have irrigation facilities. The villagers mainly relied on rainfall for cultivation. The farmers were facing problems due to the degradation of natural resources and low agricultural production. The water conservation approach in cultivation was in high demand. The groundwater recharge was low due to sloppy and undulating terrain and high run-off. A Cluster Facilitation Team (CFT) project was launched in 2015–2016 where panchayat, women self-help groups, line departments and civil society organizations came together to help the community to develop their village development plan.
Women collectives and panchayats initiated the awareness programs at the village through an inclusive planning process using participatory rural appraisal. They actively participated and ensured the proper implementation of work through regular monitoring. In total, 207 works were undertaken by the Gram Panchayat at a total cost of Rs. 53.72 lakhs under MGNREGA. Individual irrigation infrastructures like water harvesting systems were created by 28 households on their private land for agriculture purposes. The horticulture department has undertaken plantation works on 7 acres of common land. The NABARD-TDF WADI project supported for irrigation facility and vegetable cultivation on 66 acres of mango and cashew orchards. Additionally, the horticulture department undertook 20 acres of fruit plantation. The agriculture department has assisted 60 farmers to go for System of Rice Intensification
(SRI) as well as pulses and oilseed cultivation. Overall, 28 SHGs and village organizations were supported through the financial inclusion process of NRLM.
Construction of farm ponds, wells and soil conservation works like land leveling and bunding has helped in groundwater recharging. The area under cultivation has increased to 395 acres with more than 70% of the families cultivating paddy under SRI, oils seeds and pulses, and cash crops like tomato, chili, etc. In total, 60 households have an annual household income in the range of Rs. 80,000–1,00,000. Individual asset creation helped the community to have farm-based livelihood options, which secured their food availability as well as enabled them to live a life with dignity.
“We have a farm pond that helps us to grow paddy and vegetables. Now, I am helping other women to have their assets. My income has increased from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 1,00,000 per year. I am quite happy with the outcome of the project”. —Vishwanath Painkra, farmer