My journey in the development sector, both in the academic and professional line, has been 7 years by now and has led me to work in the area of education, livelihood and youth development. I have been exploring and learning how to be a more effective development practitioner in the field.
I come from a poor agrarian family of a small village in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, India. I completed my schooling in my village. After that I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Then I worked for a year with Urban Health Resource Centre (UHRC) at Indore as a Community Mobilizer.
In the year 2007 I joined Masters in Social Work. My practical experiences of working with communities during my academic life included the National Service Scheme and Old Age Home in my college days. I helped create awareness about environmental issues like the abuse of using plastic and need for environmental protection. After completing my academic session in 2009, I joined Seva Mandir as a Block-in-Charge for Education. In this post I was working for non-formal education, girls’ education etc. In March 2012 I got information about Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship Programme through my friend. I was very nervous because working with government it really challenging and also too much difficult. However, I applied for the Fellowship and I was selected. That time I was thinking it to be a really good opportunity to understand government system, bureaucracy and their various mechanisms. One line came from my bottom of heart “Dreams Come True”!
New Development Sunrise for Malkangiri……..
On 17th April 2012, I arrived at Koraput around 11AM. I took an auto-rickshaw from Koraput to Jaipur and around 12 o’clock I was at Jaipur bus-stand. I was searching for Malkangiri buses but situation was different because that time Naxal Shahid Diwas was going on no bus or taxi would move to Malkangiri. Finally around 3 PM one bus came from Navrangpur and was going to Malkangiri. This bus already had 115 people. There was no space for even a single person and had three big luggage bags. I sat on the top of the bus. Jaipur to Malkangiri is only 106 kilometres but the bus took 7 hours. I reached Malkangiri at around 10 PM.
That time I felt the PMRDF journey had begun…….
Some of My Work as a PMRDF:
Brick making training and brick production centre for tribal youth and PVTG (Male)
In Malkangiri district 14,000 IAY houses were sanctioned for poor tribals but not completed due to non-availability of bricks in the locality. The District Collector sought the involvement of PMRDFs. We would identify the unemployed youth from remote villages and PVTGroups and involve them for brick making. Sixty youth were trained at Govt. ITI, Malkangiri for a period of 45 days. Then the trainees were formed into “Malyabanta brick making unit” at the block. At the same time they developed a male SHG group and opened individual bank accounts and also group account. ESSAR Company of Chitorkonda extended hands and supported with twenty brick making machines. The same were distributed to the group of youth. Now three brick production units are running successfully; each unit has 11 youth. They are linked to construction of mother chick unit, mandap, boundary etc. The IAY beneficiaries will purchase bricks from the units for construction of their incomplete houses under IAY.
Sewing machine support to Unemployed Tribal Youth & PVTG (Female)
The purpose was to ensure the livelihoods of unemployed youth through the support of sewing machine and tie-up with all the educational institutions for supply of uniforms to schools and anganwadi centres and check the outgoing fund in purchasing school uniform in Malkangiri district.
In order to impart skills to tribal youth (female) in tailoring, OTELP project of Malkangiri proposed to train 70 tribal youth in seven blocks. Ten youth per block were selected from the OTELP and “OTELP Plus” project areas. Forty-two women were trained in the first batch from 12th July 2012 at the Government ITI, Malkangiri. In the second batch 28 women are continuing their training since 23rd December 2012.
After successful completion of the training each trainee has been provided with one machine, motor, toolkit etc. from OTELP. Seven “Malyabanta Posaka Prastuti Kendra” have been established in respective block headquarters. In order to run Malyabanta Posaka Prastuti Kendra the district administration has provided Government buildings. Each ICDS has placed order and advance amount has also been released to each unit to supply uniforms to pre-schools.
PARIMARJAN Programme for low achiever students
Malkangiri does not have a significant presence in the secondary education map of Odisha, The number of high schools, their infrastructure, number of teachers & students lag behind the state average. As a result of this, pass-out rate of the district in higher secondary examination was not satisfactory. Keeping this in view the District Administration, Malkangiri continued an innovative project called “PARIMARJAN” during the year 2012-13. The project aims at developing the basic standards of the low achieving students as well as providing the finer techniques of examination in the HSC Annual Examination 2013. Eight hundred ninety-five low achievers were provided required environment at strategic points to get an excellent opportunity for better result in the Annual examination 2013.This was a small step by the District Administration to fulfil the requirement of 895 students from different remote corners of the district. In this programme the district collector assigned monitoring, evaluation and management part to PMRDF.
PMRDF is a great learning in my life. I learned village culture, tradition, custom of different people’s life style and their politics, in particular in this LWE area. We also learn about project and its implementation, administrative structure etc. Many of the work I did are actually learning through practice.
 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group