Placed at: Dantewada, Chhattisgarh
Education: M. A. in Social Work, TISS, Mumbai
Prior work experience:
- Worked for two years at Gandhinagar, Gujarat (June 2010 to March 2012) with the Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Company Ltd., Rural Development Department, Govt. of Gujarat. Designation: Assistant Project Manager-State, Social Mobilization, Institution Building and Skill Development.
- Implementation and Monitoring and Review of Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana(SGSY)(a central government scheme), Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India for formation, nurturing, capacity building and credit linkage of SHGs and promotion of Livelihoods in rural areas of Gujarat.
- Team member for designing and executing state-wide survey and mapping of SHGs for identification and inclusion of BPL households in Government Schemes.
- Monitoring and coordination of Special Skill Development projects and Rural Self Employment Training Institutes in all the districts of the state of Gujarat
- Team member for development and drafting the State Poverty Reduction Strategy Plan for National Rural Livelihoods Mission in Gujarat.
- Contributed in designing of Shramyogi Yojana, a poverty reduction scheme of Government of Gujarat.
- Planning of activities pertaining to SM & IB vertical such as Annual Action Plans, setting-up targets for districts, Pilot Projects, Cluster Identification and Finalization, Situational Analysis, etc.
- Co-ordination, Capacity Building and Review of district level teams of Gujarat Livelihood Promotion Company Ltd.
One key work during fellowship
- More than 20000 students study in residential schools in the district, but a large population of Children with Special Needs (Children with Disabilities) could not attend these schools due to various physical and other barriers in the school infrastructure and eco-system. This was against the spirit of inclusive education and education for all.
- Over 60 per cent of the district Dantewada is under forest cover and is predominantly a tribal inhabited region (nearly 78 per cent of the total population) who live in abject poverty and have limited means of livelihoods. The ratio of malnutrition amongst the children in the district is as high as 42 % and a high percentage of women are also anemic. the dairy sector was completely unorganized and lack of backward and forward linkages such as feed, veterinary services, training, milk chilling, pasteurization and proper packaging, consistent market, etc. led to the collapse of this business and only sporadic and intermittent efforts took place to restore it. In the absence of proper storage and processing facilities and a consistent market, the dairy farmers had to sell their milk at exploitative rates to the local hotels or in local towns so as to save it from getting spoiled. The payment was also made untimely and dairy farmers had to run behind them for it. This discouraged people from taking-up dairying as a livelihood option and it further affected the availability of fresh milk and milk products, resulting in continuing occurrence of high malnutrition. Untimely payments also affected the quality of feed given to the milch animals and discouraged dairy owners to provide proper care and vaccination to the animals. This led to death of animals and acted as a burden on the dairy farmers. Thus, a vicious cycle emerged that led to a discouraged milk business.
What was done:
- Since it was not possible to make every school structure barrier-free, we worked on inception, planning, designing, implementation and deployment of completely barrier free school for Children with Special Needs called “Saksham” to make education inclusive and accessible. We made one campus completely barrier-free where students belonging to 5 different categories of special needs had access to every part of the campus without any help from others. The school also has therapy services.b) With the objective of breaking this vicious cycle, ‘Kshirsagar Cooperative Dairy’ was formed which provided end-to-end linkages that boosted the dairy business in the district and resulted in creation of sustainable livelihood opportunities for the people of the district. Kshirsagar is Bastar region’s first dairy cooperative. The strategy that is being adopted to meet the above-mentioned objectives is to initiate a movement in the dairy industry by establishing on one hand backward linkages like starting dairy farms in the villages with cow-sheds, dung and urine collection tanks, vermicompost, azzola tanks, NADEP tanks, etc. through a convergence model of NREGA and other schemes and providing high quality feed and veterinary services; and on the other hand forward linkages like establishing a bulk milk chilling, pasteurization and packaging center being run by a cooperative society of milk producers which collects milk from dairies of these milk producers, process, pasteurize and pack it to forward link it to the available market of residential schools and camps.
- Around 200 students are studying in the barrier-free school which otherwise would have missed the bus of formal education. This school became a unique model in Chhattisgarh state and was paid visits by the likes of Hon. CM-CG, Hon. HRD Minister-GoI and Hon. PM.
- More than 40 dairy farms established across villages in the district ensuring livelihoods to around 240 dairy farmers with 480 milch animals. Daily processing of 2000 ltrs of milk is taking place in the processing plant. Everyday more than 7000 students in the residential schools gets fresh milk in their diet.