- Published on Sunday, 04 September 2011 12:46
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Steering the alternate wheels for development
Not a paradigm shift in BISWA’s structural programmes rather an addition to the existent. Integration at this level is an indication of our readiness to accept innovation while thriving to uphold the organizational vision and mission. These sector are being explored keeping in mind the intrinsic values of community involvement, participatory approach and need based intervention.
i) Natural Resource Management
Soil, water and vegetation are three basic natural resources and BISWA recognizes its importance as a key sectoral intervention. While the earlier attempts were limited to organizing awareness campaigns and plantation drives, the present shift has taken a number of programmes into its fold. Our firm belief rests on the notion that regeneration and restoration of degraded ecosystems will increase their productivity and there can be generation of employment through these activities. Forest conversation programmes can make headway now, as it has become a major thrust of the Central Government. Many forest development and conservation projects have been initiated through out the nation (i.e. NFDP, NFIP, CFCP, OFADP). We have collaborated with the District Government functionaries in forest conservations projects. At present, Orissa Forest Area Development Programme is being run in two districts – Deogarh and Keonjhar and we are to begin in Sundargarh and Angul. The programme aims towards integrated forest development and Bio diversity conservation through people’s participatory approach.
In the area of water management, BISWA envisages the plan for integration of the water sources with static water bodies in which the degraded land in the command area of the static water body is converted into cultivable and the farmers can plan for a second crop. The initiatives are in sync with the Government of India’s declaration of 2007 as the Year of Water Productivity and the prioritization of Development of Water Resources in the 11th Five year plan. Work has been started in the Maneswar Block of Sambalpur, where community mobilization has been done for efficient land use and forest conservation.
- Water Management: Application of Innovative techniques for maximizing availability of water and optimizing its use.
- Watershed Development: Efficient use of rain water and balancing the ecological cycle for land development resulting in increased soil productivity.
- Forest Management: Mobilization of SHGs and VSS for Entrepreneurship development on Forest Products and Forest Waste utilisation. Utilisation of Forest land inside forest, without disturbing the ecology.
- Aquaculture, Dairy and poultry development.
ii) Alternate Energy
Energy is an essential requirement for every household, be it power for lighting or fuel for irrigation and cooking. However, in the easy utility of the so-called traditional energy, we tend to ignore its finite presence and effects on the environment. Though, one would that in the rural interiors, it is nothing but all encompassing dependence on wood for cooking and kerosene from lighting the house in the dark. Our initiative to this end has been two-pronged – protect ecology on the one hand and provision of alternate energy for the people on the other. Our project on setting up of a Biomass Unit has been initiated with support from BE Foundation, Bangalore and HIVOS India. In the last three months, extensive feasibility study has been done in the 20 villages across Sambalpur district and approaches has been made with different agencies for carrying forward the project.
- Biomass unit: Utilising the animal dung supplemented with kitchen waste and dry leaves to provide smoke free cooking to the rural women
- LED: Reaching the areas where grid electricity not a visible reality with LED lamps, a cost effective and efficient form of energy
iii) Industrial Relationship Building
Industrial Relationship Building (IRB) envisions a future model of financial flow to the development sector. As is widely practiced, the Non-Governmental Organisations depend upon external/ foreign funding for meeting the programme costs. Though, as we cast an eye on the ever shrinking funds, its unreliability is realized. In view of this scenario, a programme on Industrial Relationship Building was formulated which we expected to be a replicable model.
Human Resource Assistance: Utilising our personnel for the capacity building of the industries’ staff and training modules for mutual benefit
It is a step forward in bringing relevance to the programmes. Our effort in intervening into these unexplored sectors is to harness the attitude of the people towards gaining benefits from the government projects.