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Jaya Bharati Shramik Sangha registered in 1982 is a community-based organization located at Gaisilat Block of Bargarh district. From 1982 onwards, JBSS started rural development programs by organizing awareness camps. In 1982 a community agitation led to a hike in the rates of Kendu which benefitted the community. 1984 land development work was started in the villages without any financial support, followed by forest protection awareness camps in 30 villages. Mr. Bhuban Tandi is presently the President of the organization and holds 22 years of experience in the development sector. From being a marginal farmer belonging to the scheduled caste community, he has experienced atrocities by the upper caste people and started to work as a volunteer in JBSS. The organization’s ideology is to create community leadership in the rural poor area and believes that people will be able to lead a better life only if their rights are ensured. It aims to create a society where there will be no discrimination on the basis of caste, religion and difference of rich and poor.
In the operational area there is caste based land holding pattern, resulting in 25% of the agricultural land being owned by the general caste and other backward castes (mainly Kaluita and Teli). The upper caste people and the contractors have major control over the resources. Maximum benefit from natural resources like forest, water and land is taken away by the rich upper caste people or contractors in one way or the other. Agriculture and agricultural wage is the main source of livelihood. Most of the agriculture is subsistence in nature, entirely dependant on the monsoon. Only Bahal (Low) land gets irrigation from tanks or streams while the small and marginal farmers, mostly own land that is susceptible to the vagaries of the monsoon. Wage employment is a source of livelihood for a majority of the poor in Bargarh. Many marginal farmers are also engaged in agricultural labor during the peak season, often neglecting cultivation on their own fields. But wage rates are not commensurate with the rise in prices of staple food. Wage rates are far below the minimum allowed. Bargarh is the largest producer of Kendu leaf in the state. Kendu and mahua is the most important income generator for the State Government from the district.
The essential infrastructure on education and health are available but is not fully functional due to lack of awareness and government apathy. There are primary schools in the area, but the teachers are inadequate and they are afraid to include the students from the weaker sections. All the primary schools are under the control of outside teachers and they don’t have a high degree of value or responsibility to ensure the educational needs of the the tribal society.
- To make the people aware about the prevailing socio-economic situation and to take action against all the odds.
- To ensure food and livelihood for the poor people.
- To check migration by creating enough employment opportunities in the area.
- To ensure livelihood options for people by redistribution of land and control over NTFP.
- To take up income generation work for income enhancement of women and families.
- To make the people aware about their rights in order to realize those rights.
Review and Impact
JBSS, over the years, has evolved as a result oriented people’s organization in terms of addressing child rights issues. It is evident that there has been a significant change particularly with regard to survival rights and more specifically on the issues of immunization, institutional delivery and the birth registration process. Efforts towards building a strong people’s movement towards child rights issues have yielded results. JBSS still has the potential to be a model for people’s organization to work on larger issues as well as on child rights issues. In the coming year, the focus will be on enabling all community members to join the people’s organization process and to work on the right to education (enrolment and retention) and survival rights.
- Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) centers were activated.
- Village Education Committees (VEC’s) and Village Health Committees (VHC’s) were regularized for monitoring the education and health status in villages.
- Children were involved in development programs through the adolescent and cultural groups.
- Adolescent action groups formed.
- Village Committee meetings were held to prioritize on child rights issues.
- 45 Village Committees were reorganized out of a total of 53 villages in 9 Panchayat areas.
- 447 landless people were identified of which total 79 people got patta (lnd rights) .
- Of a total of 2614 eligible people, 2015 people have got themselves enrolled under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA).
- Out of 18 villages, regular food supply was ensured in 10 villages.
- Children were organized and have successfully created an environment where drop out and working children also feel like enrolling themselves in schools.
- Cases where children used to work have been withdrawn and put into schools.
- Village Committees were engaged in mapping and preventing child marriages and child trafficking in the area.
- Strengthening of JBSS in 9 gram panchayats
- Strengthening of Village Committee in all 53 villages, from the existing 47 villages
- Addressing the issues of migration, landlessness, unemployment and forest issues by mobilizing the community
- Activation of 30 Schools through 30 Village Education Committees (VEC’s), which will ensure strengthening of the 30 village committees of JBSS as well
- Improvement of health services in these 30 villages by activation/demand generation of available health services for the people
- Community mobilization at the village level – cluster level (panchgaon) – and the block level
- Process should also be initiated towards mobilizing resources through membership fees
- Formation of cultural teams of both children as well as of adults
- Activation of government services in terms of schools, health services and implementation of laws relating to abolition of child labor and child marriage
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