By Basant Panigrahi, Programme Officer, Odisha

 

Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) sanctioned Rs. 28 lakhs to build a check dam in Jhumuka Tribal Village in Rayagada, Odisha. The village action team followed up consistently for two long years and their perseverance paid. And How!

Construction of Check Dam at Jhumuka village (2)

Check Dam at Jhumuka village

 

Rayagada, Odisha: Jhumuka, a revenue village of Kutuli Gram Panchayat of Rayagada district, is inhabited by seventy three Kondha families. Kondha is an indigenous tribal group in Odisha who depends on agriculture and labor work to meet their day-to-day needs.

 

NGO EKTA has been implementing IGSSS’s flagship Sustainable Options for Uplifting Livelihood program in Kutuli Gram Panchayat. In Jhumuka, a Village Action team (VAT) was formed which has actively led village development activities. In 2014, the VAT developed a village level micro plan which included construction of a check dam in Jhumuka for supporting agriculture in the un-irrigated land, land development activities and linkages with social security schemes. The villagers, led by the VAT, advocated with the Gram Panchayat for inclusion of the plan in the Gram Panchayat Action Plan. Although the Gram Panchayat approved the plans, the VAT along with Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) members and local youth had to continuously follow up both at the Gram Panchayat as well as the Block office for nearly two years.

 

 

Finally in January 2016, the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) Rayagada sanctioned Rs. 28 lakhs for construction of check dam at Jhumuka village through Gram Panchayat.

 

Around 45 villagers started working for the construction of the check dam. The work has taken 42 days to complete. They were paid Rs 140 per day as daily wages. The Check Dam is complete and it will help irrigate about 30-35 acres of land for cultivation not only in Jhumka village but also in the nearby Minapai village.

 

 

The Jhumuka VAT members are happy that their perseverance paid dividend. The check dam will help them increase cultivation and ensure food security.