PARTNERING FOR GROWTH
The Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation (KJBF) initiated its developmental interventions in the Wardha District of Maharashtra since August 2009. The impacts of its efforts through various initiatives and programmes are there to see, that has resulted in admirable changes in the lives of the farmers in the Vidarbha region. KJBF's interventions on Water Resource Development, Agriculture Development, Human Resource Development and Institution building have brought in smiles on the faces of the farmers, whose sole livelihood option is agriculture and agro-based. KJBF through its initiatives seeks community participation, collaborates with various development stake-holders, nurtures institutions, promotes village organizations, develops local resources, and builds capacity of the local people, all of which are fundamental to create a sense of ownership among the beneficiaries.
PROMOTING VILLAGE ORGANSATIONS
Village Organisations are institutions promoted taking community in faith for the local people. These organisations is a representative body of the community that enhances its role in playing an important role among the community in planning, executing and maintaining the common assets created by them—for them. The Village Organisations aid in decision making process that is shared by the people at all levels of developmental work. Village Organisations promoted and supported by the KJBF includes:
VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE (VDC)
VDCs are the major stakeholders in the developmental initiatives of the KJBF, They play an important role in inculcating the community ownership in implementation and monitoring of programmes running through KJBF. VDCs have been promoted under the project Convergence of Agricultural Intervention in Maharashtra (CAIM) and funded by Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust (NRTT). 76 such VDCs formed under the project are responsible for preparing village development plan for the overall development of village and its effective implementation is the major responsibility of the VDC. For formation of VDC in villages Gramsabha were organised in presence of Gramsevak, Sarpanch and members of GP. The villagers were acquainted with the importance of VDC, its structure and role and responsibility of the VDC. All the VDCs thus formed having 50% representation of female members. The VDCs have 1/3 representation of Gram Panchayat members and the members of the deprived sections SC, ST and NT. The minimum numbers of members in VDCs are 12 and maximum 15.
Following is the role and responsibility of the VDC
Prepare the village development plan and get it approved in Gramsabha and be accountable for the same
Undertake the necessary follow-up and monitoring so that the approved plans are compiled with and executed efficiently and responsibly
Ensure that common asset created from the project as well as from govt. schemes are maintained
Ensure that decisions made in the Village Gramsabha and Grampanchyant Gramsabha are implemented.
USER GROUPS (CHECK DAM, GROUP WELL AND PERCOLATION TANKS)
KJBF in its implementation of WRD programmes realized the importance of farmer run user groups. These groups formed around water harvesting structures assisted in site selection, execution and maintenance. These groups also are proficient about the local environment, soil type and are the primary stake-holders in effective performance of the various interventions undertaken by KJBF. The no. of user groups promoted till date is 259 (Check dam, Group Well and Percolation tanks).
LIFT IRRIGATION GROUPS
The cost of lifting water from a water source to individual fields of farmers is shared by a group of farmers. These groups are primarily known as Lift Irrigation Groups. The benefits emanating from such initiatives are also equally shared amongst the farmers. 49 more lift irrigation groups, with an average membership of 05 were formed in the year 2013-14 by the KJBF. Thus, a total number of lift irrigation groups is now 79.
WOMEN EMPOWERMENT THROUGH SELF HELP GROUP
Self Help is a foundation, Belief and Conviction that the Community, no matter how backward, has resources that can be mobilized for meeting individual's local needs and that of the Community for making local improvements and bringing about social change. Self- help is not only Economic Independence, but also has a strong Social aspect for bringing about social transformation. Since 2009, KJBF's mainstay has been its SHG programme, wherein it has aspired to bring changes into the lives and livelihoods of scores of women in Wardha district. SHG movement in particular has been able to influence upon the women's capabilities on financial planning and decision making that will benefit the community and its family. SHG groups run successfully by women in Vidarbha region have demonstrated that despite adverse conditions, women also play a very important role in bringing changes into the lives of poorest of poor. SHG women in particular has empowered the women in this region in becoming self-reliant and empowered. In the year 2013-14, KJBF successfully added few more groups and now there 1158 groups in total since its inception in the areas of its operation. In order to achieve its goals it follows a three pronged strategy:
1. Organizing women by promotion of new groups in the villagers who are not covered in any self-help groups.
2. Support existing groups those who don't get any capacity building inputs from any NGO.
3. Reviving defunct groups.
BETTER COTTON INITIATIVE PROGRAMME
Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Wardha working as producer unit under Better Cotton Initiative Project with the support of Implementing Partner i.e. Cotton Connect south Asia Pvt. Ltd. in 27 villages, it includes 2500 farmers of Seloo & Deoli cluster. Better Cotton Initiatives project mainly Focus on better cotton production through better cotton System (BCS). KJBF working on production principle & criteria of Better Cotton Systems, which helps in, to minimize the cost of production of cotton crop and to increase the productivity of 2500 enrolled farmers of BCI project. BCI is totally technical programme, it includes three training module on cotton crop
1. Pre sowing practices
2. Integrated pest & Disease management
3. Decent work activities.
KJBF formed a 71 learning group of 2500 farmers, each learning group comprises 25 to 40 farmers of same interest or living nearby home. Through the learning group we are giving a technical training on cotton crop by continuous meeting and training of each LG.
THE CONVERGENCE OF AGRICULTURAL INTERVENTIONS IN MAHARASHTRA'S(CAIM)
This programme was designed for the six distressed districts of Western Vidarbha, i.e. Akola, Amravati, Buldhana, Wardha, Washim and Yavatmal in collaboration with Maharashtra Govt., Sir Ratan Tata Trust -SRTT, International Fund for Agriculture Development – IFAD and local community. The overall goal of the project is ‘to contribute to the development of resilient production, sustainable and diversified households, on-farm and off-farm livelihoods, allowing households to face production and market risks without falling back into poverty and distress’. The projects’ target groups are the rural households belonging to the Schedule Castes, the Schedule Tribes, landless labourers, the rural women, the small & marginal farmers and the farmers under agrarian distress. To achieve these objectives KJBF has been working with 9200 farmers in two clusters (Seloo and Samudrapur) of the Wardha district and covered 51 villages under the program.
DESIGN FOR CHANGE PROGRAM
It is one of the largest global movements designed to give children an opportunity to express their own ideas for a better world and put those ideas into action. The challenge is to ask the students to do four very simple things: Feel, Imagine, Do and Share. As a result of this, young school children are coming forth with brilliant ideas that are challenging the age-old superstitions of the rural communities. Through such ideas they are able to raise money to finance school computers as well as solve the problem of heavy school bags – children are proving that they have what it takes to be able to ‘design’ a future that is desired. KJBF has initiated this activity in 50 schools of Wardha district.