Tribal Development Program

Socioeconomic development and healthcare through traditional knowledge…

Go to the people. Live with them.
Learn from them. Love them.
Start with what they know.
Build with what they have.
But with the best leaders,
when the work is done,
the task accomplished,
the people will say
“We have done this ourselves”

Background:

Jeevantirth became partner of the developmental process initiated by the “St. Xavier’s College Society” for the traditional healer’s families of Vasava tribe of Dediapada area, Gujarat. The overall objective of the project is the promotion of the socio-economic development and protection of the traditional knowledge of the medicinal plants of the Vasava tribes in Nani Singloti, Dediapada and Relwa, spreading its uses among the local population. As Jeevantirth is primarily involved in training and capacity building of the poor, marginalized and vulnerable section of the society by empowering them through the techniques like “Participatory Strategic Planning” for Natural Resource Management, it was decided that Jeevantirth will take charge of the activities listed below to achieve overall objectives of the project.

  • Training and Capacitating of the group members on Soil & Water Conservation Techniques, Irrigation Practices, Operation and Maintenance of the structures and the systems.
  • Material development for the above mentioned activities.
  • Field visits and Surveys.
  • Technical Consultancy for the “Agronomical and Mechanical Interventions” for Soil and Water Conservation.
  • Implementation Support for the construction of various RWH Systems.
  • Quality Monitoring
  • Impact Assessment.

 

Role:
Dediapada, a taluka located in South Gujarat, is a tribal region that belongs to the Narmada district. It comprises of 214 villages that are distributed across the region. Since many years Jeevantirth has been conducting programs for tribal research and development with the help of various voluntary, government and semi-government organizations. The programs are as follows:

Strengthening of ‘Aadi Aushadhi Group’
The formation of Aadi Aushadhi group with members of traditional healers (bhagats) of Dediapada was done in leadership of Fr. Lancy by St. Xavier’s College Society. We help this group in soil and water conservation, cultivation of medicinal plants and preparation of medicinal products and lead them on road to holistic development.

With help of Van Vikas Nigam, Gujarat Medicinal Plant Board and MNREGA, we develop nurseries and distribute medicinal plant saplings.

 

During first three Quarters of the project following work was accomplished.

  • Capacity Building Phase: – Conceptual clarity about Soil and Water conservation.
  • Net Area Planning Phase: – Field Visits and On the Field Planning.
  • Constructive Intervention Phase: – Construction of Mechanical Structures.

In the 2nd phase, from November 2008 to March 2009, it was decided that we will initiate the process of establishing Nurseries and Demonstration Plots for the Cultivation of Medicinal Plants at four places namely, Relwa, Dediapada, Bedwan and Singhloti village centers in about one acre of lands. Ten plants were selected based on market research. We planted more then 5,000 medicinal plants in four centers as a Demonstration Plots and we also prepared about 80,000 saplings in the nurseries for the next season. As a part of the project we also conducted “Need Assessment Study” and “Livelihood Option Study” of the SHG members.

Various trainings to Dediapada SHG Members:

Training workshop on “The Importance of Cultivating medicinal Plants” was organized at Dediapada in October 2008 in which Mr. Dubey of “Medicinal Plant Board” was the main resource person. Mr. Dubey gave valuable inputs to the SGG members about the Global trends in the field and said that now people have realized the importance of time tested indigenous wisdom. In his inspiring lecture he covered various topics related to the cultivation of Medicinal Plants and their benefits. He also discussed about Identification of the medicinal Plants, Demand by the Pharmaceutical companies, Scope of Income generation through cultivation of the Medicinal Plants, Rights of tribal on the Minor Forest produce and Various schemes of the “Medicinal Plant Board”.

Farmer’s Training on the preparation of “AMRUT JAL” Liquid Manure:

A farmer’s meeting was held at Relwa – Devgam in which bout 50 to 60 farmers were present. Mr. Frances, expert in the field explained the importance of “Organic Farming” and said that we can get good, healthy crop if we use organic manure and pesticides which can be locally made. That will reduce external inputs and risk in the agriculture reducing the financial burden and farmers will get premium rates of their product.

In his talk he covered following points: How to prepare “Liquid manure”, how to prepare Organic pesticide and how to prepare “Organic Manure” from the bio mass available locally (From the shrubs, plants, grass and leaves).

Exploring the Business Ideas by selling Kesuda Flower:

It is right of the Adivasi people to collect and sell Minor Forest Produce from the forest, but it is found that they seldom try to explore employment potential from it. Sometimes they collect it for their own consumption and sometime on a minor scale to sell in local weekly market or to local trader in town when they need some money. From our study we found that there are various minor forest produces like Honey, Lakh, Baheda, Saag seeds, Kanji seeds, Gado, Kesuda flowers etc. which can be collected as and when they are available in the forest for sell. We believe that collection and sell of such products can help in giving some local employment to the tribal people. Our experience to explore “Social Business” was enriching!