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"DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTION-GOVT. AND NGO EFFECTS"- The theme has a potential to explore a wide variety of issues in social fabric. In Rhenock there were a wide array of Government Interventions. But there was not any NGO actively operational. That's why only the Government interventions and Rhenock Tourism Development Society's interventions are explored in this theme paper. One of the most prominent Govt. intervention is MGNREGA. The complementary nature of MGNREGA in the livelihood patterns of rural households is visible here. There was not any case of absolute poverty in the village as well as the whole GPU. Besides MGNREGA, other Govt. schemes like ICDS, Welfare of SC/ST, Common Service Centre, Old age pension,State Govt.mission -"Poverty free Sikkim by 2013" are the buzzing development intervention activities of the Govt in our village as well as in the entire GPU. The schemes like ICDS is catering to a decent beneficiary base in the area.
The State Govt's proactive mission -"Poverty free Sikkim by 2013"is in initial stage of execution. In our RAC component of field work we have served this purpose by conducting poverty census survey of around 250 households in the guidance of State Govt's Rural Management and Development Department.
Besides these Govt interventions, Rhenock Tourism Development Society is seriously thinking about the future of the young sikkimese people and it's next generation. In the market place it is starkly visible that the majority of the core businesses are occupied by the outsiders. With the ' education is free for all up to college level", there is a natural trend to drift toward secondary and tertiary sector in the rural people. Even the weekly haat is dominantly occupied by the out-sider traders. Another important thing is that Sikkimese people only value the Govt. jobs. Even a MNC job holder does not relish the deserved status there. So when we crystal gaze 10 years down the line, we see a bottleneck. And this is the genesis of apprehension for the todays youngsters. With a gulp of whisky and a puff in the air, the thinking minds of Sikkim are really apprehensive of their future. This apprehension is bringing about innovations to remodel the livelihood structure with sustainability.
Twenty five years before when Sikkim became the twenty second state of India, the State had very low development scope in political and social area. The new democracy and subsequent economic structures changed the socio-economic profile of Sikkim. From traditional feudal economy it has changed as a robust and modern state.
The Sikkim Government has been successful to restore people's faith to democracy and a democratically elected government. The result is no doubt visible by its high degree of political stability and social harmony. The Government has always been viewed as an authority. This means that the role of development is with the Government alone. That is why when we listen to the bureaucracy of the state we feel the lack of volunteerism in the society. When we talk to the young minds we realize that there is a comparatively higher degree of transparency in the system and in that transparency the void of volunteerism is felt. That is why Sikkim is trying to revive the bond of volunteerism that used to characterize Sikkimese society .It has been largely felt that there is a huge space for NGOs to engage in the development of Sikkim.
Politically also, there is a resolution to integrate PPP (Public Private Partnership) model in the development programmes. The government is sensitizing the people about the crying need to have smart management of existing utilities and infrastructure. This is implementable through NGO and private sector participation.
The government believes that the entire face of governance, productivity and efficiency can be dramatically upgraded if the skills of people are harnessed and incubated. The government is trying to break out of the hitherto stereotyped tendency to walk on the old paths and come up with a more creative and innovative models for the upliftment of Sikkimese people.
In the last decade or so, there has been a paradigm shift in the approach to development planning from the preoccupation of mere expansion of production of goods and services to considering issues and planning for outcomes that have a direct bearing on enhancement of human-well being.
In 2001, Sikkim brought out its first Human Development Report (HDR) in association with UNDP and Planning Commission of India. The Sikkimese HDR was built upon the experience of Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka HDRs and pioneers human development reporting not only in North-East but for all hill-states.
Human development has been defined as the" process of enlarging people's choices". This approach to development places people at the centre and treats them as active subjects and not passive beneficiaries.
The main objective of the theme paper is to study the effects of development interventions adopted by the Government and NGOs in the village named-RHENOCK, East District, Sikkim .The specific objectives relevant to the Rhenock village are as follows:
To study the socio-economic impact of MGNREGA in the village.
To study the innovative tourism initiatives adopted by the Rhenock Tourism Society and the Government.
E-governance initiatives at the village.
Capacity building initiatives by the Government.
Nursery and Museums.
Limitations of the study
Time- constraints: The field work was scheduled within a span of 50 days. Around 10 days were Government holidays. Thus for certain objectives I had to resort to convenient sampling.
Scope of the study: The scope of the study was not fully explored as the study was limited to the Rhenock village only. Any exploration of development intervention having relevance to the village has been studied.
To gain an understanding of the situation of the village regarding my research theme paper certain methods were used to gather information and data. For the first fifteen days it was just the observation and effort to mingle with the local people. The first fifteen days were spent on just getting a feel of the rhythm of lives and livelihoods and to appreciate the culture of the society.
After feeling myself as bit part of the village, I tried to gather information through the following methods:
Informal Group Discussions
For this tool to be applied , I selected some young age people as well as old age people .I wanted to have the perspective prism of young's energy and old's wisdom. I discussed with them regarding the development works being done by the Government in Rhenock and there effects on them socially and economically.
I also conducted some personal interviews with the help of the local BAC (Block Administration Centre) officials. I made a sample and conducted semi-structured interviews on various segments of the village people. I interviewed NREGA workers, Panchayat officials and other staffs and local people.
PRA exercises were of great help to acquire information regarding various aspects of the village. In the hill area households in the villages are scattered through out a long distance. So getting people out of those households to participate in the PRA exercise was a very difficult task. But we managed to have a decent turn-out in the PRA exercise.
For filling the questionnaire (RAC component) of household survey and for conducting personal interview I made samples based on age, gender, education, income and occupation.The unit of study were individual for questionnaire and interview and group discussion and PRA exercise.
SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF MGNREGA IN RHENOCK
Rhenock is a small town in east district in the Indian state of Sikkim. It lies 63 km. east of Gangtok on the way to Jelepla pass at an altitude of 1040 meters. The word Rhenock in Lepcha language means Black hill situated in the extreme east of Sikkim. Rhenock has covered the dense forest in an around 13th century. The Lepchas were the early settlers about six to five hundred years ago. After Lepcha, Bhutias settled in the villages presently known as Kyongsa, Aritar and Chalisey.the people who settled after 16th century were mostly from Nepali ethnic group such as Newar, Bahun, Chettri, Gurung , Rai and Limboo.
MGNREGA was started in the second phase throughout the East District. In Rhenock too the programme was started in the same phase in the year 2007-08.The statistics of east district regarding the programmes of NREGA reveals that about 12.652 numbers of household has been provided with an employment .The total of about 10.8 lakh person days of employment had been already guaranteed through the programmes of NREGA in the east district of Sikkim.
Considering the Inter-Caste employment participation, what we can reveal from the figure is that it is quite satisfactory as compared to other district of the country. The participation of Schedule caste and schedule tribes are 1.08 lakh personsdays and 3.11 lakh personsdays respectively which is 9.96% and 28.74% respectively of the total personsdays employed in whole of the district.
The very exception study of east district of Sikkim is that the women participation in the NREGA works are more than their counterparts. Their participations in the works are 7.16 lakh personsdays which is 66.26% of the total employment in the district.
Now, switching over to the funds. Total funds allocated for the east district is Rs 20.53 crore for the year 2010-11, out of which Rs. 16.13 crore has been utilized in all the parts of the district the works are being going very smoothly and the total works taken around east Sikkim 367 out of which 297 works has been completed and rest are in progress.
As such Rhenock is a small town located near to Gangtok .there is merely four Gram Panchayat Unit. They are
The focus of my study is Rhenock Tarpin Gram Panchayat unit. Rhenock Tarpin Gram Panchayat consists of seven villages or wards and have their respective Panchayats. The name of the villages that forms the Rhenock Tarpin Gram Panchayat are:
Rhenock Bazar and
From the above seven villages/wards of the Rhenock Tarpin Gram Panchayat, the total of One Thousand and Four (1004) households has been registered in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. and from the above households One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Eight (1858) persons has registered themselves for the employment. The households as well as persons registration for seven villages separately are as follows:
Table 1: Total Number of Household and Person Registration in Rhenock Tarpin GPU
No. of Registered
This Table shows that the total number or registration in the Rhenock Tarpin Gram Panchayat unit where the registrations for the seven villages are shown separately. It shows the Inter-Caste participation situation for the employment in the Rhenock Tarpin Gram Panchayat. From the above table it is clear that near about 48% of total registration are female which very much impressive comparing to any other state. The ratios of Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes are 10.9% and 11.30% respectively.
NREGA has been launched in this Gram Panchayat in the second phase i.e. in the year 2007-08. The total numbers of job card holders in this GPU is 964.The total number of persons who had demanded the job in the year 2010-11 is relatively small compared to the number of registration. Near about 389 families had demanded the jobs in the year 2010-11 from all the seven villages.
WORKS OR PROJECTS FOR RHENOCK TARPIN GRAM PANCHAYAT
The projects or the works covered under NREGA in Rhenock Tarpin Gram Panchayat are as follows:
JTW at Rungdung ICDS.
Tea Plantation at Rungdung.
JTW at Sukman Jhora
Broom Plantation at Rungdung
Rural connectivity from Salghari School to Thapa Gaon via Reshi Khola.
Rural connectivity from Salghari School to Dhungay Pani Gaon
JTW from Chalisey church to near Ratey Gurung House
Extension and repair of existing Jeepable roads
Afforestation of Rhenock Bazar
JTW at Kamaney Jhora
Broom Plantation at Kyongsa
Bamboo Plantation at Rhenock Bazar
Rural Connectivity from Rhenock Goshkhan Dara to Reshi
Broom Plantation at Tarpin
Tea plantation at Reshi.
JTW=Jhora Training Works: Making a channelized way of waterfall so that it can't decay the soil and prevent landslide.
Most of the applicant who has demanded for the job in the year 2010-11 has been provided the employment in one or more project mention above. Of all the persons employed during the year 2010-11, five people has registered their attendance of more than 85% and above, out of these, a single person has finished her total available employment days of 100 for this year.
The works that have been covered under this Act can be categorized as the following.
The first and foremost important category of works done under NREGA programme is the roads and c.c footpaths for rural connectivity. Rural connectivity or the constructions of new roads is very much necessary for the development of any place. Similarly the programme of rural connectivity has largely helped the people of Rhenock and has sufficiently improved the transportation problem of this area. Rhenock is connected to different places such as Khamdong, link road to Salghari, Lingsey (West Bengal) through the programmes of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act.
The people of this area has been taking advantage of these programmes, which can be seen on the haat day in Rhenock bazaar. The haat day in Rhenock Bazaar is on Saturday. With the opening of these roads the people from distance area of Rhenock have started coming to Rhenock on haat days to sell their product, especially Vegetables, Ghee, and Butter etc. I want to relate by this is that the rural people who is mostly the agricultural based one have also started producing their product for the commercial use which was made possible through these NREGA Programmes.
The different programmes that have been undergone in the category of Rural connectivity are shown in the table below
RURAL CONNECTIVITYFROM RHENOCK GOSHKHAN DARA TO RESHI
RURAL CONNECTIVITY FROM SALGHARI SCHOOL TO THAPA GAON VIA RESHI KHOLA
LOWER TARPIN ROAD
RURAL CONNECTIVITY FROM SALGHARI SCHOOL TO DHUNGAY PANI GAON
Gram Panchayat Table 2: Projects undertaken at the Rhenock Tarpin GPU
The table shows that the works covered under the category rural connectivity during the year 2010-2011.All of the three works has been executed by the Gram Panchayat.
Next to the rural connectivity another important category where the maximum number of works has been done is Drought Proofing. Drought Proofing has been the main solution for controlling and minimizing the problems of soil erosion and landslides, especially in the area like Sikkim. All of the works under this category are been executed by the Gram Panchayat. The different works under this category in Rhenock Tarpin are shown below;
Table-3: Works under the category drought proofing in Rhenock Tarpin GPU
Cardamom Plantation at Chalisay
Broom Plantation at Chalisay
Broom Plantation At Reshi
Bamboo Plantation at Rhenock Bazar
Afforestation at Rhenock Bazar
Broom Plantation at Kyongsa
Tea Plantation at Reshi
Tea Plantation at Upper Tarpin
Broom Plantation at Lower Tarpin
Broom Plantation at Upper Tarpin
Tea Plantation at Rungdung
Broom plantation at Rungdung
Tea Plantation at Rungdung
There are around thirteen different works that had been under the category of drought proofing in this area. Gram Panchayat has executed all of the works except one which has been looked upon by the Rural Management Department. The work which was under the Rural Management Department was the Broom Plantation at Kyongsa. Likewise there is the single project under the category of Irrigation canal and the name of that work is known as MIC from S.N.T Jhora to Sansari via U.C. Basista house and was fully executed by the Gram Panchayat. The work has been done so as to control the flood situation in an around Rhenock. The NREGA workers have been also utilized so as to check and control the flood in few areas of Rhenock. There is three different works for this purpose and is shown below:
Table 4: Works under the category of flood control check in Rhenock Tarpin
Water Channel name
JTW Kamaney Jhora
JTW at Kamaney jhora
JTW from Chalisey Church to near Ratey Gurung House
These are the few projects which are important from the perspective of providing employment to the maximum number of rural people of this area. The practice of Broom cultivation in this part is not new, it has been done from a very long time but these days the gram panchayat are executing the plantation works and are providing the Nrega workers for the same.As such the people of this area are very hard working. Most of the villagers are the farmers and solely depend upon the farm products and primary occupation of the Educated people are Government Employees.
INTEGRATED CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES(ICDS) SCHEME
It is one of the most prominent development intervention scheme relevant to our GPU as well as the village. Under the scheme the following package of services are provided :
Nutrition and Health education
In East district of Sikkim there are 150 ICDS centres presently running. In Rhenock-Tarpin GPU there are 5 ICDS centres. Below poverty Line (BPL) is no longer the criteria for selection of beneficiaries of supplementary nutrition under the ICDS scheme.
Besides ready to eat food, khichari,biscuits and milk are also given to the children in ICDS centres.
WELFARE OF SC/ST/OBC
There are reservation of SC/ST/OBC in the Government service and for seats in higher studies (6%,23%,21% respectively).There is five years relaxation of age for SC/ST for Government jobs. Out of 32 Assembly Constituencies, 13 are reserved for tribals. There are two seats reserved for SC.
In education facility, pre and post-metric scholarship is given to SC/ST students. Education is free for all upto college level. In the capacity building segment, vocational training is imparted to the aspiring youths in repairing of computers, radio, TV, photocopying machines , driving, tailoring etc etc are given to the weaker section .
Loans are provided by the SC/ST/OBC development Corporation at low rate of interest for income generating scheme.
OLD AGE PENSION
A monthly assistance of Rs 400.00 is given to beneficiaries above the age of 65 years who are below poverty line. There were many people in our village who have been benefitted by this scheme.
E-GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE AT RHENOCK -TARPIN GPU
There is a Common Service Centre established by the Government in 2001.The purpose of this functionary is to provide information of various Government Schemes and other relevant things to the village people. The services provided are: E-mail, Internet browsing, Printing photocopy, DTP digital photography, computer training, Utility bills, payment, Government to government services, All Government to citizen services.
Panchayat personnels and school teachers get computer training from here. Till date around 2000 people including employed and unemployed youths have been trained.
INNOVATIVE TOURISM INITIATIVES BY RHENOCK TOURISM DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY
PROPOSAL FOR VEIW POINT AT RHENOCK CHULI DHARA
Around 2 KM away from Rhenock Bazar there is an uphill area with a dense forest cover. The area is called Chuli Dhara. The hill starts from east-west corner of Rhenock bazaar and ends at the newly constructed road under PMGSY (Reshi to Agrigaon).The places like Khamdong, Chalisey ,Rungdung ,Tarpin etc pose a nice view from this area.
In winter season Mt.Kanchendzonga appears with appealing sight from this point. In summer the view of the sunset is very poetic from here.
An entry gate near PMGSY road along with a cafeteria and Parking spot is planned. Rhenock Tourism Development Society (RTDS) is contemplating to construct statues of National Heros, God and Goddess with an amusement park.
If this hill becomes a view point, the local people of the area would be benefited. Along with this the 'Vishwa Vinayak Mandir" is under construction presently under State Governments Tourism Development initiatives. Old and famous "Chandra Nursery" and "Ramgauri -Sangrahalay" is an enriching experience for knowledge-seeker.
With all these developments and initiatives, hotels, lodges, tour and travel agencies have an uptrend in their business opportunities. The educated unemployed youth would have livelihood opportunities if all the proposed plans are executed.
CHILDREN CLUB (Under Rhenock Tourism Development Society)
The children club is one of the unique development concept initiated by RTDS to add value to the socialization process of the children below 15 years of age. The programme is conducted weekly once. Children are exposed to interact with various respected personalities and are encouraged to articulate individual thinking regarding any topic of discussion.
The aim and objective of the club is :
a)To encourage independent decision making.
b) To improve discipline.
c) To bring interest in social activities.
d) To bring awareness in the field of environment, traditional culture and eco-tourism.
MISSION POVERTY FREE SIKKIM BY 2013
This is the state Government's vision of eliminating poverty from the state by 2013. This mission has time-bound and quantified targets for addressing poverty in its many dimensions including income, essential infrastructure and services, governance and exclusion. These are also basic rights, the right of each person of the State, the state wants to secure.
The mission is to build a society which is free from the curse of poverty, to ensure that its future generations can afford every opportunity to grow and be successful and contribute to the prosperity of the State and Nation. Tackling poverty is essential to ensure a healthy future for the people of the state. Poverty reduction is about both improving the well-being and quality of life of those living in poverty and ensuring a strong and prosperous future for the State. "Poverty" means not only a lack of adequate financial resources, but also social exclusion, which is both a consequence and a cause of poverty. Social exclusion refers to individuals not being able to participate fully in the social and economic activities of the society and prevents them from developing to their fullest potential.
The State's mission will also result in the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations, which aims to reduce poverty and improve the lives of people all around the world by 2015. The first MDG promises to reduce extreme poverty and eliminate hunger.
Taking a time-bound approach
Poverty is a complex, systemic and dynamic socio-economic issue and needs a time-bound, targeted and sustained effort to alleviate.
Building an integrated and coordinated strategy
Poverty is also a multi-dimensional problem and needs a coordinated effort by various agencies and partners to ensure that the interventions do not operate in isolation and create unintended consequences and inadvertent development gaps.
Building on partnerships
Recognizing the different roles various sectors play and the solutions that they can contribute, Government will work with various partners to address the issues related to poverty comprehensively.
Consideration for gender
The approach will be sensitive to gender issues, with special consideration to the mother of the household, recognizing the central role women play in social and economic progress.
Results based approach
Ensuring accountability with regular monitoring, assessing progress, research and policy development work and regular reporting.
Objectives of Poverty Free Sikkim 2013
Finding out who are the poor?
Develop criteria to identify the poor with BPL Pretest and Pilot Survey in 2010 as per directions and guidelines of Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India and the Planning Commission of India.
Develop in-house capacity and skills to conduct a BPL Census for supervision, database development, statistical analysis and report preparation.
Conduct BPL Census in 2011-12 to cover all the villages
Provide Photo I-card with UID to all the identified BPL households
Analyzing why they are poor?
Collect additional data during BPL Census by adding a state specific section
Conduct pilot studies in select villages in partnership with other institutes, organizations etc
Targeting the poor households and backward regions
Scientific poverty mapping to identify relative poverty hotspots
Targeting poor households under MGNREGA and SGSY and backward regions under BRGF
Monitoring their progress
Develop online web-enabled database for providing near real time monitoring of their socio-economic status. The website will be updated from the village and block level.
In our RAC component we were given to conduct exhaustive household surveys of Rhenock-bazaar. We have conducted surveys of around 250 households for this purpose.
The finding of my study is that most of the people who initially used to perform the agricultural works for their living, has become quite lazy in character with the introduction of NREGA. Villagers have become more interested to work as Nrega Workers rather than to cultivate their own field. This might may be because of the wages the workers receive within the very short time, earlier they used to receive the cash only once after selling their product at the end of the season. The rural people have stated the habit of using money everyday which is not possible while engaging themselves in agriculture. This is the one reason why the demand for jobs in NREGA is increasing every day.
With the implementation of NREGA the shortcomings is such that there is a sufficiently large number of school leaving cases especially after the age of 16 and above.Because of the poor family background, children of those family are leaving the school and are applying for the jobcard and prefer to earn for the family as the workers. It is very fact that the student after completing schooling they are least interested to go for the higher education rather they prefer to join Nrega because they don't want to be burden upon their poor parents.
Hence, the working of the Programmes under Nrega in the Rhenock Tarpin Gram Panchayat is nicely going on where the applicants are increasing every time and the Gram Panchayat and the different people associated with NREGA are giving their best to developed rhenock and are moving ahead to cherished the dreams of the founder of Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee.
Besides MGNREGA, other Govt. schemes like ICDS, Tourism Development, Backward caste welfare schemes, Poverty alleviation schemes, Education and other capacity building schemes are just not in paper only, there is a visibility of all these activities. Rhenock Tourism Development Society's serious thinking regarding the people's sustainable livelihood is definitely poised for some action in near future. State Government's mission of making Sikkim poverty free by 2013 is also an indication of the Government's proactive stance in the development intervention.