Focus Area

Tribal Development

Our state Orissa has a predominantly tribal population. Development and progress of tribals is high on the agenda of RAC as the target group is faced with poor standard of living, lack of knowledge of the world outside their community, poor awareness rates, illiteracy, malnutrition, unhygienic sanitation and practices that are not environment friendly. Progress of the nation must place tribal development high on the agenda. RAC involvement here is noteworthy. Since its inception RAC has carried out a number of studies and undertaken series of projects for upliftment of tribals. Shortly it has completed a project at Ramthenga, a tribal village in Jajpur district.

It was an integrated approach for the socio-economic development and empowerment of the rural tribal community. Tribal women have been trained in tailoring at their SHG. The SHG members having borrowed the loan have engaged their men folks for income generation activities and on power tiller. Education of tribal children has been targeted. School uniforms have been distributed to motivate the children to come to school. Good sanitation practices have been promoted, so has sports, cultural programmes and other recreational activities in Jajpur district.

Tribal women of Karanjia in Mayurbhanj district have received training in Sabai grass product making through SHGs, Sensitization programmes have been carried out in this regard.Male tribals have been trained in farming technology, bee-keeping and development of entrepreneurship skill on available resources which contributed for their progress.

Community Farming

United we stand is our motto. This is a focus activity in application of technology for the development of tribls in Karanjia and nearby blocks in Mayurbhanj district. The target group has small patches of land. Coupled with ignorance, the produce from the land has been low. Here RAC stepped in. It has been involved in farmer group formation and provided training through resources persons. Seeds and fertilizers have been distributed to the community. Farming is dependant upon adequate water supply. RAC has helped to construct water sheds and check dams. Wells were also dug community- wise as per need. Unity has led to empowerment and sharing of experience has been a blessing. An individual could not achieve more,but the community could. It can be taught to become self sufficient and stable.

Environment Protection

Man must learn to co-exist with all other forces on earth. The varied flora and fauna and natural bodies contribute to the biosphere. Reckless exploitation will only lead to collapse of human race. RAC is aware of this and is engaged in environment protection.
It has been involved in the UNDP project in Keonjhar district. Pollution has been checked to a large extent through recycling char( Waste of Sponge Iron Plants) into useful smokeless fuel known as briquette. People from nearby areas have learnt to protect their surroundings from pollution in the mines-dominated area. As more and more people are taking to briquette they have stopped felling trees to use as firewood. Forests are being saved as a result. Rain depends upon forests.

The flora and fauna have been conserved as forests are home to them. It of course contributes in checking global warming. The DST project in Karanjia ,Mayurbhanj district has laid emphasis on construction of check dams for water conservation. This has in turn led to soil conservation. Many fruit bearing trees have been planted in hill areas which would have otherwise have passed off as wasteland. Preservation of eco-system is given importance even as all development work is carried on because the very survival of human race depends upon it.

Promoting Primary Education

Education is empowering, liberating and enriching. Civilization can advance only on the basis of education. For this a clear education policy must be adopted. A society becomes eligible to respond to developmental activities only on the basis of education. Our society consists of a large number of tribals who face backwardness because of low level of education. Poor literacy rates, high dropout rates are the problem areas in primary education level. We have studied the educational status of our project area in Karanjia, Jashipur in Mayurbhanj district and Ramthenga village in Jajpur district. The findings from the study pointed out that high percentage of children of school-going age are deprived of proper education due to poverty and lack of awareness. They are also engaged in various household activities and areas like agriculture, daily labour, firewood collection, as domestic servants. Some are also forced to migrate to other regions to earn money.

After RAC intervention there evolved a significant change. Parents started sending their children to non-formal education centers. RAC has set up many such non-formal education centers at its project base areas for imparting free education for the poor children. Free uniforms and study materials have been distributed in those centers. Apart from class room teaching, the students were also enlightened for physical education and value of sanitation. They were also made acquainted with cultural and recreational activities.

Community Health

RAC always gives priority to community health as our state is lagging behind in this sector. Health of beneficiaries is of primary importance since rural tribal people are having poor health indicators. Lack of sufficient quantity of potable water, poor health practices, unhygienic living conditions contribute to poor health particularly in rural areas and tribal sectors. This affects their need based earning capacity and lowers their socio-economic status. It was both a privilege and challenge for us to uplift community health. Here awareness is the key-word as we give importance to raise awareness levels regarding health and sanitation. Sensitization programmes were organized and messages were directed through folk media, video programme and street play.

The community was motivated to collect drinking water from safe sources and store the same hygienically. Cleanliness of surroundings and use of mosquito-nets was encouraged to counter malaria. People were taught to dispose garbage properly and prevent accumulation of stagnant water.

Pregnant women were educated on proper check-up and nutrition. There was arrangement for pick-up of pregnant ladies for safe delivery. Health camps were organised in order to counter epidemics and illness of people. Free medicines were distributed and expert advice was given. The model village Ramthenga in Jajpur district ran a homeopathic dispensary throughout the project period of three years. A large number of patients were benefited by this programme.

Training / Capacity Building

For effective implementation of any programme all available resources must be utilized to full potential. It is here that human resource mobilization comes into play. This force can be strengthened only through capacity building. Training is a socialization process where skills are imparted to augment human resources for the benefit. The resourceful in-puts in the programme is passed to the participants and then to the community through the former. RAC has imparted training in various trades and vocations for the betterment of the vulnerable groups of society and for skill upgradation of in-house human resources.

The detailed list of the training programme is provided below ;

Various training programmes in different trades were organized under different projects.

Name of Trade Place of Training
PMRY Bhubaneswar
Staff Capacity Building Bhubaneswar
Farmers Orientation training Karanjia, Mayurbhanj
Bee-Keeping / Honey processing Karanjia, Mayurbhanj
Sabai grass product Making Karanjia, Mayurbhanj
Sericulture Karanjia, Mayurbhanj
Mushroom and Spawn production Karanjia, Mayurbhanj
EDP training Karanjia, Mayurbhanj
Tailoring Training Ramthenga,Jajpur,Minsinghpatna,Khurda
Briquettee manufacturing Keonjhar
Goatery Mayurbhanj, Jajpur,Khurda
Poultry Keonjhar

These Capacity Building orientation programmes have immensely benefited the tribal and rural population of different areas/ districts during the course of different project operations. Besides, RAC has made inroads in mines rich area of Keonjhar district. It has identified new groups and motivated them for use of coal char. Demonstration / Presentations were held at different places regarding the use of industrial waste for the production of Bricket and its ultimate use as a cheap substitute of fuel wood. The District Administration, local population and also the supporting partner of the project i.e. UNDP GEF SGP were highly impressed for this programme.

Research and Evaluation

Mere implementation of a programme is not the end. Impact assessment plays a vital role to ascertain the degree of benefit of a programme for the target mass. Feedback must be taken. Research, evaluation and assessment studies are the measuring rods for each implemented programmes. Progress and development can be analysed by the help of various tools. For development programmes, action research is valuable. Whether change in policy is needed or not can be gauged. It is essential that such studies and surveys must be undertaken with accuracy and scientific research methods. RAC is well-versed with such research work..

A number of trained and dedicated investigators are associated with it. Under the purview of Research, RAC undertakes the assignments like, preparation of Research Tools, Orientation Training, Pre-testing, Field survey, Data editing, analysis & tabulation and preparation of Reports etc Besides, at times Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and PRA( Rural Appraisal) exercises are also carried out. RAC has been recognized as a networking organization for agencies like NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research),New Delhi, EIT of Kolkata and other National agencies.

Livelihood Support

Economy is dominated by various stakes. A tribal economy is vulnerable with regard to beneficiaries. Land alienation, degradation of natural resources, rampant exploitation, natural forces and lack of awareness are some of the major factors affecting the tribal economy. RAC has been involved in various projects with the aim to create avenues for livelihood for upliftment of the target group. RAC has trained and mobilized people. Targeted population has been assisted with necessary equipments, raw materials and resources in order to provide back-up for income-generation. In this regard different skill up gradation programmes have been carried out on different trades as per the local need and its feasibility as stated earlier.

RAC is engaged in promoting latest agricultural practices. Traditional farmers have been updated on modern trends and technological advances, use of hybrid seeds, use of well water, need for water harvesting particularly in dry areas or barren areas, mixed cultivation. This has led-to increase in income. Seeds and saplings have been distributed for plantation in fields and kitchen-gardens. RAC guided them initially after which farmers continued the practice on their own initiative. Farmers have learnt the value of soil conservation and need for water harvesting for future use in times of scarcity.

Women empowerment

RAC has laid special emphasis on strengthening the fairer sex as its gender sensitive approach for holistic development and empowerment. The focus has been on bringing out the potential present in women especially those who belong to backward communities. RAC has stressed on income-generating schemes, education, training, formation of SHGs and sensitization programmes among women communities. In all the cases the targeted women have evinced keen interest and whole-hearted participation.