Thursday, March 29, 2012

How LIFE project has changed the life poor people in Banswara & Ajmer: The change factor!

1st year was focused on setting and strengthening the LIFE project, where as 2nd year, focused on sharpening of result and focusing on result monitoring. Now with two years of implementation, we can say that LIFE project has changed the lives of many down trodden people in the central and southern Rajasthan region. By the end of 2nd year of the project, the project achieved 58 % of set target result and able to strengthen the target community to bring considerable changes in their lives! The following is the glimpse of the changes from first year to 2nd year.

Situation before/till 1st year of the project
Situation after 2 years of the project
In Banswara   male members from every house hold used to migrate to Gujarat for work
Now with our 614 target families there is no migration recorded in last one year. People started getting work and other livelihood options in their own villages.
Food habit: dal, roti (bread) of synthetic fertilizer based crop, vegetables. Two meals in a day
Food habit: Dal, roti of organic input based crop, vegetables. Two meals in a day
Discussion at tea shops: on politics, crime, & culture
Discussion at tea shops: on sustainable agriculture, MGNREGA and government schemes.
Sense of attire: Dirty clothes of children and women
Sense of attire: Neat clothes of children and women
Decision in the family: hardly any role of women
Decision in the family: 20-30% ecisions of family by women.
Participation of women in gram sabha: hardly any
15-20% in recent gram Sabha meetings at 26th Jan 2012.
Veil (Parda Pratha): whole face covered
Veil ( Parda pratha): only up to head. Face is open.
Community against corruption: no action
Community against corruption: raising voice, filling RTIs
Govt officials: Do the work as per their wish
Govt. Officials: have fear of community that if they do wrong community will raise the voice. Government machinery is changing.
Average wage rate in NREGA INR 70/- per day (   compared to 119 INR per day in the region)
Average wage rate in NREGA is 105 INR  per day (  compared to 119 INR per day in the region)
Farmers were practicing synthetic fertilizer based cultivation with use of Hybrid seeds ( of Monsanto and other high brands)
Thought process in terms of agriculture has changed. Farmers moved from mere agriculture to sustainable agriculture with the use of organic inputs, certified seeds, availing government schemes, working together for farming through Farmers club and are reaping considerable production.  There are 426 farmers who practice organic cultivation i.e.  we have total target community as  1572 ( 958 of Ajmer & 614 of Banswara) and out of this 165 at Banswara and 261 at Ajmer  i.e. in total 426 target farming families are practicing 100% of organic cultivation and this 426 represents 27% of total target families and this percentage of 100% organic cultivation is increasing with every crop season.
Limited financial and social inclusion of women
Now with SHGs women moved beyond their veil system, are going to bank by themselves, dealing with all financial aspects and are linked with institutions like NABARD and Central banks to avail loan at mere 4-12 percent, their children are going to school, aanganwadi worker is attending the meetings of SHGs. And these SHGs have moved from mere SHG to entrepreneurship! 
PRI, NABARD & KVK at distance from the community
Now PRI, KVK and NABARD are the part of LIFE project implementation in the region.

Some other major highlights:

·         LIFE project has turned out as a model project for both partners and Caritas India.
·         LIFE project at Banswara has received the 2nd best award from district administration ivation in the district
·         Applicatyion of monitoring tools on regular basis and result is calculated on the basis of same.

·          Regular field visit and hand holding support to project staff has given a concrete shape to the project.

·         75% of Farmers club i.e. 15/20 farmers club are been approved by NABARD.

·         12 RTI applications have been fieled by the target community

·         Migration in Banswara ( amongst the target community) has reduced to0% from last year 100%

·         Now community is aware about the MGNREGA and almost 100% of target community have job cards, 38% of target community have received 100 days of work, 27% of target community recived full wages

·         Strengthening network of information gathering and sharing the same through web pages of LIFE  - approx 1500 viewers per month from throughout the world and other social network sites ( facebook) has given a strong visibility to the project.

·         Along with compilation of two year results, learning and challenges the approach of Result Base Management (RBM) has also incorporated in the project planning, monitoring and evaluation process. This was facilitated by ASK & CI Delhi. Application of monitoring tools, compilation and analysis of collected data, setting up targets for results and activities was done in the first quarter. In our third review meeting held in June, 2011 we reviewed our targeted results and inputs at micro-level and revised them to make them SMART and achievable. In December, we applied PMF tools again to analyse the results and achievements of the set targets.

·         Now LIFE uses workshop mode in the villages, where each   staff is organizing and facilitating workshops (with folding board and marker) on specific components of project with community   rather than just going and doing interactions.

·         In last one year through the advocacy network of LIFE & HARIT PRAYAS i.e. Sanjha Samavd , we have raised the voice for subsidy on organic inputs and no subsidy on synthetic fertilizers, demand for proper systemization of delivery of food grains under the proposed food security bill and accentuating the drawbacks and solution for implementation of NREGA and use of Bundelkhand package. Our voice through advocacy network is reaching to more than 65 development organizations through out India and other parts of the world also. 

·         Total fund leverage by the LIFE project team through government and other development institutions is INR 4519865.


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