Birbhum Loka Kalyan Parishad
The District is marked by both National & State Government as backward in all parameters of the Human Resource Development Index. The inhabitants are mostly belonging to indigenous Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes & Backward communities and live below poverty line. Food security is their primary requirement. Wage earning is their single point agenda at present. Male members migrate in large numbers in search of employment though most of the target families own considerable land resources in their parcel. Poverty, ill health, lack of functional education leads them to all kind of social deprivation. In contrast to that scenario labpur & Ilambazar Blocks were considered.
LKP’s Project Area in the District :
i) Under Food Security Project:
Covered all Gram Panchyats of Labpur & Ilambazar Blocks in phase manner. (2001 to 2011).
Women in these backward areas have been mobilized in women led groups (SHGs). Their capacities have been enhanced and skill developed for taking up NRM based Farm and Non-farm activities to generate more income and also to manage the groups efficiently without much external assistance through various skill based training programmes and continuous hand holding.
LKP established a replicable model of meaningful involvement of the Panchayats to address the Food Security issues through various forms of DNRM which demonstrated in these blocks.
Landless SHGs were engaged in private-private/public-private partnerships (lease based agricultural activities).
Major thrust was given to adopt sustainable agricultural practices by these Bank-linked SHGs to reduce cost of cultivation as far as possible following Non Pesticide Management (NPM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Nutrition Management (INM) .
A large number of SHGs in the area were also engaged in growing food bearing plants and agro-forestry saplings, which have been utilized by the GPs.
Credit requirement of the SHGs were initially met from the LKP’s project fund and later on gradually supported by the GPs directly.
ii) Under Information Education & Communication:
It is continuing since 2002 with the objective of the project to strengthen the grass root level democracy by improving rural local governance. Activities involved are –a) making people aware of their rights and obligations and empowering them to meaningfully participate in the local governance and b) building capacity of the local government representatives and functionaries to serve the people better.
Large number of IEC materials including audio-visual, and print materials are produced and disseminated.
Networking with other Civil Society organizations and their capacity building exercises are done. Advocacy on policy issues and legal matters at the state and district levels are also parts of these activities.
Equally important has been the organization’s strategy to facilitate formation of family based groups of the poor represented by women as institutions at the neighborhood level which work in concert with the Gram Unnayan Samiti thereby strengthening participatory development and promoting open, direct democracy.
iii) West Bengal Civil Society Strengthening Programme (CSSP), DFID Programme :
( August 2008 – October 2009 ) It had four major outputs to achieve:
(i) Community Based Organisations (CBOs) of the poor formed and empowered in the poorest districts and blocks of the state,
(ii) Capacity enhancement of CSOs for analysis, advocacy and policy engagement,
(iii) CBOs, CSOs and networks adopt and promote strategies to empower and enable greater participation, inclusion and fulfilling the obligations of the poor.
(iv) Supporting networks to advocate and influence government on issues concerning functional and fiscal devolution.