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Home Explore RURAL DIGEST MAGAZINE April Month


Published by Jerome Kumar, 2022-04-12 17:14:29

Description: RURAL DIGEST MAGAZINE April Month


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PUBLISHED BY RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND PANCHAYAT RAJ DEPARTMENT, TAMILNADU Editor Mr. Praveen P. Nair, I.A.S., Director, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department Content Team Mr. S. Saravanan I.A.S., Additional Director, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department Mr. S. Prasanna, Aram Porul and District Officers Design created by KS SMART SOLUTION Contact Us [email protected]

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK Thanks a lot for the wonderful response to the first Issue of Rural Digest. It was well received by all. We are happy to bring you the second issue. This issue brings special focus on how districts are creating standards in mass construction of houses under PMAY G. Such experiments can have a deeper impact in the implementation of large-scale projects in our country. The story of development in a village is also the journey of the work done by the Rural Development department. We have covered one such tribal area where the block office started functioning in 1985 and traced its work over a period of thirty-five years. Such stories offer us an opportunity to look at our work more holistically. Besides the work of Rural Department, contribution, participation and initiatives of people are critical and panchayats play an important role. Right from the days of independence our governments have paid attention to empower them. It was quite enlightening to read the Vision our first Prime Minister had for the Panchayat, we have reproduced his speech and some of the contents from the Kurukshetra Magazine from 1950s. I hope this edition is as educative as inspiring for the readers. We are starting a readers’ session from next month, pl do write to us [email protected] Thiru. Praveen P. Nair, I.A.S., Director of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, TN


PMAY-G Bringing Dignity, Security and Happiness A house to own is a dream for all of us. target allotted for Tamil Nadu was It is not just a shelter; a modern house 2,89,000 houses. with ample space can give us a dignified life. It expands our mind and The pandemic and subsequent heart. The Pradhan Mantri Awaas lockdowns have slowed the program. Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G), a The marking of new houses couldn’t Government of India scheme, aims to be done, and construction of allotted provide housing for all by 2022. Since houses was stalled. Since the its inception in the year 2016, Tamil beneficiaries of the scheme are to Nadu has constructed over five lakh construct the house themselves, their houses for the economically poor in personal issues some times slowed its villages. For the year 2021-22, the down the construction process. 01

PRADHAN MANTRI AWAAS YOJANA – GRAMIN (PMAY-G) Eligibility All Houseless and people living in dilapidated and kutcha houses as per SECC 2011 data The construction should be carried out by the bene�iciary himself/herself or under his/her supervision. Category-wise earmarking of targets –60% for SC/ST, 15% for minorities and atleast 5% for persons with disabilities Unit Size Minimum size of the unit is 269sq.ft.which includes a dedicated area for hygienic- cooking Unit Assistance Rs.1.20 lakh Sharing Pattern 60:40 between Centre and State Additional TN State Govt contribution of Rs 1,20,000 for concrete roo�ing Target For the year 2016-2020 : 5,27,000 sanctioned, completed 3,32,577 For the year 2021 - 2022 : 2,89,000 allotted Districts were facing severe cost and In February, many districts organised time crunch to meet the year's target. and coordinated mass programs. A new approach was suggested to This is an ambitious plan that requires meet the target, the officials came up massive planning and coordination with a mass marking and at all levels. Here are some of the construction plan, where key activities learnings from the districts about their like marking of houses and roofing experience in addressing issues in would be done simultaneously across constructing PMAY-G houses. the districts on the same day. 02

Ms. Rajasree is the Additional Director Housing in the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj. Prior to this, she has worked in the Rural Development at various capacities. Before taking over as ADRD, she was a Project Director in Cuddalore districts. In this interview she talks about different housing schemes, their purpose, successes, and challenges. Q: What are the different types of housing schemes implemented by the RD department? INTERVIEW Right now, the flagship program is WITH PMAY-G (Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana), which is being implemented from 2016-17. Earlier it was called IAY (Indira Awaas Yojana). This is focussed on both urban and rural areas. The beneficiaries were chosen from the 2011 socio-economic caste census and was based on 13 criteria such as ownership of house, ownership of luxury items like four wheelers and two wheelers, income less than one lakh per annum, etc. A permanent waiting list was created. Prior to this scheme, in 2010, we had Kalaignar Veedu Valangum Thittam (KVVT) under which 3 lakh houses were built. The scheme was changed into Green House Thittam with solar light facilities. We also run implement housing programs for tribals and Samathuvapurams under the Rural Department. Ms. RAJSHREE, Q: What are the differences between this ADRD, scheme and PMAY-G scheme? Are the HOUSING. beneficiaries different? Yes, the beneficiaries are different. We did a mega survey of huts in 2010 for KVVT. More than 22 lakh huts were identified, of which 7 lakh huts were found ineligible because they were used as cow 03

sheds, were empty, etc. Nearly 15 lakh build the houses, there have been many huts were eligible after removing the delays. The selected beneficiaries were ineligible huts from the list. From that list, the poorest of the poor; the amount of 1.2 the government built around 3 lakh lakhs was not sufficient for them. The houses. After the change of government, state government then increased its a different set of data was created and contribution. However, some people had houses were given to them after 2011. no one to support, and many didn’t know about constructing houses, and then the Now, we have done a resurvey last pandemic affected the progress of the month (Feb 2022). Using the same KVVT project. We want to complete all the data base, we identified beneficiaries back logs. That is why we started mass who have not been allotted a house campaign in all the districts. through any of the schemes in the last 10 years. We found around 4.5 lakh people In our culture, we build houses after who were not benefited under any Pongal and so we decided to start after scheme. Among those 4.5 lakh people, Pongal. On a daily basis, we have a 90,000 people were in the PMAYG waitlist. monitoring system and have asked We have to come up with a scheme for district officials to enter the daily progress the rest of the 3.5 lakh people. of the houses. Q: How are we different from other Q: The progress completely depends on states ? the beneficiary. How do you ensure that things progress smoothly? The central government fixed the unit cost according to their norms. But they Our department purchases and provides do not insist on a particular type of roof. It cement and steel. We deduct the is up to the beneficiary to decide that. It is amount from the bill. Apart from that, the policy of our state government to with the help of the local Panchayat build concrete roofs. We provide President and ward members, we additional cost from the state funds for procure cement and bricks for old and the roofing. This is not given by all the differentlyabled people. By giving these states. Besides, we follow a specific facilities, we help them start constructing design. Though the beneficiary can houses. decide what he/she wants, we insist that they finish building 269 square feet Q: Is there any innovation in process? before they go in for any further modification. Yes, many districts have tried different methods: some have developed house Q: Right now we see we do a lot of mass, models, some have involved simultaneous activities. What was the poly-techniques and engineering thought process behind this? How did colleges. In Nagappatinam, and this idea pitch? Did we do state level or Thiruvarur districts interlocking bricks are they thought of district level? used which help in building the house quickly, within a week we can build up till From 2016-17 houses were in pending. roof, in Nagapatinam they use ash bricks. Since beneficiaries themselves have to Q: What is our next target? 04

Right now, we already have 1.75 lakh As I said we are bringing support staff, houses pending, which was sanctioned involving panchayats and community at in the year 2016-17 to 2019-20. Apart from various stages to support the field staff. this 2.3 lakh houses were allotted in 2021 So far in Tamil Nadu, the quality of houses and sanctioned. These should be are good. Representatives of the completed. Government of India visited our houses, and were very happy about the quality of Q: What are the major challenges we the houses. At the end it is the smile in the have? face of the beneficiary that motivates us. The number of houses is the challenge. There are many senior citizens and single women. As our target is the poorest of the poor, their affordability is a challenge. We take help from the Panchayat President, ward members, and all the technical people like overseers to overcome these challenges. Our staffs are overworked, and we have taken a decision to hire technical assistants for six months in areas where there are huge backlogs, and to rope in SHGs as motivators. This will be executed in a couple of months. The motivator will act as a bridge between the beneficiary and block office. An app is being developed by the Cuddalore district for this purpose. The app will list out the pending houses and for 25 houses, a motivator will be allotted. That motivator will meet the people of those houses and ask in what stage the house is and what assistance they need. The motivator will help in submitting bills, ordering materials, getting materials at the right time, etc. These details will be entered in the app, and based on this, the overseer will act Q: How do we motivate our staff? it is quite stressful for the staff is it not? We understand the difficulty of our staff, it Ms.Rajasree Visiting construction work with is because of them we see the progress. state and Central Government officials 05

ENGAGING COMMUNITIES CHENGALPATTU During the year 2021-22 Allotted Houses: 16,130 Sanctioned Houses: 10,790 In spite of houses being allotted, many beneficiaries couldn’t start construction. District officials found that some of the main reasons were: Lack of initial funds, manpower to oversee work, vendors, availability of materials at the right time, and awareness among beneficiaries. To address this issue, the District Collector of Chengalpattu instructed the officials of RD & PR Dept to approach principals of engineering colleges, polytechnic institutes, and ITIs to help in the construction of houses, and engage PLF (Panchayat Level Federation) and SHGs to create awareness among beneficiaries about the process, and start the construction. The block-level staff of the Engineering Wing, in consultation with district officials, decided to mark house sites on 03.02.2022 in all 359 village panchayats. In a single day, 34% of the houses (4,252 houses out of 12,517) were marked, with the support of engineering, polytechnic and ITI students, and SHG motivators and interested SHG members. 06

MODEL MARKING TEMPLATE KARUR The number of sanctioned houses in For the remaining 43% of the houses, the marking had to be done. The district Karur district are 2,355, and as on 15th of came up with an innovative idea to February only 1,349 houses were marked complete maximum markings in a day. and work had started for these houses. They developed a model pre-fabricated marking template for the same. 1 During on-site observation of the process, it 3 The template is formed by a removable was noted that the time required to mark a coupling joint at the centre, which facilitates the single house by this method was less than 10 separation of the tem plate into two pieces for minutes, compared to 30 minutes using the transit, on completion of marking of a house. regular procedure, with two-thirds of the time saved. 2 In this method, the corner perpendicularity of 4 Due to ease and limited time required for the house is automatically ensured, removing marking, it was observed that a minimum of 60 to 70 houses could be marked in a day, even the need for rechecking it. going up to 100 houses if houses are to be marked in clusters. Mass marking day was fixed on 16.2.2022 and 17.2.2022, when more than 750 houses were marked using this process. Mass Marking work at karur 07

MASS ROOFING CUDDALORE Constructing a single house requires a Mass Roofing work at Cuddalore lot of planning. Any builder would agree Mixers 227 that logistics and supply chain problems can hamper any planning. Imagine if one Cement 15330 bags has to build 100 houses across a district in different locations, for different people, Steel bars 14400 coordinating with hundreds of workers, masons, and vendors. It would be a Masons 509 Himalayan task for even the most experienced builder! ! Labourers 3014 This is the task that the Cuddalore district The massive work was done in administration took upon themselves. They decided to lay the roofing of all the coordination with multiple departments. PMAY-G houses under construction on a “We had cement shortage in the district mass scale. At the time of planning this exercise the number of houses and had to bring masons from different allotted for the district was 34,500, and of locations, and money had be transferred this, more than 11,000 were completed, and the rest were at various stages of to the beneficiaries for the payment, all construction. It was also found that in within short time” says the ADC. A total of around 3,000 houses, construction was stalled after the lintel level. “We found 445 roofs were constructed in one day! that many of the beneficiaries are having issues finishing the roof, which is the most In the coming months, the district is difficult part of the construction. We planning to continue this process and undertook a survey, created a detailed complete the construction of the 3,000 gap analysis of what resources were plus houses which are at the lintel stage. available and required. Block-level engineers were given the authority to arrange for materials and manpower locally,” says Pavan Kumar I.A.S, Additional Collector, Cuddalore. On 21.2.2022 and 22.2.2022, the district geared up to build roofs by mobilising materials, machinery, and skilled workers to be assigned to the beneficiaries. 08

HUT-FREE TRIBAL PANCHAYAT OPPATHAVADI PANCHAYAT KRISHNAGIRI Pucca house for tribals living in the schemes by GOTN/GOI, non-availability of own land and no scope to issue house forest is a generational shift. Many don’t site pattas by the revenue authorities in have pattas in their name, and a house the forest areas makes it difficult to build in their name means a complete shift in houses in the forest areas.” says Ms their lives. Oppathavadi Panchayat in Malarvizhi, Project Director. Bargur Union, Krishnagiri District is a tribal panchayat that has brought dignity and security to all its residents in Krishna Nagar Irular colony by ensuring 100% pucca houses for all. Of the 61 families living in the village, 27 New houes in Opathavadi Panchayat families have pucca houses. They earn a meagre income by breeding cattle, harvesting honey, cutting trees, etc. Construction of new pucca houses with their income is unattainable for them. During the rainy season, people living in huts have faced a lot of difficulties. “Though many housing schemes are A joint team comprising Forest, Revenue being implemented under different and Rural Development staff assessed whether the residents were eligible under any of the housing schemes. Out of 61 families, 27 families had pucca houses from the government and it required some minor repairs: the rest needed houses. The team identified government poramboke land near the village with easy approach. Patta for 34 beneficiaries was arranged and sanction order for construction of new houses under a state scheme called CMSPGHS 2020-21 with a unit cost of Rs 3.00 lakhs each was issued. Before houses were built Today, all the tribal households in Krishna Nagar Irular Colony have own pucca house, making it a hut-free village. 09

BY RAIN THE WORLD SUSTAINS Rain water harvest structure in a school “By the continuance of rain the world structure was constructed with the is preserved in existence; it is provision to store and reuse the therefore worthy to be called as the harvested rainwater. In this method, elixir of life. ” the rainwater collected on the rooftop Thirukural was filtered using a filter media and stored in a sump. The Government of Tamil Nadu has always laid special emphasis on rain After elaborate planning and scheme water conservation and harvesting. formulations, it was decided to The conventional rain water construct 611 such structures across harvesting structure involves Dindigul district within 21 days so that collection of roof top rainwater and the monsoon rains could be fully letting the water into a soak pit. This tapped, and in the process, a world method ensures that the rainwater is record can be achieved. Panchayat not wasted and is let off into the Union Primary and Middle schools in ground thus improving the 306 village panchayats were selected ground water table. as project sites. Taking this rainwater harvesting A detailed micro level plan was process to the next level, the Dindigul prepared including material district administration explored the availability, skilled labor availability feasibility of reusing the harvested and contingency plan in case of rain water before draining it into the heavy rains. The work started on soak pit. A trial rainwater harvesting 10.11.2021. The sumps were planned 10

using bricks, reinforced cement Recognizing this feat, four world concrete, or plain cement concrete. record agencies, viz. Elite World The size of the sump ranged from Record Agency, Asian Records 9,000 litres to 27,000 litres, depending Academy, India Records Academy on the rooftop area of the building in and the Tamilan Book of Records which the structure was planned. The conferred world record certificates to total sump capacity built across 611 the District Collector, Dindigul. locations is 80 lakh litres. A rainfall of 1 mm over an area of one square Aerial view of water Harvesting Structures meter yields 1 litre of water. The combined area of buildings taken up World Record for building rainwater harvesting structures in Dindigul is 1,03,033 Applications were submitted to four square meters, and with an average world record agencies viz – Elite World yearly rainfall of 1000 mm, the yearly Records, Asian Records Academy, capacity to store and reuse rainwater India Records Academy and Tamilan in Dindigul is 10.3 crore litres.This is is Book of Records for recognition of equivalent to the storage capacity of world record under the category a small dam! To keep the tank clean of silt and to ensure maximum usage of water, school water management committees comprising students, teachers, and school sanitary workers were formed. These management teams will ensure that every drop of rain water harvested is put to use and the entire rainwater harvesting system is kept clean. “Most Roof-Top Rainwater Harvesting Structures Constructed at Multiple Locations in 21 days”. The world record agencies scrutinized the claim diligently and visited more than 350 structures to ascertain the quality of the work done and to review whether the work conforms to the standards set by these agencies. Aerial view water Harvesting Structures 11

35 YEARS OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT @ Vellimalai, Kallakurichi kadukakai and for salt. There were no roads or electricity till the 1980s. It was only after becoming part of the state officially, that things started improving,“ says Chandran, the newly elected councilor of Vellimalai Panchayat Union. Vellimalai is a tribal block in The tribal population in Tamil Nadu is close to one percent. Unlike the tribals Kallakurichi district. It belongs to the in the Nilgiris and the Western Ghats, Kalvaryan Hill range in the Eastern the tribals of Kalvarayan Hills belong Ghats and is spread across four districts. The hill and its people became part of India only in 1977, during the Emergency. Till then they were ruled by the jagirdhars of the Kalvarayan, in a state of semi slavery. The community had wedding tax, cultivation tax, registration of births and deaths, and everyone had to offer gifts to the jagirdhar's families during the Pongal celebrations. The three jagirdhars were not willing to recognise the Government of India and abide by its statutes, or hand over the 105 villages under them. The hill was brought under government control on 25.6.1976 by invoking the Inam abolition Act 1963. Except from a few missionaries, the MNREGA workers @ Vellimalai Block people had not experienced any development. “We were dependent on the jagidhars for everything. Occasionally, we went down the hill to exchange minor forest produce like 12

to the homogenous Malayali tribe. While there is significant Kalvarayan Hill lags behind in almost improvement in the infrastructure, all development indicators. The people still migrate to Mysore and literacy rate in the hills is slightly more Kerala to work in coffee and spice than 55%, and in Vellimalai, it is even estates. “Almost all able men and worse, at just about 37%. However, women in working age migrate for things have improved in the last 35 four months between January to May. years. Today, all villages in In fact, this change itself is because of Kalvarayan are fully electrified, roads the infrastructure development, to major villages are connected, safe especially roads. That money helps in water has reached houses, and asset creation for the villagers” says schools are within reach. Kalvarayan Mani, a villager. Inspite of external Hills stands testimony to what good money the dependency on MNREGA governance can do. is very high, more than 30,152 people were given work last year, i.e., close to The Kalvarayan block with Vellimalai 90% of the adult working population. Panchayat as headquarters was created on 7.2.1985. The block has 15 “We want to create more village panchayats, 50 revenue opportunities here so that we don’t villages and 177 hamlets and a have to migrate” says Chandran. “It is population of 56,327 (2011 Census). In risky to climb tall trees to harvest the last 35 years, the rural spices. We have at least one person in department has tried its best to bring each village with broken limbs and various schemes to the people. “Our backbone.” The panchayats and the first development activity was relevant departments are planning to constructing roads, and providing create community assets which can electricity and safe water to all the increase local livelihoods. To increase villages. We are happy that we could agriculture productivity and achieve most of it,” Mr Sakthivelsays profitability, the department has overseer. constructed check dams, roads, community tanks, and market spaces. . The Department is working with the Forest and Agriculture department to explore convergence projects which can help increase income locally. “Tapioca and millets were the only food we grew, but we can grow coffee and spices. We have learnt it; some of us are already planting it, if we get the support of the government we can grow in the hill ” says Chandran. 13

OLD, BUT SELF BUND TO PROTECT RELIANT THE FARM Thru. Abdul is 70 years old; Poongodi he got his children married During the rains, the top soil and they are settled in gets eroded, thus affecting different places. He lives agriculture. In order to alone with his aged wife, arrest it, stone bunds are who manages a petty created. It is labour shop. Abdul comes to work intensive work; however, every day at MNREGA work stone bunding of individual site and tries to finish his farms can be undertaken quota of work. “I don’t under MNREGA. Poongodi want to depend on my and her mother are small children, 100-day work time farmers in the Village, has given me the respect the department has built that I would not have got stone bund protecting 5 otherwise,” he says. acres of their land. His coworkers admire him for his resilience. 14

Some of the Electricity: 15 panchayats are fully electrified development works water : OTH, 133, 172 hand pumps, 156 wells at Vellimalai Roads Gravel : 118 Kilometres Thar : 88 Kilometres Stone : 18 Mud : 597 In the last 35 years department has taken multiple various activities to improve the living standards in the hills. The focus has been to bring basic amenities to every village. Today all major villages are connected by road, fully electrified and gets potable water connections. Besides Vellimalai has functioning bus stand, market place built by the rural department. The Hill has changed, from being a very primitive tribe with no idea of money agriculture education today people travel to various places in search of opportunities drive, bikes study in different colleges live in pakka houses and do business with non tribal. But the work of rural department is not at over, as more and more facilities reach tribal area the department should focus on preserving their lifestyle their culture and the environment from exploitation. “When it rains, water flows through the village, floods the street, and damages the road. We have constructed rainwater drainage and connected it to the nearby pond. The drainage protects the road and also saves water,” says Selvaraj. Mr Selvaraj, in front of community well built at Thoradipattu panchayat 15

Water Tank, Drainage and other development works at Toradipattu. 16

RURAL LIFE, URBAN ADVANTAGE Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission 2021-22 Large parts of rural India are not stand-alone settlements but part of a cluster of settlements that are relatively proximate to each other. These clusters typically illustrate potential for growth, have economic drivers, and derive locational and competitive advantages. These clusters, once developed, can then be classified as 'Rurban'. Taking cognizance of this, the Government of India has proposed the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM), aimed at developing such rural areas by provisioning economic, social and physical infrastructure facilities. The Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) follows the vision of Development of a cluster of villages that preserve and nurture the essence of rural community life with focus on equity and inclusiveness without compromising on the facilities perceived to be essentially urban in nature, thus creating a cluster of \"Rurban Villages\". 17

Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission NRUM Vellaiyudhapalayam cluster in Tiruppur district. The Vellaiyudha palayam cluster was developed as a cluster with focus on improving basic facilities. Seventy percent of the households with one beneficiary in each HSS is linked with skilled or with economic activity. In Vellaiyudha Palayam cluster there are six panchayats: Vellaiyudha palalyam, Sendhianallur, Nambiampalayam, Kaniyampoondi, Thekalur, and Pudhupalayam. In this project, TNSRLM supported SHGS through PLFs. PLFs identified qualified and needful SHGs and gave them different machineries to support their businesses. The initiative of having an e-Sevai centre in our village has helped people in our village to a large extent. Earlier old people and school students used to travel 10 kilometres to access e-Sevai services, but now they don’t have to travel to the city to get their work done. We provide services like income certificates, Aadhar cards, Voter IDs; in fact, all the services which can be done online is easily done within the village. This has helped everyone in the village. Thank you. SHG member 18

Our panchayat is Kaniyampoondi. With the support of Rurban scheme and Women SHG, we have got 12 floor mat machines. Earlier we used to work as labourers, but now we are our own bosses. They gave us proper training and now we are able to earn enough income. I thank Rurban scheme and SHGs wholeheartedly for this initiative. SHG member Greetings to everyone! Rurban scheme and Women self help group has helped us with seven sewing machines and also taught me the basics of tailoring. I am able to make 500 bags per day and they give us Rs.1 per bag. I am able to earn a good income and have become independent. Earlier, I didn’t know tailoring, and because of the one-month training given by Rurban scheme, I am able to stitch bags. SHG member 19

SHG WOMEN RUN HI TECH PARLOURS SHG women owners of Aavin Parlour Samayanallur is one of the 16 villages conducted a market survey and found that Samayanallur village had identified in Kovilpappakudi cluster underdeveloped retail channel with high potential for domestic and under the National Rurban Mission commercial usage of milk and milk products. Scheme (NRuM). The project was “In Samayanallur village, only private implemented under the Ministry of dairy companies are handling milk and its allied products in an Rural Development, NRuM, Tamil Nadu unorganized manner. They were costly and they sold it through retail State Rural Livelihood Mission shops. We thought that with Aavin Parlour we could offer the customer (TNSRLM), and District Rural an experience and high quality service” says Yamini, Programme Development Agency (DRDA) with the Manager, CED. support of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), Madurai. CED, a state-level institution, was given the responsibility to identify, train, and mentor the women to run the business. The organization 20

Twelve SHG Members from five SHGs Training of SHG women on business of Samayanallur village were selected for training on the basis of “These members tend to go for rural their age and marital status jobs under MNREGA scheme or are (preferably below 40 years and engaged in menial jobs, in spite of married) . They were given training for being degree holders. We are hoping 44 days (15 days of entrepreneurship this will give them the opportunity to training and 30 days of skill/technical fully grow into their potential,” says training). Technical training was Yamini. arranged at Madurai District Cooperative Milk Producers Union The parlour functions from 5 am to Limited (Aavin). 10:30 pm. If you are taking a trip to Kodaikannal, stop by the shop and With an investment of Rs 14 lakh the have a nice cup of tea! unit started functioning from 24.12.2021 , with the working capital of Rs 2,40,000 brought in by the Panchayat-Level Federation (PLF) and the individual members. Aavin Hi-Tech Parlour. enroute to many cities like Dindigul, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, and tourist destinations, an Aavin HI-Tech Parlour could be good business for the Self- Help Group (SHG) women. The unit is estimated to earn about 41,000 every month. The twelve members manage the parlour on the panchayat owned land, under the supervision and guidance of the District Rural Development Agency, Madurai District. 21

INNOVATION M. Arvind, APO housing and sanitation, DRDA, Sivagangai, under GREEN PAVER the active guidance of the district collector and project director, tried to BLOCKS create green paver block roads and this can be a potential game Using plastic in the construction of changer as it is easier and simpler in roads has become a regular feature approach and in rural development projects. The department has given plastic Advantages of green paver block shredder machines to each block to roads over plastic-added BT roads reuse plastics collected at the village level into products. One major usage Locally collected solid wastes are is in roads, where plastic shreds are segregated at the panchayat mixed with bitumen to lay roads. The level. The waste is shredded and rural department in Sivagangai stored as shredded plastic District has tried a different model: waste. It usually has . They have created paver blocks using plastics. “The project director, Three forms of plastics Sivagangai District, asked me to come up with an innovative solution 1 Shredded plastic bottle in sanitation. Each panchayat has wastes plastic pellets, shredded from the waste collected from the panchayats. 2 Shredded plastic covers All that was collected was not used for 3 Single - use plastic covers. bitumen roads, and it was a difficult process to use as well. I thought using it in paver blocks would be easier,” says Aravind, APO Sanitation, Sivagangai. The correct ratio of plastic and concrete was arrived at through trial and error. The final product was found to be less in weight and could withstand heavy loads (See table for the results). Description Weight of Weight of Load carrying capacity Specimen plastic added (Compressive strength) (gm) N/mm2 Control Specimen 4.020 Kg Nil 8.45 60 mm Plastic Mixed 3.740 Kg 50 gm 7.5 60 mm Control Specimen 5.750 Kg Nil 7.53 80 mm Plastic Mixed 5.300 Kg 50 gm 8.67 80 mm 22

Usually most of the waste is On the other hand, adding of land filledor held locally at the shredded plastic waste to site itself. One usual form of paver blocks as an alternative disposal of these wastes is by approach helps in the following adding them to bituminous ways: top roads. This has several Simpler to make. It involves only two limitations: processes: mixing of base concrete and vibra�ng in a conveyor belt. 1. Shredded plas�c waste can be added only Plas�c waste can be added easily to by certain weight to the bitumen mix(ie) 6% the mixture. by weight of bitumen or 1.186 kg/ 10 m2 as per IRC codal provisions. Ensuring adequate Binding is also easily achieved and it plas�city and durability is also a major task. also gives a good finish 2. Adding shredded plas�c waste to bitumen Op�mal amount of plas�c waste to is a cumbersome process and it involves be added can be iden�fied easily. combus�on and hea�ng of plas�c wastes to This becomes a poten�al source for 170°Celsius. It is environmentally not sound as plas�c sequestra�on. it involves vaporisa�on and releas harmful gases into the atmosphere. 3. Also, when added in excess, it might During itslife of 15-20 years, paver cause considerable changes to the BT roads block roads can hold plas�cs within them, thereby breakingthe plas�c use as plas�city of roads might increase. cycle. It makes paver blocks lighter; ie., by adding 50 grams of plas�c waste, the weight of the paver block is reduced by 360 grams on 2 days curing. 4. It requires high technical skills and It helps in be�er handling adequate technical interven�on at different of paver blocks while laying them. stages of the road laying process. 23

Plastic Waste Management Erode District Around 49 tons of waste is generated Road being laid using plastic waste everyday in rural areas of Erode plastic waste and sold the shredded district of which 2.5 tons is plastic. plastics to the road contractors thar Door to door collection of waste is making process. District collector has done by “Thoomai kavalars visit our appreciated us for shredding more homes at Gandhinagar and collect than 1 tonne plastic.This gives us the waste every day. We separate the motivation to continue this further.” biodegrable and non biodegradable Says the Pachayat President of waste and handover to them. When Konamoolai village. we give plastic cover they give Rs.10 per cover and that money is helpful for us. Since waste is collected everyday in our panchayat, house and streets are always clean” says a resident of Konamoolai Village The waste collected from households Plastic Buy bag policy has been is taken to the segregation shed launched in all 225 village where plastics like milk cover, oil panchayats of Erode district. Contact cover, biscuit covers etc, are number of Swatch Bharath separated from other plastics. The coordinator is shared with the public. separated plastics are weighed in In all the 14 blocks plastic shredder is scale and then dust is removed placed. To reuse the shredded plastic, before shredding. The shredded it is mixed with bitumen in a way that plastics is collected weighed again, plastic forms 8 percent of total weight. packed and kept ready for sale. 1.75 tonnes of shredded plastic were to form 3.2kms of road in the last “Till now we have shredded 1 tonne of month. 24

ONGC SUPPORTS Villages Number of units SOLAR-POWERED Koradacheri 33 OVER HEAD TANKS Kottur 10 The panchayats in Thiruvarur district Mannargudi 23 spend about 20,000 to 2,00,000 every month on electricity just to pump Nannilam 4 water to Over Head Tanks. Some panchayats face power outages and Nedamangalam 3 some face frequent power interruption. This delays the water Thiruthuraipoondi 3 supply, and increases cost and wastage. In order to address this Thiruvarur 22 issue, the district collector approached ONGC, a public sector Valangaiman 2 company, with the request to install solar powered OHTs under their CSR Total 100 funds. The company allotted three crores for this project, at an estimated cost of Rs 2,95,000 per OHT, to the Rural Development department. The department selected 100 panchayats that are facing frequent power issues. The project started in 2021, and a hundred OHTs were constructed with solar power to pump water. According to department officials, this has reduced electricity bills by 50% in some panchayats. Today, villagers are able to pump water without worrying about escalating cost, and some panchayats are able to supply more water to meet the demand. The department thanks ONGC for its contribution and is open to more such partnerships. Solar powered Over Head Tank 25

FOREST Under this Act, the land cultivated by RIGHTS ACT AND tribal and forest dependents/ LOCAL BODIES dwellers in forests before 13-12 2005, when the Bill was tabled in Parliament, will be owned by them. Under the Forest Rights Act, up to 10 acres of land per family can be approved. But they can't sell those lands. It also gives tribals the right to collect, use and sell small forest yields. Apart from hunting, the Act recognises all the traditional and cultural rights of the tribals. Under the community forest rights, the Act provides for the use of 75 trees per hectare for construction of schools, anganavadi, hospitals, for fishing in water bodies, for the use of grazing. Mr. S. Govindraj in his farm The gramsabha has all the power to take forward this historic act. Under About 10 million tribals across India the Forest Rights Act, buy forest claims depend on forest and forest yields for petitions in villages, consider it and their livelihood. The National Tribal view the lands. It has the power to Policy states that 70% of the income of constitute the Village Forest Rights the tribal comes only through small Committee forward the petitions forest yields, but the conflict and recommended by the Village Forest contradictions between the forest Rights to the Divisional Level department and the forest dwellers Committee. The petition for the right were increasing when it came to the to social forest resources, to collect use of these small forest yields and small forest yields and obtain forest lands. This led to the tribals traditional rights, can only be referred having to fight for their livelihood for a to the Divisional Level Committee by long time. It was to redress this the Village Forest Rights and Grama historical injustice that the Union Sabha. Government enacted the Tribal and Forest Dependent Forest Rights So far, 33,000 petitions have been (Recognition) Act, 2006. submitted in Tamil Nadu and 5000 tribals have been granted forest rights. 26

This has increased our income and we are able be send our children to college for higher education. We will also take action to provide patta to remanining 26 persons who are yet to get. To know about the role of local bodies It shows, if the local bodies take care in implementing FRA, we inspected of the proper implementation of the Upper Nelli Marathur village under Forest Rights Act, they can shine a Jawadhu Malai Taluk Koylur light on the lives of thousands of Panchayattu in Tiruvannamalai tribals. Therefore, our appeal is that district. All the 66 tribal families in the other local bodies in Tamil Nadu village depend on forest land for their should also take steps to implement livelihood and all of them petitioned the Forest Rights Act properly. the Village Forest Rights Committee for the forest land rights. Out of this, 40 Ranganathan petitions have been accepted by the VRDP Grama Sabha and 3 to 5 acres have been allotted by the District Committee as per the size of the lands cultivated by them. Mr. S. Govindraj (47), who was instrumental in getting forest rights land for the village about the change in tribal lives, says, “ We depend on this forest land for our lives for generations. Our livelihood remained unstable untill the Forest Rights Act came, before that even if small crops were grown, the forest department would cause trouble. This forced many families to migrate to neighbouring districts and states in search of life. Now that patta (approval) has been given by the government under the Forest Rights Act, we are growing trees like mango, silver oak, teak, jack fruit etc., and cultivating crops like samai and kollu. 27

Panchayati Raj- • A Solid Foundation of Del1l0Cracy JAWAHARLAL NEHRU \"PANCHAYATI Raj is becoming concession or the other. TIlis was a ' the field of education, the Pancha- a solid foundation of. democracy in the country and a powerful instru. sign of utter backwardness. The. yat~ had taken good, deal of interest ment -not only in the' political \"but also in the social and economic people who wanted to go forward ensuring r'egular attendance of teach\" fields\"-said Shri Jawaharlal Nehru speaking 00\" the Resolution on Pan- should, hold their heads high and not ers and students. ' chayati Raj ~oved at the 66th Session of the Indian National Cong- beg for. concessions. ress held recently at Bhavnagar. He added that the Panchayati Raj had Continuing his remarks, Shri Continuing his remarks, Shri immense possibilities. Millions of Nehru said that the real meaning of Nehru said,' that the, Panchayats could people in the rural areas had been democracy lay in enabling the people suffering from _all forms of inequities. to go forward. Everyone was not : form the strong fo~ndation of demo- They should become self-reliant and equal. But all should h!1ve equal cracy and once' the foundation was be ready to should~ administrative opportunities to develop' themselves. strong, the superstructure would also and other resiionsibilities. The era The Panchayati .Raj would afford I be solid. These Panchayats would when .the rural people had to run up . immense opportunities to the people 'naturally have.' a considerable say in to officials and other authorities with to do things by themselves. It would the selection of persons who want to petitions in their. hands begging for . certainly bring about a qualitative :represent the people in the Vidban something to be done on their behalf should end once for aU: :Sabha or tJle Lok Sabha. So far as ,the ,. elections to Panchayats were Shri Nehru further remarked that the fear, that the power should not change in their' work, The officials :concerned, Shri Nehru felt that pr.e- be given at one stroke to the Pan- should give advice and even training ches and Sarpanchcs who were mostly \"in cooperatives, but the. initiative ferably these should be on non-party illiter'ate and not conversant with the should lie with .the people. It was techniques of administrative and oreally very encouraging to see that lines. It was .jndeed a happy development work, had no meaning, They would ~ certainly learn from the Kisans and the Harijans, who .augury that Pancbayat' elections had experience and correct their own had suffered so long for lack of initial mistakes, The idea of giving opportunities, bad responded magni- onbeen fought in many places in Pun- guidance from the top for all time to ficently to the new form of life that jab and Rajasthan non-party lines. come was like making the children had presented itself and their achieve- utterly helpless by keeping them ments had beea creditable. It had Some 30 per cent of the Panchayat under protection and not allowing them to go into the open air. Shri eJections had been by unanimous Nehru strongly urged that nobody. should nurse any misgiving 00 the ~greenient among the village folk. score that the Paochayats would fail to discharge. .their .responsibilities if The process had \"brought about new executive powers were transferred to them. He said that it was high time faces 'and new blood. In many cases that the domination of the official mind on the life, of the people was been found in many places .that the villagers who had migrated to nearby eliminated. They must have a say in their own affairs .. He said that during Panchayats took the lead in building towns had returned to their homes his visits to tribal areas, he often houses for Harijans. Similarly, 'in .seeing the trend of the times. found people coming to him with petitions in hand asking for incJu- Congi;essResolution dn Panchayati Raj sicin of their names in. the list of , Scheduled Castes... and Scheduled - ~..~~.- Tribes so that they could enjoy some .;:. ~_==-T- - \"It has been~--:t:-h:-=e.~ settled policy of .the Congress, for many years, even before the coming of Independence, tol develop village panchayats. This policy found expression in one of the Directive Principles of the Indian Constitution which affirms that: ~ \"- -C /-' -~ ?~; MARCH 1961 \"the State shall take steps to organise' village panchayats and endow them with -such powers and authority as may be \"necessary to enable.them to function as units of self-go\\'ernment.\" . Village panchayats are not only the-joundation .of democracy in the country, but also secure the effective p4rticipation of the people in the Government and the planned development of the country, so that the vast numbers of our people living in th~ rural areas are intima/ely asso- ciated. in these vital functions. The effeCt of foreign rule in India was largely to deprive the people of initiative, and of participation in alld, responsibility for the manifold activities for their own advancemellt. Independence brought in some measure, the Sense of self-help and respo~sibiLity, but ;this did not spread to the extent desired among the mass of the rural population. .. (Continued on page'13) ,\" 4 KURUKSHETRA: March 1961 28

.. GREAT EXPECTATIONS' .ce,.~ .. ~.;: . .~.'.' ~.. ..~ \":;:> ~ 29

:. , .ASSAULT RACE ~ 1 I\\IlDl1\" OBJE.CnONS '. \\ \\' I -~~,.' I• ..•••• _?~ I 't II • ,\" /y/ >' \" \" ---- i .', S ,' . . AR,PANCHP.5- 30

SAANSAD ADARSH GRAM YOJANA The goal of Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) is to translate the vision of Mahatma Gandhi into reality, with current day relevance. OBJECTIVES 1. Trigger processes which lead to holistic development of the identified Gram Panchayats. 2. Significantly improve the standard of living and quality of life of all sections of the population by : 2.1 Improving basic amenities 2.2 Higher productivity 2.3 Improved human development indicators 2.4 Better livelihood opportunities 2.5 Reduced disparities 2.6 Access to rights and entitlements 2.7 Wider social mobilisation 2.8 Enriched social capital 3. Generate models of local level development and effective local governance which can motivate and inspire neighbouring Gram Panchayats. 4. Nurture the identified Adarsh Grams as schools of local development to train other Gram Panchayats. 31

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT A Gram Panchayat is the basic HUMAN DEVELOPMENT unit. Population of 3000 - 5000 SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT in the plains, and 1000 - 3000 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT in hilly and tribal areas ENVIRONMENT DEVELOPMENT BASIC AMENITIES & SE Goal was achieve to three SOCIAL SECURITY Adarsh Grams by March GOOD GOVERNANCE 2019. Thereafter five more (one per year) by 2024 32


Step 1 : Situational Analysis provide benchmarks to track future development ; need-gaps identification (to be done by expert agency).Participatory Situation Analysis - NIRDPR trained facilitators working with local community, using multiple tools and techniques - Social Map ; Resource Map ; Needs Matrix - All data to be captured on the GIS platform. Step 2 : Local MP / DC / GP review of Initiation Stage Assess what the village has achieved on its own, and future milestones within its own ability. Step 3 : Strategy Setting Strategies for Development and Action Plans aligned with earlier inputs - Select stakeholder groups / district officials / experts. Step 4 : Identification of Resources Review of fully tied / partly tied / largely untied schemes ; Local Area Development Scheme of MLAs ; CSR funds ; etc. Ministries / Departments will change guidelines to prioritise funding for Adarsh Grams. Step 5 : Finalisation of Needs Consultation with different stakeloder groups. GS discussions. Unanimous approval of needs and priorities is desirable to the extent possible. Step 6 : Preparation of a draft VDP VDP based on needs prioritised by the people, developed by a Working Group (including experts) set up by the DC. Step 7 : Clearance of the VDP by the GS. Step 8 : Approval of the VDP By District Level Committee headed by the DC in the presence of the local MP whose comments will be recorded. Phasing of components and timelines to be spelt out. (VDP in place and approved process time estimated at 7 months from Initiation Stage). Step 9 : Projectisation and Sanctions Components of the approved Plan to be converted to projects by concerned Departments, who must get administrative ; financial ; and technical approvals under relevant scheme guidelines. DC to coordinate the exercise with the Charge Officer. Step 10 : Disclosure and Dissemination Proactive and wide sharing of all processes / aspects of the Plan. Deliverables classifies as immediate (within 3 months) ; short term (within 6 months) ; medium term (within 1 year) ; and long term (beyond 1 year). Content Courtesy 34

STANDING COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS ON MNREGA. 17th Lok Sabha Following are the key recommendations from the evaluation report submitted by the standing committee on MNREGA on 8-02-2022 1. Judicious Allocation of Budget under MGNREGA to meet the demand as elicited by the ever increasing budgetary demand. 2. Effective Coordination with the States for timely release of funds and submission of requisite details. 3. Department of Rural Development to ensure that the unspent balances are completely mitigated by the utilization of allocated funds in a time-bound and financially prudent manner 4. Take all possible measures to wipe off the wage liabilities as soon as possible. 5. Increase in wages through linkage with commensurate inflationary index 6. Uniform wages across the country to end the disparity of wages under MGNREGA 7. Increase in number of days of work from 100 to 150 under MGNREGA 8. Expanding the ambit of permissible works under MGNREGA to include area specific work as per local requirements 9. Ensure stricter compliance of the provision of MGNREGA Act, 2005 in payment of compensation so that delay compensation is paid immediately without any further lapse. 10. Unemployment Allowance be paid without delay as mandated through section 7 (1) 11. Issue necessary directions at all the concerned levels by also bringing the State Governments onboard for ensuring that the muster rolls are updated at the Gram Panchayat level itself without any delay. 12. Prompt release of Skilled/Material Share without delay 13. Revision of 60%: 40% Wage-Materia3l5Ratio in a manner commensurate with

present requirement. 14. Monitoring of Scheme through – Real Time Assessment Mechanisms, to devise/strengthen “real-time’ surveillance system for having stricter and effective monitoring of the scheme. 15. Strict adherence to the provision of conduct of Social Audits of Gram Panchayats. 16. The Committee also desire that a copy of such audit report received in time by the Department may be forwarded to the Committee through Secretary, DoRD for information. 17. Placement of Social Audit reports in public domain for increasing transparency 18. Mandatory Participation of Officials of concerned Departments at the stage of selection of works by the Gram Panchayats under MGNREGA. 19. Monitoring of agencies entrusted with 50% works under MGNREGA 20. Departement to keep a hawkish eye of surveillance over the issue of job cards and monitor each aspect associated with job cards with increased seriousness to stop issuance of fake cards. 21. Ensure Durability of Assets Created under MGNREGA: Qualitative and maintenance aspect of infrastructure or other assets created through MGNREGA funds for the better realization of the objectives of the scheme. 22. Create ways and mechanism pragmatically for effectively carrying out the skilling of labourers. 23. Better Workplace for Women Workers and Better Promotion of Women-Centric Works under MGNREGA 24. Strict Monitoring of fund transfer & Aadhar linkage 25. Formalities at the earliest for the Aadhar Based Payment (ABP) to all the MGNREGA workers, 36

MANY WAYS TO ENGAGE WITH PANCHAYATS Our organization Thannatchi the participation of all the people in the village, another important vehicle normally get regular calls from many for the development of the village, and for strengthening the panchayat village panchayat ward members administration is: Standing Committees! asking us one common question: “What is their role in panchayat administration. Should the panchayat administration be Yes, standing committees! governed entirely on the basis of the decision taken by the panchayat Ward members and representatives president? Then why are we of NGOs can take their views to the representatives of the people? panchayat administration by Similarly, local NGO, women self-help participating in these committees. group, and volunteers also want to know how they can formally engage According to the Tamil Nadu with the development activities of the village. Our answer is that there is Panchayats Act, five standing certainly a possibility. committees should function in each village panchayat. Appointments Committee, Agricultural Watershed Committee, Development Be it ward members, village youth, Committee, Task Force, and volunteers, or social activists, everyone has the opportunity to Education Committee. Each of these contribute to the development of their village. No, it is not just Grama Sabha! groups has to carry out tasks While the Grama Sabha is a very important democratic platform for accordingly. Ward members, NGOs, the VAO (Village Administrative Officer), the village nurse, and others can participate in specific committees. 37

It is also possible to create more number of issues, including the environment of the school, groups beyond the five mentioned development of the learning skills of the students, etc. They can also act as groups. For example, if a group of a bridge between the panchayat administration and the school village youth wants to form a administration. committee for environmental Biodiversity Management Committee protection, it can be created and they As per the Biodiversity Act, a Biodiversity Management Committee can plan for the environmental should be constituted in each panchayat. It is this committee of development of the panchayat and seven members that will ensure that the bio-resources in the panchayat advice the panchayat. It will be a area are properly and safely utilized. It is also responsible for proper committee as empowered as the five documentation of biological evidence. Ward members and social recommended committees. The activists interested in the environment can participate in the committee should be renewed every committee as members. six months by a Panchayat Therefore, ward members and social activists can participate in such Resolution. groups and contribute to the development of their villages. The panchayat members can also be NANDA KUMAR part of other committees in the Thannatchi villages such as school management committee and biodiversity management committee. School Management Committee Ward members can contribute effectively as a member of the School Management Committee for the development of government schools in their panchayats. There must be two panchayat representatives out of the total 20 members of the school management committee. Ward members can, as members of the school management committee, plan and work with the team on a 38

WINNING member election in 2011 and lost. Since then, Arul has consistently HEARTS worked for the betterment of the village, especially in improving the OF THE schools. This has earned him a lot of goodwill. In 1996, the panchayat was OPPONENTS declared reserved for SC, which led to some tension. “I decided to contest Muthukaapatti is an infamous the election and a few dominant villagers decided to field an amicable panchayat for caste animosity. It has candidate. I chose a positive experienced violence in the past. The campaign highlighting my social people of Muthukaapatti were work and activities for everyone in the expecting another round of caste village, and asked them to vote. This violence during the panchayat created an impression,” says Arul. elections. “It was stressful on the election result day. After becoming panchayat president, he started an NGO called Kathir Trust to bring all the communities in the village together. The Trust has members from all the communities in the village, and it is run without any hostility. The Trust undertakes various development activities in the village—for example, it has bought tractors and e-vehicles to transport waste, and runs Hindi and spoken English classes for the children. “A village which was constantly at logger heads with each other today manages a Trust with an asset of Rs 30 lakh, and works together for the betterment of the village,” says Arul proudly. It was declared that I lost the election by four votes. People came to the street demanding recount, and after the recount I was declared a winner by a margin of 7 votes” recollects Arul Rajesh, the newly elected Panchayat President of Muthukaapatti, Nammakal District. Arul is not a stranger to electoral politics he contested the union ward Donation of SMART TV to Panchayat school 39

Since the time he took over as the president, Arul has tried to resolve water and sanitation issues of the village. The panchayat had a severe water problem, and resolving this was his first priority. For some time, a few in the neighbouring village obstructed the construction of a well. At great personal risk, Arul built a well, with contributions from the villagers. “I was overwhelmed when everyone in the village, irrespective of their caste or religion, contributed Rs 10,000,” he says. No development is possible without peace and harmony. Muthukapatti Panchayat is a standing example of one man's effort to bring peace and prosperity to his village E Vehicle to collect waste The panchayat reclaimed a 6-acre land that belonged to the village and a micro-compost shed was built. 40

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