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BHIMASHANKAR TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (Inception 1981)

Not resting at the relative prosperity brought to BHIMASHANKAR TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (Inception 1981) nearby villages of Hadapsar, MAM shifted its focus of development to the tribal people from the Bhimashankar valley in the Ambegaon, Junnar and Khed blocks of Pune District.

The area is inhabited by the tribals Mahadeo-Koli. The area receives about 2000 to 3000 mm of rainfall and the height is about 1000 to 1100 meters above mean sea level. Though it receives heavy rainfall during rainy season i.e. June to September, in summer, drinking water becomes a severe problem.

MAM started to work in this area in 1981 with repairs of pre-primary schools with support from OXFAM. MAM also organized agitation against the low prices of Hirada fruits and also started to tackle the problem of severe drinking water scarcity in summer under the "Water for health Programme" funded by CAPART, Govt. of India, progressing from drilling of bore wells / hand pumps and then to village ponds with a kind help from Arbeiterwohlfahrt.

MAM started working in three villages in 1981. Up-till now we have worked in more than 200 hamlets under various programmes and have a good rapport with all the hamlets.

Out of 44 villages in the catchment's area of Dimbhe Dam, 11 were completely submerged in Dimbhe Dam Lake. The fertile land of another 13 villages has been submerged under the lake water. Approach to all the interior villages becomes very difficult due to the stored water of the dam lake. In all 1254 tribal families were displaced as their lands submerged in the dam water. Government carried out rehabilitation of these displaced families. However nearly 60% displaced families returned back from places where they had been rehabilitated by Govt. and settled on their old land, which is above the submergence level. Facilities for education, health, electricity and bus transport etc. are extremely poor in these villages. During rainy season, heavy rains and fast flowing streams cut-off most of the area from any forms of vehicular transport.

Social Economic and Geographical Situation of the Project

  • Scattered hamlets of 10-20 houses each, 1-3 Km from each other.
  • Hamlets generally connected by steep, precarious footpaths.
  • Transport of harvest from field to home by head-load only. Bullock carts almost non-existent.
  • Landless persons are very few.
  • As most of the land is hilly, barren, unfit for cultivation, large land holdings simply does not imply the well to no ness of the family.
  • As far education the model of -one-teacher per 2-4 classes in a single room school generally does not work properly.
  • Illiteracy among women is very high.
  • Medical facilities are extremely scarce.
  • Drinking water is a serious problem in summer.
  • All weather roads are very few. No public transport in 50% of the area.
  • Government services Programs, facilities hardly reach most of the population.

Problems of livelihood insecurity in the area

  • Rain fed agriculture and lack of irrigation facilities.
  • Soil erosion and land use pattern (shifting cultivation)
  • Low returns from the agriculture
  • Rapid deforestation
  • Absence of local bodies to manage the resources
  • Prevailing money lending system and economic crises
  • Migration for supplementing the low income from agriculture

Since 1981, MAM has been implementing following activities to overcome the above problems

  • Awareness creation and building knowledge and skills on the aspects related to natural resource management & livelihood.
  • Formation of village institution/ users groups and its strengthening. namely- Village Development Committee, Food Grain Bank, Self Help Group, NTFP Societies etc.
  • Creation of village development fund.
  • Natural Resource Development through land, water, vegetation & live stock development.
  • Promotion of sustainable agricultural practices like-Vermi composting.
  • Economic development through incentive for chick and goat rearing, micro entrepreneurship, grain banks.
  • Improvement in health, hygiene and sanitation through health care activities, kitchen gardening, soak pits etc.
  • Promotion of improved cooking devices.

The overall programme approach and strategy is having focus on Participation, empowerment, sustainability and self-reliance. Our main thrust is on beneficiary's contribution and participation and we are proud to say that the beneficiary contribution in all the activities is 45%.

Achievements

Names Number Names Number
VDC Formation 61 SHG Formation 176
Water Ponds 106 Bench Terracing (Padkai)-in Ha 888
Continuous Control Trench in Ha 1127 Plantation 9263
Grain Bank 76 Health & Hygiene & Sanitation Camp 22
Trainings 148 Check Dam 7
Gabion Structure 42 Loose Bolder Structure 5573
Farm Pond 19 Community Lift 3
Farm and Stone Bund Ha 113 Vermin Compost 329
Smokeless Chula 153 Renovation of Schools 40
Coaching Classes (in hamlets) 52 / month 933Students Kitchen Garden 4526
NTFP 4 Water Filter 913
Paraprofessional Trainings 22 Soak Pits 124
Medical Kit 155 Integrated Crop Management ha 32
DEWAT plants 1 Fodder Management 45
Compost Pit 10 Shared wells 10
Bio Gas 150 Total hamlets covered under the programme 207