Ramachandra Bind earns his livelihood through farming and doing labour work. Land belonging to his father was illegally occupied by the village landlord. He then called the village panchayat and got back the land. This land was again partitioned between three brothers. But again this was under dispute within the brothers and Ramachandra Bind was unable to cultivate and have peaceful possession of the land. He attended the Legal awareness camp held in Arangi panchayat conducted by AID and District Legal services Agency in the month of August 2014. In this meeting he raised the issue related to his land dispute. With the advice of legal counsel of DLSA a petition was filed to Lok Adalat. Thereafter Ramachandra and his brothers were called and the legality of the land was discussed based on available documents. They arrived at a compromise and now Ramachandra Bind is in peaceful possession of the land.
Asha Devi is a poor labourer. Unable to get regular work in Garwah her husband migrated to do labour works in distant place. As she was the only earning member in the family she was finding it difficult to make both ends meet. Her in- law’s rather than supporting her in her endeavours started harassing her on regular basis and made her life miserable. Asha Devi was also a member of Self Help Group. While the SHG members in her village were being provided training on the various issues and how legal help can be sought, she brought about her own case of domestic violence. DLSA called her in-laws and Asha Devi and discussed the issues and made her in-laws to give undertaking that they will henceforth not harass her any further.
Umesh Baitha has been farming and dwelling on the forest land since past 27 years. But these dwellers have no documents and legal paper in support of their inhabitation and stay in the forest land. He along with others had attended legal awareness camp in Madvaniya panchayat organized by AID and DLSA and understood about various rights which had also dwelled upon on Forest rights. After this they called for meeting in their hamlet in Sunil Nagar in which they shared the information on forest rights act and the rights of forest settlers for ownership of their homestead land. The villagers have given a written application to DLSA for occupancy and land rights under Forest Rights Act. They are hoping for their forest right entitlements.
Phulmani Devi and 22 other labourers worked in MGNAREGA a program for 100 days of work without any job card. They worked because the middle men told them and they never got their wages. A village level meeting was organized by AID in which 140 villagers of Bahiyar Khurd participated. They were educated about their rights and entitlements. An application on their behalf was submitted to DLSA and the Block Development officer in Ramna, The DLSA ordered to provide job cards to them in the impending National Lok Adalat to be conducted on 10th January 2015.
The disabled in the district of Latehar were finding it difficult to get their aadhar enrollment as the centres were always over crowded and there was no special or specific arrangement for the differntially abled personnel. Hence AID discussed with the BDO of Latehar and a special camp was organised for 30 members for aadhar enrollement.
Sirajuddin Ansari is 63 years old and has lost vision in both his eyes since last 8 years. After lot of struggle 2 years back he got enrolled for old age pension but was denied payments citing he is not having aadhar number. In his earlier 4 attempts he was not able to get the aadhar card. Today he is most happy that he was enrolled successfully.
Similarly 8 year old little Nishi Rani is having congenital blindness. Extremely interested in studies, her father has so far been coaching her in the absence of any specialised schools in the region. Last year she applied to Blind school in Ranchi but as she did not have any identity card she was denied admission. Now both father and daughter are deighted that they have got the required identity and they will apply for the admission to Blind school again.
Primitive tribal youth Motivated To help his Community To fight TB :
Sunil Murmu belong to a very poor family and from a Sabar community (Primitive Tribal Group).” I am studying in first year of graduation. First, I would like to thank AID India for giving me an opportunity to work with them. From my childhood I wanted to do something for my community but I was not aware about any means to do it”. When AID persons came to me and asked whether I would like to contribute by working with them I became so happy. Initially I did not know anything about TB and malaria including symptoms of it. After I started working I received complete information about TB and malaria. After getting this information I thought I could complete my childhood dream. I lost my grandfather because of not getting treatment for his TB. Through AID I got the opportunity to save TB patients’ lives and many people from my community suffer from TB. I am happy that I can spread awareness in my community and save their lives. Even if the project gets ended I would like to continue providing information to the people around me.
Still in the context of tribal areas Dakuas form one of the important person who acts as messenger in providing announcements of the tribal panchayats. They have link with several persons in the village due to their occupation. The Dakuas in the region were trained on the symptoms of TB and if they identify any such symptoms to refer them to the appropriate medical authorities and what is the first line of referral they have to do with regard to sputum test and if it turns negative and the possibility of referring them to for X-ray. After these trainings the Dakuas have become one of the important community players to identify, refer and link them with sahaiya for Dots medication.
In Village Tentuldanga inhabited by the most vulnerable primitive tribal groups there are positive evidences of increase in cases of them using project and government services. Prior to the intervention by AID, the Sabar believed the diseases they are afflicted are due to spirits of the ghosts and these can be cured by herbal medicines and animal sacrifice. But our consistent efforts have yielded results that now they accept to be tested for malaria or TB diagnosis and are also taking allopathic medicines which is one of the biggest achievements as they are positive towards health issues and health care.
Kirthika is 21 years and studied up to 10 standard. Being categorised as mild mentally retarded, she found it hard to cope at regular school and hence admitted in special school to complete her final schooling. This milestone was possible because of sheer determination of her mother Saratha.
Saratha narrated "My daughter was afflicted by polio and then mild mental retardation. I was frustrated and deeply hurt as she is my only child. Our hopes crashed down, but we were determined to give her our best."
Though initially she was not accepted for the training, it was only due to sheer pursuance of her mother who said she will learn along with her and guide and assist her, Krithika was enrolled for the training of mobile repairing. Apart from the training center, her mother re oriented Krithika at home also.
Krithika and Saratha were overjoyed on the successful completion of the training and on being felicitated and awarded. Krithika said "I am going to set up a cell phone service and repair center in my home in Minjur. My mother will be with me to help and guide me. I want to take care of my parents"
Mustafa living in Kundrathur, Chennai had a happy family life till 2002. He was an Engineer, worked in Dubai and led a decent life there by helping his family back home to live a decent life. His happy life came to a screeching halt, one day in the form of a road accident in Dubai, while travelling for work. The happy life ended with a sad note of sorry and physical debility. He was hospitalised and he lost all the earned money. His one leg was almost crushed and the bones were broken.
For 6 years, he was almost immobilised and cursed himself for the misfortune. However, his flicker of hope lingers on him, which ignited him to lead a life of his own without depending on any one.
On hearing about mobile phone repair training, he was very happy and immediately joined in the training. He was so much excited to learn through the trainer Mr.Senthil. Though, he is physically challenged and could limp through slowly. With great determination and interest, daily he travelled from Kundrathur, 40 KMs up and down to his training place at Guindy. He says, "I am going to set up a cell phone sale, service and repair shop in Kuntrathur with the hands on technical skills acquired from the training. I strongly hope to renew my life with new gusto and credo in my life".
Shabnam 15 years old was engaged to 17 years old Sulaiman. Shabnam's mother's line of argument was, she was a widow and she needs safety and protection of her child and hence marriage was the best option for her daughter. But it took lot of persuasive efforts on the part of the local Vigilance Committee members who were working against trafficking of vulnerable girls and women. Finally Shabnam’s mother agreed to delay the marriage for few more years. In the similar fashion the Vigilance Committee prevented early marriage of Uma Maheswari and they got her admitted to Kasturba Balika vidyalaya a government run school for girls with residential care, food and education. Community ownership on the issues affecting them and tackling the same brings in fresh impetus into issues like trafficking.
Ram Naicken Thanda, Pacharmakula Palli Thanda and Basureddigaripalli Thanda are hamlets inhabited by Suhali tribes locally called as Lambadas in Pileru town of Chitoor district in Andhra Pradesh state. The women and girls of this tribe are very fair looking and attractive but steeped in poverty. Under the pretext of providing them jobs the agents in the region lured the families and the girls ended up in sex trade in cities such as Tirupathi, Pune and Mumbai. Earlier speaking this subject was a taboo in the region, but after intervention of the Panchayat representatives, SHG’s the affected women have started speaking out and lot of bitter truths such as death of two young girls under mysterious circumstances in Mumbai have come to the forefront. With the help of AID, PRI’s and SHG’s the villagers are now sensitised on the issues of trafficking and how to combat the same. Sona and Sarawathy were the victims of this trafficking and resultant sexual abuse. Now they have become elected panchayat representatives and anti-trafficking warriors and advocates with the support of AWWs and Sangamitras of Velugu Scheme of the government.
Marimakla Thanda is a Suhali tribal village with 57 houses inhabiting it. The entire land was allotted by the government exclusively for them. In this village, in 50% households, at least one member per family including children and women used to migrate outside for seeking employment to Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. As the entire area is drought prone and the land was uncultivable with gravel and hard soil. Now the entire village is transformed and the project made differences in making unsafe and hazardous migration with focus on women and girls as an issue of greater concern. Knowing their problem, the local panchayat extended 100 days of employment and most of the villagers got employment for more than 90 days. This was a big boon. The government provided free tube wells, pump sets and irrigation wells and villagers benefited from the collective irrigation initiative. Government also provided housing freely under Indira Awas Yojana. The villagers successfully planted trees and renewed the village economy with the support of government. The women too benefitted from the loan and self-employment ventures. With the result, migration is reduced considerably and women and young girls are protected and saved from hazardous occupation of sex work. However, the problem of liquor brewing and consumption is a big challenge in this village.
Chottomma is a gulf returnee from Kuwait. She suffered extensively and undergone too much grief, pain and life was hellish. She somehow managed to return back to India and now with the support of AID, she has become one of the strong advocates against trafficking of girls and women in the region. When she came to know Kumari was planning to go to Musket through the same agent, she persuaded Kumari to drop her plan. She was successful in enabling 7 families to change their decision after narrating her own life story and the probability of the same fate they may face on migration. She is a real leader in action for anti-trafficking.
Reshma was married with a small girl child. Her husband is sick and unable to earn his livelihood. Reshma was migrating on temporary basis and working but it was not sufficient to support the family. She was contemplating to go to gulf countries so that her family could get regular support. But was not able to decide as her small daughter was dependent on her. Then she got to know the opportunity of getting skill building training from AID. She jumped at the opportunity and got trained in Beautician course. She now runs mobile parlour and provides beautician services and also sells beauty products and extremely proud of her achievement. But she also feel that it is her duty and responsibility to ensure young girls in the region should not fall prey to the prevailing sex trade and migration in the region.
Mehatab emerged a clear winner out of the Skill building training on tailoring conducted by AID. Now she has in turn become Tailoring trainer in the panchayat run tailoring unit run with the financial support of APCO. She says that many neighbours in her railway colony are tortured by their alcoholic husbands. As they know Urdu and Arabic, they were exploited by family members and pressurized to go to Gulf countries and earn for the family. She herself has stopped many women like Siroon, Rajamma and Nohira from going abroad knowing very well that their lives would be torturous and miserable. What Kind Of Positive Changes Can Happen When CBO'S Get Into Action
It was the general grievance of the ration card holders that the PDS dealer Dilip Tiwari of village Jamundih under Lesliganj block of Palamu district did not follow the metric system of weighing. Instead of using weight, tin made cans were used by him for measuring rice. The card holders were not satisfied with this type of measurement as there is a chance to cheat a small quantity of grain by the vendor. Hence under the leadership of CBO members named Sanyukta Devi and Malti Devi complained about this irregularity to the village head Bhola Saw. In order to check the irregularities the village head himself visited the PDS shop and instructed the dealer to use only the metric system of weighing.
School Management Committee Complaints To District Authorities :
There were irregularities in uniform and Mid-Day-Meal distribution at Government Upgraded Middle School, Sargara under Haidernagar block of Palamu district. Apart from all these the only Government teacher deputed in this school was also irregular in his duties. In order to check these the parents were organized in the leadership of Yamuna Ram, the chairman of the SMC and complained about the irregularities to highest district education authorities and the Deputy Commissioner for appropriate action.
Allotment of budgeted amount for the kitchen shed construction was received by the headmaster of Upgraded Middle School, Naso under Chattarpur block. But the construction work was kept pending by Mr. Sudarshan Mistri, the headmaster of the school. Under such situation Sunayna Devi, the chairperson of Kashi Self Help Group, Naso raised this issue in the meeting of School Management Committee. Being pressurised by the SMC, ultimately the construction work started.
School Management Committee & SHG Manage To Procure Govt Land For School Building Construction :
Due to unavailability of sufficient land in the campus of NPS Bandudih under Udaygarh panchayat of Chattarpur block, the new school building construction work remained pending. Headmaster Ganesh Ram was not doing anything tangible to procure the adjoining plot of land however he had already received the estimated amount for the construction of the school building. Under such situation Panpati Devi the chairperson of SMC and the president of Pushpanjali Self Help Group Bandudih met with the BEEO Chattarpur Ramnath Shramik and pressurized him to initiate for the allotment of adjoining government land for the school. Their efforts bore fruit. They got success in the allotment of the adjoining plot. The construction work started soon and we are happy to report that the construction of the school building is completed.
Construction Of Bridge a Life Line To The Village :
Sarhu is a Dalit dominated village comes under the Jamua panchayat of Hussainabad block. It is a Dalit dominated village with a total of 320 Dalit households out of 475 households. There is a stream passes through the village which is connected with Amarbandh Dam. During the rainy season the gates of the dam needed to be opened for the security of the dam. But during this period the stream becomes very dangerous. Even a small boy drowned in the stream. Lots of livestock were also lost in this stream. . In order to resolve this problem the villagers under the leadership of Champa Devi the members of six existing SHGs had given a petition to the MLA Hussainabad for the construction of a bridge over this stream. At last a foundation stone to lay the bridge has been laid raising hopes of the community that the construction work will start soon
It was due to the negligence of Biru Yadav, the headmaster of Dumri that the construction of school building was remained pending since the year 2012. In order to resolve this problem a general village meeting was called by the SMC chairman Mahindra Bhuinya. During the meeting the villagers warned the HM against the delayed school building construction work and instructed him to start the construction work within a week. It is the result of the pressure created by the villagers that the construction work has been started immediately and now the building is almost completed.
It is due to the awareness raised by the CBO that a total of 623 children have been enrolled in Upgraded Middle School, Babhandih under the Haidernagar Block. There are eleven teachers working in this school. Among the teachers only one is a government teacher. Rest are PARA teachers. Earlier the teachers were not regular at their duties. In order to check it, the parents started asking their children on daily basis that how many teachers were present in the school. After getting information they started complaining about the absence of the teachers to the Chairman of the SMC as well as to the Headmaster of the school. It is due to the initiatives taken by the parents the irregular presence of the teachers is presently under control.
Nand Kishore Rajak a member of School Management Committee of New Primary School Harsanghra under the Choura panchayat of Lesliganj block asked the headmaster to include the green vegetables in the mid-day-meal. Dilip Kumar the headmaster of the school accepted that due to unavailability of green vegetables in the region presently it is not provided to the children. But he assures that when it will be available in the local market, green vegetables will be provided to the children. Presently vegetables are served to the children. When Nand Kishore Rajak came to know that the green vegetables are not serving in the neighbouring schoolnamed Chandaygir, he shared his success story to the SMC members of the Chandaygir School. They also applied the same method and compelled the MDM Committee to include green vegetables in the menu of mid-day-meal scheme.
A session on MGNREGA & Right to Information was taken by the AID Hariharganj for the members of Puja SHG of village Bhagat Tenduwa under Belodar panchayat of Hariharganj block. The members of this SHG come from the poor families and in order to support their families they want to get employment under MGNREGA. But no any MGNREGA work was started at their village. Hence they motivated the local contractor named Ajay Paswan to file a RTI petition at Block office to know about the works enlisted for the village with their estimated budget.
The empowered members of Beli Self Help Group of village Barkoma under the leadership of Kavita Devi, the President of the SHG got success in the construction of a girl’s toilet at New Primary School, Barkoma by pressurizing the Headmaster Bigawan Yadav. The members of Gulab Self Help Group of neighbouring village Udaipura learnt lesson from the success of Beli SHG and they also pressurized the HM of Government Middle School Udaipura to get the school building whitewashed by utilizing the development fund available in the school.
In Sinduria village AID health worker met a tribal family in which father, mother and son all three were affected by TB. As they believed in traditional healers they took herbal medicines and for some time they feel they are cured and healthy and again they fall sick. This has been the cycle for the last 6 months and already they spent considerable amount of money on the same. They were educated on the symptoms , causes and cure for the TB and were counselled to meet the doctors at the Primary health centre for further tests. They were all three declared positive and DOTS regime was started under the supervision of the Sahiaya and the AID health worker and now they are cured and also have become peer educators for TB in their region especially their son.
Sabar is a primitive tribe and they are forest dwellers. Due to migratory nature, they keep moving and their surroundings and temporary homes are unclean and unhygienic. Even the local health workers do not visit them due to the above reasons. As a health camp was being arranged in the village, AID health worker went to one of the Sabar’s house and found only three children were crying but mother was lying listless on the floor. On further enquiry it was found that she was suffering from fever for the past 3 months and managing with only herbal medicines but the fever was not coming down. She was referred to the CHC but she could not make it. So her sputum was transported by AID but it turned out to be negative so she was referred to take x-ray and in the absence of facilities the Sabar family was forced to sell one of their goats to undergo this test. The test was declared positive but the local sahaiya declined to provide personal supervison for DOTS care. After great persuasion she finally agreed and now only Namitha is undergoing medication under DOTS care and has considerably improved her health.