Samvardhan – Improving quality of life of tribal in south Gujarat Project is implemented through a community-based approach in 24 villages of three south Gujarat districts – Valsad, Dang and Surat. These villages are divided into four clusters (Kaparada, Mamabhacha, Subir and Hindla), with 6 villages in each cluster.
The keystone of the project is the Community Entrepreneur (CE) – graduates of the Rural Higher Education Institutes (RHEI) involved in Samvardhan I. In the current intervention CEE has moved from the conventional development programmes to more of cadre-building approach which has roots in Nayee Talim pedagogy. It has worked towards building the foundation of education in both primary and higher educational level. It has also worked towards building local-level institutions i.e. village committees and Self Help Groups (SHGs) and linked them to mainstream developmental initiatives. The project has three focal points – drinking water, education and livelihood – which are essentially interlinked.
The main theme of the Samvardhan Project, water and sanitation, involve volunteers in variety of work like awareness generation in the village regarding water and sanitation, construction of soak pits and toilets, survey of the village, PRA, cleaning of village and school campus and organising competitions in the school in regard to sanitation. As part of networking with WASMO, formation of Pani Samiti is initiated in the Samvardhan programme village. Sanitation camps are organised under Samvardhan Project in collaboration with National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers. In many programmes members of UNICEF come as resource person and inform students about water and sanitation.
As part of livelihood intervention enhancement of skills of the marginal and landless farmers is given priority. Under this effort, the training in poultry farming and the diesel engine training programme are conducted. The identification of the activity is done after detailed discussion with the stakeholders. The main purpose of this training programme is to provide additional income to the families and to enhance the skill by which income generation process will be sustainable.
“Samvaad” means dialogue is an important form of communication to deal with all possible processes. On a larger canvas, development-related issues need a similar platform. The objective of Samvaad is to share, actions initiated and learning among villagers, explore the future perspective and formulate an action plan for the area, highlight local-level resources and discuss ways and means to share these with participating villages for collective benefit and forge linkages with various government departments for getting schemes and programmers for village development. As part of the ongoing process, one such dialogue was held in the southern part of the Gujarat which is infested by tribal population