Nabard takes up cudgels for tribals

Ranchi, July 16: The poor tribals of Gumla, Singhbhum and Godda can now hope for a better life.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has decided to start development projects in chosen villages in these districts to provide financial support to tribals.
The projects will be implemented under the wadi programme introduced by a Pune-based NGO, BAIF Development Research Foundation, in Gujarat. Under this programme, tribals of Gujarat were taught to undertake orchard plantation and effectively market their produce.
Tribal-dominated areas of Jharkhand lack common infrastructure facilities such as road, education and safe drinking water facilities. As a result, development has taken a backseat at these places.
Speaking to The Telegraph, K.C. Shashidhar, the chief general manager of Nabard, said: “We will identify 1,000 tribal families that are extremely poor and will provide them livelihood support. Some NGOs will be roped in for implementing the projects. We are in the process of talks with three to four NGOs. A final decision will be taken soon.”
As in Gujarat, the tribals here will be encouraged to take up orchid plantation besides being imparted lessons on soil conservation and water resource management. This apart, sustainable agriculture and community development will also be undertaken. Nabard has created a tribal development fund to ensure smooth implementation of the programme.
Shashidhar said that for this project, preference would be given to villages or blocks that have 50 per cent of tribal population and farmers belong to Scheduled Caste and owning not more than 5 acres of land.
“After identification of 1,000 tribal families, we will start water shed programmes in support with the NGOs. Besides, village planning committees will be formed to link them with financial institutions,” he added.
Shashidhar pointed out that they were encouraging the tribal families of Bedo and Lapung to grow mangoes and cashew nuts. “The model will be later replicated across the state,” he said.