Major Issues

By , August 14, 2009 1:08 am

The Issues

The following are the major problems/issues which affect the operational area and the people in it.

Food Insecurity

The animal existence (just to stay alive) caters to food intake like clean air, safe water & nutritious food stuff as well as protective coverage like cloth, housing etc. Before this project is launched the average people in the operational area were just living hand to mouth with uncertain harvest from agriculture & forest, very low rate of wages & low price of NTFP sale. Exploitation by the govt. departments and non govt. buyers was rampant. The govt. departmental purchasers or the private purchasers were taking advantages of such a situation. The PDS system was disturbed, the gross examination of the PDS cards in any village reveals blank pages for months together. It happened only due to-

  1. Gross misappropriation of PDS supply
  2. Too low buying power as well as holding capacity of the people
  3. Low income rate but high price hike ratio, less demand and surplus supply of manpower had reduced the wage rate. Even the expected benefit of NREGA also denied to those poor in such a situation (all these sustain the food insecurity).

Natural Resource Management
People of this locality have nothing to do with management of the natural resources they are depending upon.

  1. Land: More than 40% of the cultivable land belongs to few land lords and the rest are distributed among others. More 70% of those land being occupied by nominal farmers (below 1/2 hac. In total possession). So the compulsion to earn the required livelihood for the family, maximum people here had cleaned the thin forest land since decades together and are cultivating over it. But despite of all govt. provision in the law, there is lacuna in the implementing rules to transfer the rights of those forest lands to those occupants. Due to this non recognition of rights over those forest land, converted to habitations or cultivable land, those rural forest dwellers are unable to take any govt. support of development package under any existing scheme. To add to their plights, the wild animals and the forest departments’ staffs are set to damage their crop over there. In this way, the tribal and other poor fellows loose access to their land and forest to depend upon for living. So they turned to collection of NTFP and animal husbandry.
  2. Forest: Next to the land, people were depending upon forest for their livelihood. Most of the NTFP collected from the forest add to their yearly income. Among other NTFP, plucking of Kendu Leaf & collection of Mahua flower are major source of income. But these two items are nationalized and people can not exercise their say in management of those NTFP. Forest being the second major source of livelihood, is yet to come under the management control of the people.


To add to this life becomes filled with frustration and the only way of escape the native find is resorting to alcoholism. Alcoholism enhances the poverty and life of the women section miserable.


In such a situation the mining project of MCL, Bhusan and the Sponge Iron Factories create threat to this. But in the other hand allure the non tribals to dispose off the un-irrigated land and fetch some cash. Indirectly such disposal of land squeezes the opportunity of earning source of the wage earners. The land lord gets the compensation but the wage earners lose the sources. This leads emergence of a conflicting situation between the land lords (supporting the industrialization) and the wage earners, the traditional tribals and other farmers who worship their land as the mother (opposing industrialization).

Gender Discrimination

The social life in the operational area is a staunch patriarchy and conservative by nature. So nowhere any women have a voice of support or protest heard anywhere anytime. The women folk are looked down upon as dependents or slaves. Though they are working hard tirelessly and adding to the gross income of the family, yet they were suppressed by the men folk. It is a long practiced culture.

The worst thing is that, the women folk themselves have accepted by heart at their attitudinal level. They take the initiatives to teach the following generation of women folk to respect as the masters and not to disobey at any cost. This tendency is found a bit less in tribal communities. These women folk were prevented to take part in any social or political meetings or the Palli Sabha and Gram Sabha. Even the women Sarpanchs were seen being dominated by their husbands in their office. Putting the minimum wages act aside, the women wage earners were being paid less than their male counterparts and the scheduled rate of equal wages. The girls were prevented from regular education. It is obvious in the dropout records of any school in the area.

It needs serious concern and so CIRTD decided to address this issue of gender discrimination as an identified issue in this project.

Defunct PRI System

In this tussle, the PRI system has very much to play but it has fallen a prey to a few vested interested politicians. These vested interest fellows intentionally discourage the people’s active participation in the principal institutions of Panchayati Raj system i.e. Palli Sabha and Gram Sabha. These Palli Sabha and Gram Sabhas in our present Panchayati Raj System of governance are the direct parliament of people and in the 5th scheduled areas like Sundargarh, they are exceptionally powerful than other institutions. They are legally capable of exercising a lot of power and authority in taking decisions and implementing those plans, programs and projects for alleviation of poverty and miseries. But when this direct parliament of people Gram Sabhaand Palli Sabha become defunct or malfunctioning or falls in the hands of the vested interest politicians. It deprives the poor their fundamental rights as well as other rights and advantages/opportunities or benefits meant for them.

The entire aforesaid things finger paints to the invisible but main cause of suffering i.e. social and political disintegration.

Therefore, the only remedy of the situation is defined to make the people become aware of their situation and tackle it themselves in strategic interventions like motivating, organizing and mobilizing them to come forward for their own cause.

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