ASHA’s role in tribal development process is marked on two broad approaches:
- Community approach at block level
- The integrated tribal development approach under the tribal sub-plan
In the community development approach, programs for community development related to basic amenities as supply of clean drinking water, healthcare, sanitation, social infrastructure and other development works are encouraged by ASHA.
To meet the specific needs of the tribal, ASHA has conceptualized and integrated approach tribal development. An effective bottom of approach to development has been setup in place wherein common elements which characterized these tribal societies has been incorporated within the development framework.
The major issues which have been identified by our researchers identifies are social & economic exploitation, shifting cultivation, deforestation and loss of command over resources due to urbanization, modernization and non-tribal immigration.
The strategy adopted by ASHA is to build their internal capacity and enable them to meet new challenges. With focus on education and health services, ASHA has started a crusade against the atrocities of these tribes. Therefore, ASHA would concentrate on the following activities. A ten point agenda has been framed for achieving the desired objectives:
- Improvement in quality of life
ASHA proposes an improvement in quality of life with provision like clean drinking water, good health and nutrition. The problem of clean drinking in tribal areas is a growing concern as they suffer from acute shortage of drinking water. Moreover, the water supply is contaminated as a result of which sanitation and hygiene is worse in tribal areas.
- To increase the capacity of poor tribal men & women to manage their development by forming Self-Help Group (SHG). The SHG model has been evolved keeping the attributes of the project communities in mind. Women participate effectively in the management of community institutions (SHGs, user groups, village development community).
- To strengthen the technical skills and capacity of individual tribal women & men.
A training & development program for tribal women & men, the community empowerment & management trainings and the beneficiaries skill up-gradation training is being imparted by our ASHA training team.
- Community empowerment & management training
The community empowerment and management training will focus on group management processes and thereby strengthen their group cohesion.
- Beneficiaries skill up-gradation training
The beneficiaries skill up-gradation training will focus on upgrading their livelihood activity related skills like agriculture, marketing, value addition etc.
- ASHA organizes exposure visits and training programs to increase the awareness and skills of men & women in the concerned area. The local population are being actively encouraged to strengthen their traditional occupation through provision of complementary services. They are being involved into new activities like provision of mid-day meals to local government schools, collective marketing of non wood forest produce through a process of developing linkages, marketing, assessing technology and mobilization of financial resources. This initiative would benefit the families with increase their household income and would also inspire other households to initiate similar or different economic activities.
- ASHA is also attempting at adopting on Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK) of the tribal communities for the development project implementation. This Indigenous Technical Knowledge would focus on land and water management structure.
- The SHGs formed by ASHA in the project area would be linked with the financial institutions to avail institutional credit for off-farm activities like fisheries, poultries, tailoring etc. this initiative would increase assess of the SHGs for off-farm enterprise activities. This off-farm enterprise development model will focus on the needs of the poor tribal households. It would also reduce the dependence on money lenders for credit and subsequently the indebtedness to money lenders as a percentage of indebtedness would also decline.
- ASHA is trying to focus on the basic food entitlements of poor tribal household by monitoring and increasing access to public food supply. This would enable these tribal household to enjoy year round food security; especially during the lean period from May to August.
- ASHA has designed a Comprehensive Participatory Monitoring System (CPMS) to seek functional participation from tribal communities in project implementation and monitoring. This would enable in effective project learning on the basis of their experiential learning, necessary adjustment in the program designed would be incorporated.