Study on Bundelkhand of Planning Commission: Aspects of
Economy - Government Programmes For Rural Development/Self Employment
Government Programmes For Rural Development/Self Employment
There are various programmes launched by the state government
in assistance with the Central Government, bilateral aid and loans from the
agencies like World Bank and other financial institutions. The major development
programmes for rural development, particularly to generate self employment among
youth below poverty line, are :
a) Jawahar Rojgar Yojna
b) Integrated Rural Development Programme(IRDP)
c) Indira Awas Yojna
d) Development of Women and children in Rural Areas (DWCRA)
e) Training of Rural Youth for Self Employment (TRYSEM)
f) Drought Prone Area Programme.
Most of these programmes aim at generating opportunities for
self employment to rural youth and women, IRDP is credit based programme for the
rural unemployed living below poverty line. Similarly DWCRA is specially meant
for the group of women willing to generate income on their own after getting
trained by the government agencies. Government involves non-government agencies
also for trainings of traders under DWCDA programmes. Indira Awas Yojna is for
rural housing for those who are living in poverty. (For the details of all these
programmes, kindly refer to Chapter-6 )
MP has three mission for rural employment. They are Rajiv
Gandhi Mission for Watershed Management; Gramodyog Mission and Fisheries
1 Rajiv Gandhi Mission for Watershed Management
Started in 1994, the Watershed Management Mission, is one of
the most ambitious programmes of the government of MP in the recent years. Govt.
visualises it as economically most viable in the long run, in comparison to
other development programmes. According to Mr S Jain, who has been involved in
conceptualising this programme in MP and presently holds the position of
Chairman in Pollution Control Board, MP, this programme is
like the universalisation of the work done by noted social worker Mr Anna Hazare
in Ralegaon Sidhi in Maharashtra. According to him, there might be practical
problems in implementation of the programme, but conceptually it is most
profitable in term of employment generation, livelihood security and
environmental rehabilitation. The Mission aims at improving land and water
resources and thereby productivity of 28 lakh hactares of degraded land in MP.
It is a conscious effort to address the problem of employment generation during
its development phase and then the problem of livelihood security faced by the
people in these areas. It is based on the strategy of people’s participation to
aim at livelihood security and environmental rehabilitation.
The mission is generating financial resources from the
earlier ongoing programmes of Employment Assurance Scheme/JRY and Drought Prone
Areas Programmes. The mission operates through people’s watershed development
committees that are elected. Technical and financial support is provided by the
government. In each block, a milli-watershed of 5000-10000 hactares is
identified. In each milli-watershed there are several micro watersheds which are
directly managed by elected watershed development committees.(See table 5.4)
Within the micro watersheds, people are further organised into User Groups (land
owners), self-help Groups (non-land holding people who come together to get some
benefit from the watershed) and Women’s Thrift and Credit Groups for income
generation activities. These participatory structures and their vibrancy is
critical to the successful implementation of the Mission. Funds are placed
directly with watershed committees and it is a significant departure from
previous practice. People’s watershed committees now control the funds of the
It is India’s largest watershed development programme.
Economic benefits have started flowing in the areas that have been treated.
Fodder production has gone up. Employment generation in MP has been estimated as
140 lakh mandays.
A large number of non-government organisations (NGOs) are
also operating in the programme along with the government agencies. By May 97,
61 watersheds were being operated by NGOs in MP. In Bundelkhand region also, the
efforts are on to find out able NGOs and involve them in watershed management
programme. In Tikamgarh it was observed that DWCRA groups and the organised
groups of neo- literates, through their respective government departments were
getting involved in watershed development programme. NGOs with the capacity to
handle the programme on their own are had to locate in Bundelkhand districts.
But Nehru Yuva Kendras of all the concerned districts of Bundelkhand are
actively involved in this programme, through their Youth groups active in the
micro watershed areas. It seems that only the groups, formal and informal,
created by the government departments are involved in this programme, in place
of NGOs. It has been the major criticism of this programme, that government has
not taken efforts to involve and ;identify capable NGOs and is working with only
Watershed development has importance for the region like that
of Bundelkhand, which has traditionally been dependent on rain fed ponds and
wells for irrigation as well as drinking water facilities. With the system
getting damaged and catchment areas blocked during the past years, it is
important that efforts are being taken to develop watershed areas so that earth
gets filled with ground water and soil erosion is controlled. This programme has
far reaching consequences for Bundelkhand.
2 Rajiv Gandhi Gramyudyog Mission
Rajiv Gandhi Gramyudyog Mission aims at increasing employment
in the non-farm sector especially in the areas of sericulture, leather,
handicrafts, handlooms and village industries. The mission seeks to protect
artisan groups from deskilling by constant efforts at improving their skills
levels and through value addition for their products.
Sericulture is a major possibility the river belt villages in
district Panna. In district Tikamgarh, leather work and the improvement in it is
the possibilities in Block Jatara where the villages around Lidhaura village are
engaged in it.
The Handloom sector and the khadi and village industries
sector continues to be a major provider of rural non- farm employment. Training
for design upgradation has been the focus of activity under mission. A large
number of people are engaged in khadi-industry in block Newari and Prithivipur
in district Tikamgarh. Tikamgarh has been also identified as one of the craft
pockets in MP and a new craft development centre has come up.
3 Rajiv Gandhi Fisheries Development Mission.
This Mission is targeted towards increasing employment
opportunities for fishermen as well as for increasing fish production in the
state. The mission claims to have made significant improvements in this
direction in the last three years.
Panchayats have been given powers of auction for all ponds
belonging to them. The mission has also introduced several innovative measures
in the sector like duck cum-fish farms, paddy cum fish farms, fisheries
development in abandoned mining quarries, development of models fish farming
villages etc.Bundelkhand has a caste named Dhimar, widely spread across all the
districts in the region, particularly in Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur and Panna and
Satna. They are traditional fishermen, whose life has been dependent on the
ponds and rivers of the region. Their life is getting badly affected due to
depleting condition of traditional ponds and its encroachments. They are devoid
of employment in their traditional business. Mission can come forward to help
them in their livelihood through innovative techniques in fisheries.
Though, the government has taken numerous efforts in rural
development through its various programmes, its fruits are hardly visible in the
rural areas. The mechanism of implementation of such programmes has always been
found complex and gets circumvented into feudal relations in the society. There
is a long way to go in rural development.