About Prayatna Samiti

Prayatna Samiti is a voluntary organisation working since 1989, committed to the socioeconomic development of poor and vulnerable rural communities of Udaipur district located in Southern region of Rajasthan state of India subcontinent. The organisation believes in capacity of rural communities to work for their own welfare. It believes in the collective strength of communities to achieve a just society, free of exploitative forces.

The organisation  sees its role as a facilitator for community action, to support the efforts of communities to come together to take the responsibility of development. It works to promote self-empowerment and leadership abilities among marginal farmers and rural labourers by developing institutional structures, management capacity and leadership abilities. The organisation works to enhance awareness of the socio-economic, political and environmental issues that affect people, so that they may address them collectively.

Vision

The vision of Prayatna Samiti is to promote self-empowerment and leadership abilities amongst deprived sections of rural communities for their sustainable livelihood.

Work Area

The organisation is working with 4,012 people living in 120 villages of 5 blocks of Udaipur district located in Rajasthan state of India. The area lies in Southern part of the state which is marked by undulating terrain comprising of hillocks and steep hills of Aravalli mountain range. The temperature in winters often drops to 4°C and reaches up to 45°C in summers. The average rainfall since last 33 years is recorded as 644.91 mm. Highest Intensity/hr of rainfall is 45 mm.

The Community

Majority of the people are restricted to reading and writing which is followed by primary education category. The main livelihoods practiced are agriculture and animal husbandry. The migration status is 2 persons migrating for 4 months from each family. There is limited agricultural land as most of the area is slopped surface. Animal husbandry is hit by low milk yield as there is no feed and disease management. The pasture land has low productivity and less water holding capacity. Tribals are not familiar with the social welfare schemes and their rights.

THEMATIC AREA

Community Management of Commons

Pasture forms a chunk of land mass fulfilling the fodder requirement. Apart from this most of the timber, fuel and NTFP is collected from the land. In the work area around 39 % of the land comes under waste land category which is unprotected. The private pasture land is often well protected by people. However, the land is marked low productivity.

The organisation has developed institutions to take up land treatment work for 3,000 ha which consists of commons (forests and government) and private. The work undertakes Soil and Water Conservation and Afforestation through community contributions and government convergence. Taking Climate Proofing as a cross cutting issue special focus has been given on durable structures such as CCT, triangular gully plugs, thawla, earthen gully plug, gradonis, diversion drain and cemented check dams.

As a result of pasture development fodder enhancement has contributed to dairy activities. Incomes rose to double. Water level raised in low lying wells which in turn ensured supply of drinking water and irrigation facilities.

Sustainable Agriculture

The focus lies in crop cultivated area. The main crops are maize and wheat cultivated in kharif (June to October) and rabi (October to March) seasons, respectively. The produce is normally used for family consumption. The farmers with more than 0.18 ha land often sell the grain at market price. The crops are also the source of fodder and fuel. Lack of irrigated land, water resources, soil productivity, and information of improved practices is a setback in production.

Prayatna Samiti deals in providing technological inputs and trainings and testing methods of cropping pattern id demonstrated by Farmers field School. Water resources are pipelines and well renovation activities and harvest structures introduced with the revival of traditional institutions for sustainable management. Improved varieties of crops and vegetable seeds provided to enhance production. Soil productivity improved by developing farm bunds for preventing soil erosion.

Organic farming measure like vermiwash, cow urine and Fermented Plant Juice introduced to replace chemical fertilizers. Trainings provided to 3,750 farmers as integral part of the theme.

With special focus on climate risk mitigation measures like climate resilient seeds; fence farming; trellis; fodder grass plantation on bunds; and waste weir are introduced. People are using Agromet lab installed to forecast weather for pre-preparedness of agriculture.

1,300 ha land has been further cultivated. Farmers understand the importance of climate resilient varieties. 17,550 quintal maize and 35,100 quintal wheat along with 42 quintal vegetables harvested per year in the work area. Of this 8,775 quintal wheat is sold in market and per capita availability of grains increased.

Animal Husbandry

Since ages animal husbandry has remained one of the prime sectors of rural interests. In the work area cow, buffalo, goats, pigs, hens, camels, sheep are reared for milk, meat and leather. There are 8,424 cows, 5,616 buffalos and, 11,232 goats in 2,808 families of the work area. The total milk yield is 54,756 litres/day with an average of 2.2 litre/animal/day which is less in comparison to animal density per household. Consequently the income level do not show a marked effect in the livelihood pattern.

With the introduction of improved breed of goats the organisation is promoting fodder and cattle shed management as integrated animal model of animal nutrition. Disease management is functional with the provision of Pashu Sakhis. Regular health camps are organised under government schemes and people are also encouraged to organise the camps themselves.

Fodder banks are operational as independent institutions for purchasing fodder on loans. Improved varieties of fodder grasses like CO2 are been introduced for increasing fodder quality. Availability of fodder from pasture land has improved the milk yield. Training and exposure visits have familiarized the people with improved animal husbandry practices.

With advent of development programme cow milk yield has increased by 1 litre, buffalo by 3 litres, and goat by 1 litre per day. Income enhancement has increased fodder purchasing capacity. Cattle troughs have reduced the fodder wastage.

Fostering Gender Equity

Woman is an important part of the family and community. She equally toils with man in any of the developmental tasks. However, society has still not recognized her importance in maintain community ecosystem. Prayatna Samiti encouraged women to take part in village development. Women power was recognized through formation of Self Help Groups. SHGs also proved to be a strategy for promotional programmes and organising mass campaigning for achieving food security.

The organisation is working with 220 SHGs consisting of 1,680 women. An intra-loaning of Rs 38,42,196 and savings of Rs 8,52,150 has been done along with bank linkages. This has helped women in taking up agriculture and animal husbandry particularly for purchasing seeds and feed concentrate. In this way women are involved in decision making and leadership.

The efforts are also made to fight against women violation. Campaigns and rallies organised to end up domestic violence and female foeticide.

Enhancing Access to Community Rights

The work area consists of 80 % of tribal community residing in Schedule V area. Tribals residing in the forest region are confined to small land holding barring them of agricultural production. Limited intervention of village Panchayats for peoples’ development in health, water restoration, employment, education and, food security.

Prayatna Samiti is dedicated for strengthening people’s institutions for creating awareness to access peoples welfare schemes and peoples’ rights under PESA Act 1996 (& Forest Right Act 2006). The approach lies in providing capacity building through workshops, trainings and, camps.

For securing women and child health 20 Anganwadi made functional for proper allocation of food and monitored by women committee. 100 kitchen gardens developed to ensure provision of nutritious diet. 20 grain banks developed. SHGs facilitated for developing bank linkages for accessing big loans for agricultural and animal husbandry activities.

People mobilized to apply for land levelling under NREGS. Due to land levelling a 910 quintal extra wheat harvested from13 ha land. 250 job cards provided. Gram Sabha meetings facilitated to familiarize people with their rights and claim them in Panchayats and Block offices. 500 widow, 700 old aged, 500 handicapped people benefited from pension schemes.

2,019 people benefited from national welfare schemes like Jan Janani Yojana, Laxmi Dhan Shri Yojana, and Antodaya Yojana for food security. For ensuring child education 50 SMCs made functional for monitoring school functioning. Revival of traditional agriculture practices introduced with minor millets cultivation and fruit plants cultivation.

By capacity building of Van Adhikar Samiti 751 households in 30 villages got Van Bhoomi Adhikar Patra (Forest Land Right Letter) for 563.25 ha. The land is used for agriculture. Claim over 1,065 ha for Community Forest Right Act pending.