A Pioneering initiative to Create Sustainable Income Gain for Tribal Households – A Case Study of “Birsa Harit Gram Yojna” Under MGNREGS in Jharkhand
The small and marginal families in rural Jharkhand struggle to survive as limited livelihood opportunities are available, specifically the Scheduled tribal communities of Jharkhand. The government is running multiple programs to support these suffering families. Many initiatives are very slow in their impact as they have traditional components of schemes. Whereas, one of them has created an impact within a few years of implementation due to its innovative aspect of the focus on livelihood generating asset building of individual households. The initiative known as Birsa Harit Gram Yojna under MGNREGS has been able to create such buzz, yet it has boundaries and problems. In pilot schemes, mainly tribal families have experienced positive contributions towards their sustainable income opportunities, change in the social status of women along with respective households in the village, interaction with the market, and faith in government-sponsored schemes has increased. The impact is visible in the families who participated in the piloting phase. The challenges are to improvise it to benefit a larger mass across Jharkhand. The study has been conducted in three piloting districts namely Khunti, Gumla and Lohardaga of Jharkhand. Findings are reporting the encouraging outcomes for families under the scheme.
The income has started contributing to improving the family's economic as well as social status. More families have started showing interest in participating in the scheme to take benefit of this initiative. The apathy of the government system, in general, is the biggest obstacle in addition to creating informative awareness about the scheme.
The paper is attempting, to see through the intent of the scheme to explore the impact on the ground, for further replicating the scheme, making recommendations for further policy formulation. The methodologies include a thorough study about the program of Birsa Harit Gram Yojna, and the questionnaire-based interview of the beneficiaries and few case studies of the benefiting families. The study will contribute to the policymaker, program implementor and add information and knowledge to the research fraternity.
Keywords - Sustainable Income Gain, Tribal Household, Jharkhand, MGNREGS, Horticulture