Sustaining Lives of
Tribals during COVID-19
poses a huge challenge for India in maintaining food security and
ensuring livelihood sustainability. Lockdown in a country of India’s
scale has socially, economically and institutionally negatively impacted
the farmers, daily wage workers and other marginalised groups. Development Alternatives Group (DA) is putting in
place additional efforts to not only provide immediate relief in the
form of wage employment to the poor tribal families in Bundelkhand, one
of the most poverty stricken regions in India but also trying to ensure
sustainable livelihood options for them through farm diversification,
soil and moisture conservation, water security and restoring
agro-ecosystems through WADI (a model for sustainable tribal livelihood)
development under NABARD’s Tribal Development Fund (TDF) programme.
features of ‘WADI’ (meaning a small orchard of one or two-acres with
multiple crops) model are economic viability of tribal families,
employment generation, sustainable agriculture, social change, improved
quality of life, nutritional self-sufficiency and women empowerment.
Therefore during COVID-19 lockdown, where there have been no daily
wage employment opportunities available in the rural areas, this
initiative has been helping sustain the lives of the tribal families.
Currently, 250 WADI establishment work is under progress wherein pit
digging, cattle protection trenches and earthen water harvesting
structure activities are being implemented by the tribal farmer’s
collectives by involving daily wage labourers.
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