Working with marginalized communities in Orissa, India
This is archived content. More recent information on our work in Odisha (Orissa) can be found here.
Facing the Bay of Bengal to its east, the state of Orissa lies on the eastern coast of India. Orissa is one of the poorest states in India with a population of over 37 million (according to 2001 census) out of which 85% live in the remote rural areas of the state. Roughly 47% of state's population lives below the poverty line. Some areas of the state particularly some of the strategic locations we have selected are prone to cyclones and flooding. On a social impact level most of the communities belong to scheduled casts and tribes which have an overwhelming impact on the lives of these communities in the state of Orissa. Much of the population is illiterate and survives solely on agriculture.
The state is divided into 30 administrative districts which include 47,000 villages.
Practical Action conducted investigatory work for two years. The objective of the Orissa Programme is to develop a long-term development programme in India / Orissa.
Selected strategic locations
Four strategic locations in 4 districts of the state of Orissa were selected: Daspalla Pocket, Gop Pocket, Slum pocket and Chillika pocket. Possible interventions for Practical Action were identified in these four selected geographical locations in the State of Orissa.
Daspalla in Nayaghar
Daspalla block consists of Tribal communities who are not only socially but also economically marginalized. Daspalla in Nayaghar spans 75 villages across three Gram Panchayats with around 2500 households.
Gop in Puri
Gop in the district of Puri lies close to the Bay of Bengal. It is home to coastal communities who are disaster affected (flood and cyclone). With around 4500 families this selected area compromises of 55 villages in 4 Gram Panchayats.
Case studies: Flood relief | Clean water
Chilika in Ganjam
The location lies around the Chillika Lake. Its communities are traditional fishermen who are from in and the Chilika Lake. There are around 475 fishermen families who belong to 10 villages in 4 Gram Panchayats.
Slum�in Bhubaneswar - the capital city (Khurdha District)
Communities living in the location we have selected are poor urban slum dwellers. There are 2 slum communities with a total of around 700 families combined in both slums that comes under Bhubaneswar Municipality Council.
Completed work in the selected locations:
- During the 1st year - Initiated ground level work on water, transport, agriculture, energy, and livelihoods etc as entry points to the selected locations.
- During 2nd year - Operational plans developed to conclude the work initiated with expertise inputs from relevant Project Managers, Local Government Authorities and partner organizations.
- Around 95% of work initiated has been completed remaining work is ongoing and will be completed at the end of the year.
- Around 8,000 poor people have benefited from the work that has been initiated.
In India, Practical Action initially built partnership with a local Non Governmental Organization - Orissa State Volunteers and Social Workers Association - (OSVSWA). The Partners for the community governance in infrastructure projects are namely Indian Institute of Education and Care - (IIEC), Orissa State Volunteers and Social Workers Association - (OSVWA) and Society for Women Action Development - (SWAD).
The main areas of work planned for Orissa include:
- Advocating to link disaster reduction with development plans
- Community participation in Governance systems
- Work towards the need to bring rights and needs of marginalized fishermen
- Renewable Energy in to main government plans
- Recognition of slum dwellers in development programmes