Event Details

  • Chhattisgarh Jal Kendrit PESA Jagrukta Abhiyan 2013

    The Chhattisgarh Water Centered PESA Awareness Campaign is a joint initiative of PRIA, Arghyam, Social Revival Group of Urban Rural and Tribal –SROUT, DISHA Samaj Sevi Sanstha, Path Pradarshak and Jankalyan Samajik Sansthan. The campaign will cover 80 villages from 40 panchayats across 8 blocks and 4 districts. The three districts of Korba, Sarguja and Kaker are completely scheduled areas, while Rajnandgaon is a partial scheduled area.

    In each district, 2 blocks which fall under the scheduled areas have been identified. From each block, 5 panchayats and from each panchayat 2 villages will be the intensive site for the campaign. The aim is to cover at least 50% of the population of the intervening villages.

    The campaign will be conducted over 2 months:

    • April 5- 14 and April 15-30: Korba District (facilitated by Social Revival Group of Urban Rural and Tribal -SROUT and PRIA)
    • April 15-30: Kaker District (facilitated by DISHA Samaj Sevi Sanstha and PRIA)
    • May 13-25: Rajnandgaon District (facilitated by Jankalyan Samajik Sansthan and PRIA)
    • May 15-30: Sarguja District (facilitated by Path Pradarshak and PRIA)

    The campaign will focus on enhancing awareness of:

    • The main provisions of the PESA Act with special focus on water issues
    • The significance of gram sabha participation in water management

    Gram sabha members, and panchayat, block and district representatives are the key constituents to be addressed during the campaign, with special focus on tribal women and the poor and vulnerable sections of the tribal community.

    It is envisaged that the campaign will be successful in not only generating awareness about PESA provisions but ensuring the rights of the gram sabha members are met and their participation enhanced in managing their water sources. As a result of the campaign, it is hoped water related issues are included in the gram sabha annual plan and gram sabhas are conducted effectively.

    Roots of the Campaign:

    Water is critical to life. It is however scarce and thus needs to be managed effectively. The Scheduled V tribal areas of Chhattisgarh are facing problems related to access to regular and clean drinking water, and adequate water for farming purposes. Pollutants and contamination of water sources has severe negative effects on the health as well as agriculture production of the tribal communities. In this context the role of the state, industry as well the community becomes very important to effectively address this water problem.

    The Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (also known as PESA) is a landmark legislation for tribal communities. It promotes people-centric governance and provides a central role to the gram sabha. Under PESA it is mandatory that states having scheduled areas make specific provisions for giving wide‐ranging powers to tribals on matters related to decision‐making and development of their community. In Chhattisgarh, however, no rules have been framed to operationalize PESA, and even though Chhattisgarh’s legislation on Panchayati Raj was amended in 1997 to incorporate special provisions to reflect the spirit of PESA, the same has not been effectively implemented. This lack of implementation of PESA provisions has led to the strengthening of state control over common natural resources and weakening of the tribal community’s rights over natural resources.

    Since December 2011 PRIA, in collaboration with SROUT, Korba and with the support of Arghyam, Bangalore, has been pursuing an action research intervention in Chhattisgarh on implementation of PESA provisions, with special focus on water management issues. The first year interventions have demonstrated the ineffective status of gram sabhas and lack of involvement of gram sabha members in the process of planning and managing minor water bodies. It has also reflected a lack of adequate understanding of PESA among the relevant state departments, coupled with lack of political will or commitment to implement PESA provisions. This has reaffirmed the need to build pressure on the State machinery to undertake necessary action to ensure effective implementation of PESA in Chhattisgarh.

    Campaign Methodology:

    The campaign will include 2 days of intensive awareness generation in each panchayat.

    Methodology for awareness generation, mobilization and information dissemination will include: songs, slogans, bicycle rally, padyatra, nukad natak, small group meetings, dissemination of posters and pamphlets, wall writing, etc. Special efforts will be made to ensure that the communication methods are rooted in the tribal culture and build on their traditional forms of communication. The active participation of the community as champions of the campaign will be ensured, with structured efforts to include mahila mandal members, youth groups and students.

    In addition, sensitisation and participation of the district administration and staff of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe development department, Panchayati Raj department and water related line departments (i.e., Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) and Water Resource Department (WRD)) will be ensured.
  • Start Date 4/5/13 at 10:00 AM
    End Date 5/30/13 at 5:00 PM
  • Where
    Korba, Kaker, Rajnandgaon and Sarguja Districts, Chhattisgarh Map
  • Host
    A joint initiative of PRIA, Arghyam, Social Revival Group of Urban Rural and Tribal –SROUT, DISHA Samaj Sevi Sansth
  • Led by
  • Category
    Organizing and Mobilization
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Chhattisgarh Water Centered PESA Awareness Campaign 2013

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