Livelihood in times of COVID-19
Updated: Jul 23
Amidst the nationwide lockdown, Citizens Foundation had a very unique experience in facilitating the implementation of the Jharkhand Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme (JTELP) in the Bhandra Block of Lohardaga district of Jharkhand, the MoU for which was signed in the month of February 2020.
Besides strengthening community-based institutions and improving natural resource management, the project emphasizes productivity enhancement and up-scaling of proven, market-oriented production activities. The sudden nationwide lock
down in order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic starting in the final week of March 2020 increased the role of these community based institutions in not only creating awareness about the crisis, but also effectively coordinate the other aspects of the project so as to provide adequate support to help the local community stick to the calendar of activities under natural resource management.
In a time where the world was combating a problem like no other, the JTELP implemented by Citizens Foundation in Bhandra channeled resources to the grassroots level of administration (Gram Sabhas) as a means to decentralize decision-making powers to communities, which not only provided an avenue for achieving sustainable natural resource management objectives at the village level, but also gave the villages under the project to assert the power of their community based institutions.
HH COVERED: 6,183
Having access to sustainable livelihood opportunities has been sought as the only solution towards a path of recovery in the post COVID-19 world and in JTELP Bhandra Project, team CF has been facilitating a path for the same. The project is mobilizing, strengthening and building the capacity of community and traditional organizations, local government bodies and service providers to assist them in managing their affairs, protect and conserve the environment and biodiversity, and open up access to entitlements of the people in the Bhandra Block—populated largely by a tribal population.
Amidst the pandemic, the implementation team helped the beneficiary farmers covering a population of about 28,285 individuals in 6,183 households of 26 villages in Bhandra Block of Lohardaga district have access to better market connect and receive good prices for their summer crops including watermelon, cucumber and such varieties. Apart from that, following the social distancing norms, the community facilitators ensured that the meetings of the village level bodies continue at regular intervals so that their work remains the least hit by the pandemic. From training for seed selection and plantation to aid of the farmers with weeding machines, the three months of implementation of JTELP Bhandra is a unique example of how empowering and strengthening of our villages can help us combat any challenge as a nation.