ARM India – for community empowerment in rural areas

By Milena
Rampoldi and Denise Nanni, ProMosaik. Today we talked to another organisation
working in India, in the state of Odisha. It is the Alternative for Rural Movement where we
talked to Rajendra Kumar Rana. Would like to thank him for his detailed answers
and the photos he sent us. The final objective of his organisation is community
empowerment in the rural areas of his region.

What are the
main objectives of Alternative Rural Movement?
facilitate empowerment, solidarity and leadership capacities of backward rural
women and the under privileged social sections.
sensitize, act and promote basic education, rural health, eco environment and
quality of living in the problem villages.
restore and strengthen the advocacy of human and child rights activities of
vulnerable social categories concentrating on women and girls rights for
preventing social discrimination and oppression.
garner economic empowerment and rural self-empowerment of socially handicapped
section through credit and savings, eco-friendly sustainable agriculture, micro
enterprises and establishment of a value chain based marketing network.
conduct information networking, need based research, documentation and create a
data base on all aspects of a prospective rural social economic.

What are the
main issues in the communities that you assist?
Women issues
Older people

How do you
select the regions where you intervene?
According  to gravity of the issue
with people through PRA exercise to know the main causes of the issue.
with the local leader, older people, Govt. Line Dept.
Support from
the local people.

In what ways
do you promote women’s empowerment?
Promotion of
Self Help Groups.
Building of women on Management of SHG and financial Management.
Promotion of
federation of women at GP level and block level and capacity building for the
Building on Different skill for livelihood promotion.
building on different act, law and rights for women.
building for the involvement in the decision making process.

What has the
impact of your projects been so far?

Major Achievement of Alternative for Rural Movement
315 no. of women self Help Groups have
been formed with total 4340 no. of rural backward women availing leadership
skills, legal awareness, assistance and socio economic benefit through their
collective efforts.
Monthly savings to the tune of Rs. 1.6
crore have been generated and credit of Rs. 542 lacs been mobilized by to 92
women Self Help Group members through rural savings and credit Endeavour.
1318 no. of women have become
self-reliant through 475 rural women micro enter pries groups with our
assistance under women self-employment initiatives.
Empowered to the women for the active
participation in Gram Sabha and PalliSabha in the decision making process and
placing demands of their problems and issues.
Extending rural health awareness,
action and daily treatment of mother, children and sick people from 16 villages
(population 19638) through management PHC Paschimbad under National Health
Mission under Public Private Partnership. Since the management 204168 patients
were treated and promoted 1242 institutional deliveries and 100% immunization
coverage and 2017 emergency referral services.
 Maternal Mortality Rate has been reduced from
112/1000 to 53/1000; Infant Mortality Rate has been reduced from 657/100000 to
Total no. of children immunized to
date: 18316.
2529 no. of the innovative Nananda
Bhauja Club members constituting 1320 eligible women and 1209 adolescent girls
are taking care of RCH activities in 20 remote rural villages.
Total 560 no. of adolescent girls have
been incorporated into our main streaming process.
Scholarship support for 300 poor and
meritorious children. Art/craft/dance and music based extracurricular
activities 160 talented students. As well as training for 60 primary school
teachers have been extended under School Child Resource Development Center
(SCRDC) project.
 Every year 180 no of children from poor and
underprivileged families have got primary education through ARM Model School
project intended for school dropouts and non school going children of dalit and
deprived backward communities since 1997.
School dropout rate has decreased
significantly from 66 % to 12 % in this remote coastal area since we started
educational intervention in 1997.
1895 illiterate and backward rural
women have been covered under village adult women literacy drive with their
empowerment and economic rehabilitation.
5618 no. of women and risk girls have
been empowered, trained and sustainably engaged themselves in different
vocational self employment activities being protected from drudgery, child
labor and women trafficking threats.
189 no. of Village Development
Committees have been established.
10000 no of farmers have been trained in the scientific
system of HYV paddy cultivation, different system of rice cultivation like SRI,
Line sowing and different new technologies for the increase of the
62 no of
Sprinklers have been provided to the farmers for the irrigation during the Rabi
season for the promotion of cash crops like, Ground Nut, Green gram, Balack
To solve the
scarcity of seeds and availability of good quality seeds in time promoted the
seed clusters. 1020 farmers assisted and 1250 acres of land covered under paddy
seed production during the Khariff season.189 acre of land for green gram and
280 acre covered for ground nut seed during rabi season.
221 Farmers Clubs have been working in
200 villages in the block under the guidance of ARM.
Two farmers Producer group formed and
registered under companies act for the benefit of farmers of Baliapal Block and
Bhogarai Block.
25 no. of village roads, 16 Km. of
river side embankment have been constructed under FFCD programme to protect the
flood water.
4 Km. irrigational Cannel has been
renovated and 126 ha. Of land have been irrigated round the year.
16 No. of village ponds have been
renovated for multipurpose uses.
Livelihood support for 1495 flood
affected vulnerable community people.
745 units of Shelter constructed for
the 745 homeless during phailine.
134 no. of pucca houses constructed
under the cyclone rehabilitation.
7749 people from the phailine affected
people were provided the free kitchen support.
1947 people were supported with the
basic needs items for the home, lost during the flood and phailine.
Every year supporting to the poor and
neglected school children for reading maerials.
4 no. of HRP with 32 Toilets and 12
Tube wells constructed for the pure water and better sanitation for the poor
8000 farmers have been motivated for
sustainable agriculture practices.
258 elderly persons have been received
care and support from ARM.
20 Govt. schools have been associated
with ARM for the development of the schools.
Skill development of 200 poor women on
bamboo craft and improved the livelihood.
Care and protection of children when
they in distress throug the child line project.
ARM has been engaged in various
development committees of the District and Block Administration.
ARM has been networked with 10 number
of grass-root NGOs in the district of Balasore for implementation of
development projects in the district.
We have got recognition from the Govt.
of Orissa Ministry of Women and Child Development as best Facilitator in the
District of Balasore.
We have been received Certificate of
Appreciation towards our excellent contribution in Women Empowerment Activities
in the district of Balasore.

Case Study

Child Rights project in 20
schools of Baliapal Block
sensitized on child rights the members of child rights assembly at Dwarikanath
Nodal UGME school at Badhapal village in Asti G.P. in Baliapal Block in
Balasore district in Orissa wanted to organize the children for the protection
of the child rights. To serve this purpose they formed the children’s club
named as Agragamee Club at the said school. To sensitize the children and their
parents on child rights Agragamee Club conducted different awareness and
motivational camps.  During the
bi-monthly meeting of the child rights assembly at this school the children
were motivated regarding their health right and they were also made aware about
the method to ensure the health rights. In the meeting it was discussed about
open defecation and poor sanitation facilities and the resultant diseases from
open defecation. During the meeting the members of the club decided to conduct
a survey about the availability of toilet facility of the children at home.
Accordingly the members of the club conducted the survey and prepared a list of
houses of the children who had no toilets at their houses. And finally, they
submitted the list of the houses of children having no toilet facilities to the
sarapanch of the Asti Grampanchayat and requested him to construct the toilets
in the houses of the children who had no toilet facilities. The sarapanch was
very happy for the initiative taken by the children for the promotion of health
facility for children. 

Case study of Subarna Singh
Singh aged about 30 year w/o Late Susil Singh of village Basudevpur G.P
Madhupura, Baliapal Block Balasore District Odisha is very poor. She has no
land and coming under the BPL category. Due to poverty her parents gave
marriage at Bahanpur of Utarpradesh to Susil who is a physically handicapped
person. After her marriage she was lived with her in-laws at utarpradesh but
after the death of her mother inlaw  no
body was looking after her and due to the Physically challenge of her husband
he is not able to do hard work and lived in very worst condition. Then she
decided to come back to her father’s house to Basudevpur lived few days at
father’s house and constructed a thatched housed in nearby govt. land and her
husband went to cuttack to work in a biscuit factory for packing of biscuits.
She is having one son who is reading in class 6th and one daughter
reading in class 4th With a little amount of earning they lived
happily and dream for the making their children a good citizen by giving them
good education.
But in the
year 2013 her husband got a chronic disease in his secret place and lastly lost
his two kidneys. Subarna became helpless and started treatment of her husband
at cuttack and out of her saving and hand loan from relatives and some donation
from the villagers spend Rs 2 Lakh for her husband. She struggled to make her
husband cure but failed and her husband died during the month of july 2016 and
now she is help less doing nothing and working as daily labour.
With the
support from the ABHIDAAN team Subarna has been supported with some fast food
materials, Tea materials, betel material and utensils worth Rs. 10000/- and
started her small shop in one of her relative’s wooden cabin on lease basis
which was lying vacant at Basudevpur market. Now she is selling tea and snacks,
fast food etc which is very good demand there in the small market and she is
now getting a profit of Rs.150 – 200/- per day and during weekly market she is
getting 250 -300/- as profit. She is very happy and thinking the ABHIDAAN team
as God for her because they came through ARM to her during the crucial period
and supported her. She is praying before God for the good health and courage to
the ABHIDAAN team to support the helpless people like her for their livelihood
promotion. She is also promising to provide good education to her children.

Mainstreaming of Girls at Risk
The condition of Girls in the rural area is a
neglected and uncared story due to social negligence. Many of the girl children
live a life of malnutrition, family negligence, drudgery as well as prone to
trafficking. On the above risk being thrown upon the risk girls esteemed ACA,
Denmark has supported some critical funds to organize the risk girls, socio
economically support their cause of self reliance and mainstream them through
legal & technical assistance from the existing social inflictions. Aglimps
of programmes took around 2 GPs of Baliapal & Jaleswar Block.
The legal awareness camps have been
directed towards child rights and especially on rights of girl. Following
topics have been discussed.
v  Women rights in the Indian
v  Gender equality
v  Dowry and divorce act
v  Rape, murder, trafficking
issues and supporting laws
v  Marriage registration act
v  Reservation for tribal and
backward castes
v  Land ownership and property
v  Role of women’s commission
to protect rights of women
v  Legal aid cell and its
Target risk girls and their parents,
SHG leader and members, and women in general of the concerned villages have
attended these camps and interacted with the resource persons and empowered
with information and knowledge.
The vocational training programmes
like poultry rearing, mushroom cultivation, tailoring, nursery raising and goat
rearing have been conducted for 120 girls to promote economic empowerment of
risk girls through skill development and enhancement of income earning
opportunities and to ensure their future socio economic security. Maximum emphasis
has been given to conduct the vocational trainings and therefore the girls have
attained skills on quality production and this has ensured their sustainable
livelihood. After the fruitful training the trained girls have been provided
with starter fund and they have started their income generation activities. By
earning money the girls have achieved self reliance and freedom to share their
views in family affairs. In fact their status in the family and community has
been upgraded.