27 June, 2024

Cultivating secure futures in remote Jharkhand

In remote parts of Jharkhand, a Tata Trusts' initiative equips vulnerable tribal families with agricultural skills, fostering a path out of poverty

Rekha Devi with her goats
Rekha Devi with her goats
Rekha Devi with her goats
Rekha Devi with her goats

Rekha Devi from the Paharia tribe, is one of many belonging to the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India. These communities, most ly in the Central Indian Region, often reside in remote areas and with limited landholdings, face challenges escaping poverty. These factors build a compounding effect and impedes efforts to get out of poverty irreversibly. Rekha Devi lives in one such region, in Gunchuwa village In  Dumka district of Jharkhand.

Until 2021, her family of eight struggled. Their meagre 1.5 acres of land provided for subsistence farming during the Kharif (monsoon) season only. To make ends meet, they migrated for labour work in West Bengal during the Rabi season (winter). This uncertain cycle offered little stability.

Things started to take a turn for better in 2021, when Rekha joined the Jagruk Mahila Farmer Producer Company Limited (JMFPCL). JMFPCL was formed under the Lakhpati Kisan programme implemented by the Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI), an associate organisation of the Tata Trusts. Under the programme, Rekha received training and facilitation in agriculture activity planning, cultivating soilless sapling, and using fertilisers and pesticides. She also received trainings in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Disease and Pest Management (DPM) for chillies and Rabi crops.

Furthermore, JMFPCL supported the establishment of Kamal Water User Group, which provided Rekha with a solar micro lift irrigation system. This innovation allowed her to cultivate crops throughout the year, including the Rabi season.

Rekha’s success story doesn’t end there. With financial aid under the Tata Trusts and HDFC Parivartan, she purchased goats, adding another income stream to her family’s livelihood.

The results are remarkable. In 2023, Rekha earned INR 1.26 lakhs solely through agriculture and goat rearing. They no longer need to migrate labour. Their dreams are set on to reinvesting their earnings into better agriculture practices, education of their children, and a permanent (pucca) home.