Advisor, Ama Jangala Yojana was impressed up on the community development activities conducted through Balliguda and Phulbani Forset Divisions
Shri Narayan Pattanaik, Advisor, Ama Jangala Yojana, Government of Odisha has visited different Vana Surakshya samities under Phulbani and Balliguda Forest Divisions from 24th to 26th May, 2023. During this tour, he visited different Vana Surakshya Samities (VSSs) under Phiringia, G. Udayagiri, Tumudibandha and Kotagarh Forest Ranges and reviewed the activities being carried out through Ama Jangala Yojana. In addition to this, he also visited the plantation sites and VSS buildings-cum- IGA Facilitation Centres and reviewed the impact of livelihood interventions carried out under the Scheme. He had also interacted with the VSS & Women Self Help Group (SHG) members, Department Officials and local PRI representatives and gave suggestions for resolving the specific local issues by linking them with concerned Line Departments.
On 25th May, 2023, he visited Lambagurudi and Rugudisahi VSSs under Phiringia Range and Panganaju VSS under G. Udayagiri Range of Phulbani Division and interacted with the VSS & SHG members. He also visited the Assigned Forest Areas and ANR sites under all the above VSSs. The progress on construction of VSS Building-cum-IGA Facilitation Centres was also reviewed during his visit.
On 26th, he visited Sambruli VSS under Tumudibandha Range where he inaugurated a newly constructed VSS Building-cum-IGA Facilitation centre and dedicated to the community for their use. He also made a transect walk through the Assigned Forest Areas and ANR (with Gap) sites of the VSS with the PRI representatives and Departmental Officials. His visit ended with Gagamaha EDC under Kotagarh Range where he observed innovative awareness initiatives for protection of Forest and wildlife by the school children. He also observed the fire protection measures, soil & moisture conservation interventions, seedling nurseries and forest bio-diversity in both the Divisions. He was very much impressed with the community development initiatives and livelihood promotion efforts by AJY team in both the Divisions. During the visit, it was observed by him that no incidence of forest fire has been reported in the assigned forest areas of the VSSs under AJY.
He was accompanied by Shri Bijaya Ram Senapati, Subject Matter Specialist as a Representative of the Project Management Unit of OFSDS. Shri Prashant Patel, IFS, Divisional Forest Officer, Phulbani Division, Mr. Biswaraj Panda, Divisional Forest Officer, Balliguda Forest Division, other Departmental Officials, PNGO staff and Chief Functionaries and Project personnel accompanied him in this visit.
Observations:Some of the key observations by the Advisor, AJY which he has highlighted in his report are as follows:
- The strong community mobilization and proactive response by AJY team resulted in nearly zero Forest Fire incidences in the Assigned Forest area under AJY Vana Surakshya Samities. He advised that the surveillance and quick response to protect the forests from fire incidences will continue till onset of monsoon.
- Some of the Vana Surakshya Samities which he has visited (Lambagurudi & Srambuli) are truly inaccessible and detached from the mainstream/Administration due to poor or no road communication. The basic facilities for living are far away from their reach. However, the AJY team have performed extraordinarily to mobilize the communities for forest protection and livelihood promotion under utter difficult situation.
- The basic amenities such as all weather roads, drinking water facility, primary school, mobile network and access to Ambulance services are absent in the above villages due to poor or no road communication and also distance from the mainstream agencies. However, the people are getting benefits in convergence with the Government Schemes like PDS, MAMATA Yojana and old age pension.
- The VSS Buildings, though used for various productive purposes by the villagers are deprived of electricity, water connection and approach roads though toilet, internal wiring and overhead tanks have been provisioned by the Project.
- Both of the Partner NGOs (PAHAD in Phulbani Division and Banabasi Sevasram in Balliguda Division) are experienced and pro people, having a good rapport in the communities.
- The forest protection, community development and livelihood promotion activities carried out in the communities, which he has visited, are highly satisfactory.
- The plantation sites which he has visited in the villages Rugudisahi, Panganaju and Sambruli are well maintained, fenced and the plant survival rate is nearly 100%.