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  project name ~ Gana Chetna

category ~ rural development and environment




  Project Name


Gana Chetna



GC (Gana Chetana)



rural development and environment







  Budget Approved


$ 2000


  Year Approved







1   2  

  Chapter Coordinators


Komudi Singh







Villagers(from villages near Hatinota) in a discussion in planning the activities at the Ashram





Gana Chetna(GC) works in about 20 villages in the Keonjhar district of Orissa. Keonjhar district is covered by forests and most of its inhabitants are tribal people. This part of Orissa is considerably under-developed and hasnt seen any government initiatives as well. GC is the only NGO working in this area and they aim to intervene in all spheres of social activity and help achieve holistic development in this area.

The proposal from GC has three compnents to it.
1. Establishment of an Ashram for the demonstration of Agricultural, Horticultural, Piscicultural, and Animal Husbandry schemes.
2. Seed Saver Project
3. Herbal Garden Project

AID-Columbus funded the expenses relating to setting up of the "Ashram" by GC. The Ashram will be the focal point from where all the activities planned by GC will be executed. The Ashram complex will have a demonstration farm where a herbal garden and a nursery of fruit bearing tress will be maintained. GC also plans to plant the trees from the nursery along roadsides. The Ashram complex will also include a pond where Piscicultural activities will be demonstrated.

Volunteers from AID-Orissa have visited the project many times and have felt that the progress was a little slow. Initially they were of the opinion that it was important to encourage, support and assist the ONLY NGO working in this area. The project visit report of September 2004 indicates that GC has to plan things better and be more professional in pursuing their goals.





Here is a list of outputs from the Project 1. Mango, Lemon and Papaya plants were grown in the nursery and planted around the Ashram. Heavy rain had damaged many saplings in the nursery. 2. Many vegetables (Lady''s Finger, Greens etc) have been grown in the organic farm. 3. Fingerlings were released into the pond and the pond has been harvested twice. The feed for the fingerlings could have been managed better. 4. The seed bank is functional and they rotate the seeds with the help of farmer''s clubs. 5. Have taught some section of the villagers to make bricks from fly ash, clay and cement. This activity has great marketing potential and GC has not exploited this aspect fully. The latest project visit report (from AID-Orissa Volunteers received in September 2004) indicates that this region has a great potential for development but GC is the only NGO working in this area. It was felt that GC can manage its resources and plan its activities much better. Their financial management and maintenance of records was not very satisfactory either.





The overall project envisions setting up of the Ashram from which all Income Generation Programs and other social welfare programs will be executed. Here is a list of the Ashram specific goals of this project 1. To demonstrate and train the villagers in specific income generation activities like fishing and brick making 2. To educate the villagers in organic farming practices and to setup a herbal garden 3. To run a nursery of fruit bearing trees and to plant the saplings along the roadside 4. Use the Ashram to provide technical assistance to IGP activities once they are operational 5. GC also wants to use the Ashram to train its volunteers (and employees) in the execution of IGP''s and other activities. GC believes that it will help in better organization of its activities and improve its expertise in specific IGP initiatives The basic motive of this project is to involve the local people in various development initiatives and also help them, in the long run, to demand more support from the government for development of this region.



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