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  project name ~ Natural resource mgnt 2006-07

category ~ Rural Development and Environment




  Project Name


Natural resource mgnt 2006-07



Samrakshan Trust



Rural Development and Environment







  Budget Approved


$ 6894


  Year Approved







1   2  

  Chapter Coordinators


Sridhar Vedachalam







Samrakshan Office in Baghmara





The NGO, Samrakshan Trust, was established in 1997 and works to promote sustainable livelihoods for forest dwelling communities. They are commited to integrating conservation and development initiatives in ways that give local communities a strong stake in protecting and regenerating their surrounding natural resource base. Through these initiatives, their footprint ranges from a semi-arid tropical ecosystem around the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, to a mountain ecosystem in villages located near the Balpakram National Park in the South Garo Hills district of Meghalaya to the tropical rainforests in Mizoram.

The aim of this project is to stop the migration towards the modern cash-crop cultivation, and bring back the traditional jhum cultivation practices to the South Garo Hill Akings. This is achieved by a mix of training programs and exposure visits for the locals to nearby Akings where such measures have been a success. Since the project aims at greater involvement of the community, Self Help Affinity Groups (SAGs) comprising women members are envisaged, which will deal in activities such as micro-credit, loan disbursal and manpower pooling.





This project has been implemented in the Rewak Aking, where it met with great success. By the end of the project phase, 12 SHGs were formed and they are functioning well. Many of them were certified by the State Bank of India to receive loans. Members of the SHG were taken on a site visit to West Garo Hills, where SHGs have been functioning for a long time under the guidance of NERCRMP. Samrakshan has been assigned one of the advisors to the Meghalaya Rural Development Society (MRDS), which has been marked as a premier agency towards policy making and implementation in the region with the help of SHGs. Environmental movies were screened to increase the awareness levels among the community towards wildlife. The NGO has obtained funds from Indo-German Social Service Society (IGSSS) for the second phase of the project in Rewak. Next year''s proposal aims at expanding the project to two more Akings - Balkal and Rongru Asim, and achieve similar results.





1. Formation of 10 women-based community institutions which will sustain beyond the life of the project 2. To help the locals understand the environmental impact of change in cultivation pattern. 3. Encourage them to do bunding and terracing of jhum fields, promote Homestead / kitchen gardening, preparing organic manure, and also help them learn orchard and plantation management. 4. The locals will be helped on maintenance and marketing of the cash crops, which have risky returns and high gestation periods. 4. Limited expertise from external agencies like WWF and NERCRMP will be used to achieve the above goals



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