Sambalpur: A partnership between rural communities and government institutions has ushered in integrated development in a nondescript village of Sambalpur district, a report said.
The partnership has brought in visible changes in the lives of villagers by providing them with livelihood opportunities and ushered in green cover on a hill near the village that was once bereft of any trees.
The villagers have become self-reliant by involving themselves in government schemes and projects. Reports said the state government is implementing various plans for the financial and social growth of women and rural communities.
The schemes are being implemented in active partnership of various departments of the state government and the rural communities.
The successful implementation of the partnership between the rural communities and the government departments has been witnessed in Salesingh village under Maneswar block of Sambalpur district.
Sources said the Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project (OFSDP) adopted this village in 2018 with an aim to bringing in changes in the lives and livelihood of people and usher in green cover on Sugulia Sika hill that had lost its greenery.
The going was tough but with a will to triumph the target has been achieved.
The hill which was once devoid of any trees has turned green while most of the villagers have been enrolled in various plans are reaping the benefits of the scheme.
The villagers who were earlier without any work have been earning for their families by taking up mushroom cultivation, fish farming, poultry and farm pond excavation under poverty alleviation scheme MGNREGS.
Village women Runu Mallik, Jyoti Seth said this has helped them achieve financial and social growth and lead a better life. Earlier, they had to face innumerable hurdles in managing their families.
The hill near their village does not have any trees. However, their good days came after the forest department adopted their village.
Three years back, forest officials explained to them about the benefits of various welfare schemes.
Later, fisheries, animal husbandry departments, Krushi Vigyan Kendra, Mission Shakti and State Bank of India imparted them training on various livelihood programmes.
A majority of the families joined the programme and have started reaping the benefits of the same.
Around 42 families are involved in poultry while five self-help groups have been formed with provision of financial assistance. Similarly, members of the Shibani SHG, involved in fish farming, are earning around Rs 2.5 lakhs from the cultivation.
This has boosted their confidence and now they are no longer facing problems in earning their livelihood. The hill which had turned into a scrub forest now abounds with green cover.
The forest department has spent over Rs 20 lakh in planting trees on the hill during last three years. The members of the forest protection committee are looking after its upkeep and protection.
Fruit saplings like guava, Jamun and Amla have been planted on 32 acres of the hill while trees have been planted on six hectares to meet the requirement of fodder and firewood of the villagers.
The villagers confirmed their development stating that growth will be accelerated in the village if other government institutions join hands with them.
When contacted, B Nilambar, divisional forest officer, Sambalpur said various programmes have been adopted for the social and economic development of the villagers.
The villagers should come forward and involve themselves in the government programmes to reap the benefits of the schemes, he added.