Development of tribal communities is an important area of concern for the Government of India. For centuries, forests are the only livelihood source they have and their contribution is very crucial with respect to workforce, craft, fertility of forest soil, conservation of natural resources, and developing the market of Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP). The government has been implementing various development programs, from grant based to market-oriented, for imporving tribal livelihood. However, adverse issues such as reclusive life styles in remote forests, increasing conflicts over sharing natural resources, difficulties in penetration of development programmes, declining average holdings, and belligerence towards outside agencies have pushed 47.3% of the rural tribal population to live under BPL, which is the highest for any social group in India. Empowerment of tribal community not only requires creating and providing access to resources (i.e. knowledge, natural, social, and financial) and but also creating an atmosphere of partnership between various stakehoders - communiies, governments, and corporates, thus bringing a sustainable resolution to their livelihood issues.
Strategic Partnership between CII-BRLF: A Paradigm Shift
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF) seek to forge a partnership to blend their capabilities with government and corporate on a single platform for the empowerment of Adivasi communities for transforming their lives and livelihoods. The partnership will be designed to deliver diversified livelihood options through skill development in farm and non-farm sector areas, marketing of forest produce access to health and education facilities, access to water for drinking and irrigation purpose, and improved agriculture in a holistic and integrated way.
BRLF was set up in 2013 through a cabinet decision as an independent facilitating organization for addressing the development and the governance deficit in backward areas of the country. BRLF promotes sustainable livelihoods with dignity, enlarge space for women, enhance access to and control over resources for tribal communities, especially women; enhance carrying capacity of natural resources; responsive, accountable, transparent administrative and self-governance institutions; creation of a strong and vibrant service demand system and service standards; new opportunities for the youth and such other outcomes flowing from the objectives of the organization. With the committed funds BRLF aims at reaching out to 7 lakh rural Adivasi families through 34 CSO partners in 9 states. BRLF has already reached out to 2.38 lakh households in 3719 villages of 123 blocks in 58 districts of 8 states. BRLF would further like to reach about 15 lakh households which are close to 10% that would give the volume to speak about the impact for replication all over so that every household is covered.
Being an industry-managed organization, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) strives to develop partnerships with civil society organizations to facilitate corporate initiatives for integrated and inclusive development across diverse domains including affirmative action, healthcare, education, livelihood, diversity management, skill development, empowerment of women, and water, to name a few. The Special Projects Department of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has, through focused action-research over the past over 10 years has developed and demonstrated methodologies to bring in scientific approach to sustainable management of water resources, agricultural livelihoods and protecting allocations other uses like household, industrial, environmental flows, etc. and demand side as well as supply side solutions to enable sustainability. The core competency of SPD lies in the assessment of water balance and gaps between availability and demand and developing strategies to bridge the gaps through supply (i.e. water conservation, harvesting, and recharge) as well as demand (i.e. enhancement of irrigation efficiency, shift to water efficient cropping patterns) side solutions. Robust water balance models enable evaluating available options for land and water use for achieving sustainability. SPD believes in the feasibility of win-win scenario where farmers benefit substantially through productivity enhancement while at the same time saving substantial amounts of water. SPD practices extension systems that do not involve providing subsidies to farmers but that are based on participation of farmers that seek and achieve improvement in their economic conditions through improved agricultural and irrigation practices.
CII-BRLF partnership aim is to create a platform where CII can bring corporates and BRLF can bring state/central government to evolve workable, scalable, and replicable models of PPP through convergence of private and public development programmes and businesses. CII and BRLF propose to initiate a multi-stakeholder dialogue on PPP through a National Workshop involving central & state governments, civil society, and Corporates.
The National Workshop
The objectives of the consultative workshop are:
To discuss and arrive at a most suitable PPP model for improving the livelihoods of rural poor in most backward districts of Central India
To draw corporates attention towards tribal development through initiating the dialogue between corporate, government, and adivasi community leaders.
To showcase best practices and models of BRLF, CII, and Corporates supported interventions for replication
To evolve comprehensive framework for “Model Village Development” focusing on agriculture, water, eduction, health, and skill development
To mobilise financial and technical resources of Corproates and Governments for implementation of comprehensive development projects through BRLF-CII Public-Private Partnership initiative.