Badlao Foundation was born out of a contextual necessity.
During early 1950s, when Maithon dam was constructed on the Barakar river, 39 villages on the ridge were affected, some partially and some completely. While majority of homes were not destroyed, most of the cultivable land was submerged by water due to construction of the dam.
The uprooted tribals spread all over the region and majority of them zeroed on at Mihijam, as coalfields and locomotive industry were nearby. When meagre financial compensation had exhausted, these tribals and other displaced people became marginalized. Abject poverty and destituteness started challenging their very survival. Realizing the need to uplift and empower these deprived and marginalized people Shri Bajrang Singh, a social activist with experience of working with bonded labour in Antyodya Ashram of Deoghar, and some of his associates started working with these displaced people. The majority of these people were Santhals, Paharias and Bauries. With agricultural land gone under water, non-farm income generation activities like Tasar spinning by women were initiated with promising results.
In 1982 Badlao Foundation was registered. Later on to promote Tasar spinning it became affiliated to Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Government of India in 1985.
Challenges and successes in the mission of the organization since 1982
Badlao is working in the development sector in their different project areas like Jamtara, Godda, Dumka, Pakur, Sahebjang and Deoghar districts of Jharkhand State of India. Badlao works for mainly livelihood promotion of the vulnerable sections like women, child, scheduled tribes and scheduled castes, minorities and other underprivileged section of our society. Badlao is running projects like ‘WADI’, ‘Johar’, Jharkhand Tribal Empowerment Livelihood Project (JTELP), Oxfam project for forest rights of tribals, Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) by NABARD, Welt Hunger Hilfe fund for people centric Governance and KKS fund for Natural Resource Management. According to Maslow (psychologist)’s Self actualization Model, first requirement for human being is food, clothing and shelter; then education and health; after that security of life and wealth; then right to life and living and right to secure livelihood. Badlao works in a right based approach and provides advocacy services, disseminates information, creates awareness, forms people’s group and pressure groups with whole hearted participation of community people and applies innovative action means for the betterment of such people. Precisely we can say that Badlao Foundation is working for bringing changes in the socio- economic structure scenario of the society with the help and cooperation of the people. The secret of the success lies in democratic spirit and welfare motive of Badlao which have been carried out by its volunteers, Functionaries and prudent social thinkers.
Achievments of Badlao in 40 Years
Experience of Badlao Foundation in Three phases
The 35 years journey of Badlao foundation for the empowerment of tribal population of Santhal Pargana
Phase 1 : Tree Plantation and Intercropping in Jarmundi Block from 1980 to 1990 with support from Oxfam USA
Phase 2 : in 1990s – Education, Health and Women empowerment – SRC Project – The empowerment of women aged 12- 14 years.
Oxfam –USA – ICCO –NORAD - The organization of women work force. The Political organization of Jharkhand was totally dominated by men and there was little representation of women. The issues of closing liquor shops and stopping alcohol addiction were taken up. The rights of women on land. New awareness and transformation was introduced with flux of ideas like vinoba , land donation etc., organising and mobilising the last person, taking out processions and flags. The new ways of creating campaigns.
Phase 3 – year 2005 onwards : Contact was established with tribals in remote areas. In these areas the culture and language is different. The Jamtara district where our headquarter is situated is not the true reflection of Santhal Pargana. Deoghar is also not that. The true represntative araes of Jharkhand are – Sundar Pahadi- in Godda, Littipara in Pakur and Barhait in Sahenganj. This is the deep forest area since the British times, which is coming into focus now. The adivasis are living in upland forests.
The mineral wealth is in the land below. Previously, we were not aware that abundant mineral wealth is here.
2019 onwards :
Promotions of livelihoods :with sustainable development – we are engaged in many activities related to this field. We need to expand our understanding in this area. – the management of water ressources, forests and land, agriculture and fodder, better conservation of water during rains – how to do these activities more effectively.
Governance, Community Empowerment and Mahila Sabha :The local management of the process of sustianble development. Awareness fof women and youth for Rights based action. The capacity building of the people for forming their own development plans. How to get these included in the plans developed under PESA for the district and state level.
'Johar' project: Jamtara And sundarpahari :
The staff has been working on promoting people's participation for people centric development and good Governance. The development work should be initiated in a ‘bottom up approach’ i.e., demand for development should come from community level .Pressure group should be formed within the community .Then only the development will be sustainable. Johar Project at Godda showed convergence of all Government schemes and formed Core Committee of bottom up structure from Panchayet level to State level for strengthening networking. Tribal Rights Forum (TRF) has been formed to have a common platform to fight for tribal rights. Johar Project has been converged with Jharkhand Tribal Empowerment Livelihood Project (JTELP) for sustainability.
'KKS' Project: Sundar Pahari- Godda :
The paharia tribals, with the perspective of natural resource management in a changing climatic condition, have implemented use of collecting rain water, use of unconventional energy sources like solar powers, use of small kitchen garden for food security, use of wet land management and continuous controlling trench (CCT) for increasing level of underground water and use of animal husbandry for sustained livelihood. They are working for creating water bodies and implemented smokeless chullah to avoid health hazards. As a project impact, they built rapport with community by constructing water Shade management committee (WMC)
Welt Hunger Hilfe Project :
They are working in nutrition, education and people centric governance thematic areas. Their innovative measures is implementing radio technology for mass attraction and information dissemination, using GPS satellite based tracking system for tracking developmental activities in schools and constructing school management committee (SMC)s, Bal Samsads for creating pressure on Government departments. Community participation has been assured by conducting Participatory Learning Appraisal (PLA) at the initial stage of project implementation. They have created MGNAREGA Sahayata Kendra, volunteers for facilitating to achieve Government Schemes.
'WADI' - NABARD :
This Project was mainly built with the objective of sustainable livelihood development through sustainable practice of agriculture like orchards and vegetable cultivation. Activities taken under this project are common resource centre for meeting & marketing, micro enterprises for landless family, formation of seed drum for future preservation of seeds and many more. The issue of replication of the project has been raised. ‘WADI’ project have helped cultivators to find their feet in the arena of sustainability of development. At a very initial stage it was observed that conservation of planted trees was being violated. Later, after taking innovative measure of protecting trees through creating trenches, this problem has been solved.
Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) from NABARD :
This project has been granted for rural infrastructural development of water resources, horticultures etc. Formation of ‘Krishi Sathi Samity ‘, organization for monitoring community, organize village assembly (Gram Sabha) for participatory planning and sustainability of the development objectives.
Oxfam – Forest Rights :
Oxfam provides fund for working to empower people to achieve their rights on Forest. Under this project, rights on land of marginalized tribal farmers have been assured. Their income has been enhanced through ‘Electrified ‘Pattal Plate Project’. As a non-timber forest product, leaf plate is a easily available product in this area. This project also supports Natural resource management through Afforestation. Building awareness for conservation of forest and networking through ‘Van Adhikar Manch’, ‘Forest Right Committee’ and ‘Forest Management Committee’ is another main activity of the project.
Challenges Before Badlao
Improving project management and performance
Mobilizing and Sustaining Future resources – financial - human
Creating bigger and effective influence on policy makers and administration/Stakeholders undertaking the responsibility to social Justice and entitlement based growth oriented Society.
After 35 years of experience in development sector, Badlao Foundation needs a road map for future. Understanding the national and international scenario – we need a new vision, mission and direction for our needful interventions.
We have recently undertaken an internal a review of the impact of our work and of the various development programs of the Government in the last four decades, in this region. ( see the section on Impact). It has been our humble realization that we still have a long way to go for realization of our founding vision of 'prevention' of decay of natural resources – forest, water and mining - in the region and overcoming the marginalization of the tribal population and other vulnerable population group's. We have, made a renewed organizational and personal commitment to this vision. We are now, in the process of developing a revised and new long- term strategy for the achievement of our goals and meet the aspiration of the people of this region. For this, we intend to focus our future work on policy and program interventions around the themes of sustainable development through promotion of circular economy, sustainable livelihoods and sustainable lifestyle. Badlao Foundation now, should shift its horizons to become a knowledge based organization providing training and capacity building and research base for the sustainable & equitable development for the Santhal Pargana in Jharkhand.
The following issues have been identified in this context to be addressed in the coming years :
The capacity development of Badlao : in areas like project management, reporting, task implementation, results based working and reporting etc. There is pressure of funders for improving our monitoring and reporting. However they do not want to allocate resources for that. The highly competent human resources are required for social development work. This requires high cost in today’s time.
Human Resources Development : How to link development professionals with Badlao on a long term basis. How to orient badlao functionaries in community based working. At the same time, there is a need to promote sensitivity of the staff /development professionals towards the poor and vulnerable, without this inner commitment, positive development work is not really possible. There is a need for team motivation. In current times there is lack of sensitivity for the social cause and professional tend to be rather self- seeking and self- centered.
The thinking within the NGOs need to change in accordance with the new development paradigm and the human resources need new orientation. In addition there is a need to develop mechanism for accessing the selective and specific expertise on part time basis. How to develop a sustainable mechanism for holding the human resources with the organization.
Right based approach to Gender issue : to be discussed further – context specific – Santhal Pargana
Reflection & research- widening horizon : : e.g (i) Impact Assessment (ii) Political Scenario Analysis and Risk Mitigation should be taken up as an internal exercise of the organization
Identify Best practices / model areas of Badlao
CBO strategy – to be considered
Options for selecting theme for campaign for future :
Decline of natural resources / water-shed crisis of failing water table -stop mining - advocacy – public education on SDG/sustainable lifestyle- circular economy
Livelihood Models – on the ground development – watershed structure Agro - animal husbandry - Technology transfer- continued work – information dissemination of best practices and model work
Financial Inclusion-New Theme for Badlao – Pension , MNREGA, digitalization, Food-Ration – social security as a right
Social harmony equity peace
The barriers in working with Government on Development Programs :
Corruption : The government functionaries have narrow mentality. They treat NGOs in social sector as contractors. Their whole attitude needs to change.
Funding : There is contraction of the flow of funds from international NGOs in last decade. So, Badlao Foundation has some difficult choices to make today.
NGO Sector : There are large number of Faith Based Organisations in Jharkhand today– like Church and RKM. There are other NGOs which are directly aligned with the ruling party and Government – like Vikas Bharti. They have their own voice. But this does not apply to NGOs which operate in the secular space. Badlao Foundation is a secular organisation. We have taken financial resources from INGOs and from the Government of Jharkhand. We are trying to develop a middle path for autonomy and sustainability
Badlao Foundation has never tried to align itself with any of the the ruling parties in Jharkhand. Now hence, we do have non controversial image in the society and we have earned good credential among the cross section of the society. There is a need for us to create more space at the level of developmental spheres by way of widening our vision and mission and commitment for effective interventions to attain our prime goal of social transformation. There is greater potential for fund flow of development resources and this can be directed to our side more effectively there is a need for adopting paths innovative methods for self-generation of resources and self sustaining model of development. We need to retain our trained augmented and committed human resources who are working with us on long term basis. We need greater clarity in ideological thinking and the ways of working.
New Opportunities for Grass root NGOs to explore :
Digitalisation, online payment cards, PAN, creating mobile bank account – need to learn the new technology
The government departments are involving the NGOs in a big way – e.g. Water shed development programs
The freedom from BPL mission is in the pipeline
In the present fast changing world we have to pave the way to cross a difficult and roller coaster path, ahead in order to reach our destination. We have to maintain our own commitment and faith particularly for empowerment of the tribal people in Santhal pargana to whom we have been striving a lot since last four decades. These people have a bonafide entitlement on the development of resources provided by the government for their up-liftment. The Badlao Foundation has to play its instrumental role in mobilization of these resources for the benefit of the disadvantaged and vulnerable population groups. . We have to change our attitude and style of functioning keeping in view the changing scene that the legitimate share may reach to them uninterruptedly.