Every year farmers have to face a lot of loss because of the disasters whether its created by nature or humans. Even when they can be prepared for it and reduce the risk of large loss.
The state government runs many schemes for citizens. If used properly they can reduce the disaster risk; but because of low awareness about these schemes villagers or illiterate farmers aren’t able to benefit from them.
Floods in Bihar are an annual phenomenon. In August 2021, over 250,000 people were affected by floods across 125 villages in 5 districts. Many poor people lost their homes, because they were not well constructed. Many people lost their livelihood.
Then how will this condition improve..? who will help them?
The Bihar Water Development Society (BWDS) is a State level agency, that works with the Directorate of Soil Conservation, Agriculture Department, and Government of Bihar. It is responsible for planning, implementing and monitoring all Watershed Development programs in the State.
On Tuesday, 31st May, some 40 Programme Coordinators, Animators and PRI members of the project Global Program India ,from 10 districts of Bihar , gathered for a full day ToT (training of trainers) program at Sewa Kendra, Patna.
The agenda was about Disaster Risk Reduction [DRR] and food security, and how to implement them in gram sabha or village. The program aimed to improve their knowledge of DRR and food security and to discuss ways to spread this knowledge to the rural areas. The participants got to know what is Panchayati Raj (Village council rule), and its significance.
Capacity Building programme was conducted by Forum For Social Initiatives under the social wing of Caritas India. The programme was organised and moderated by Bihar Forum Coordinator Ms. Ruchika Marandi. Context setting about the programme was done by Mr. Lokesh Ranjan thematic lead of Caritas India.
Mr. Prabhakar, who is associated with Patna university led a session on Gram panchayat, Gram sabha and related structures. He said “Gram sabaha is an independent and important unit of a village through which almost all the problems of village can be eliminated. The government schemes can be shared with people in the gram sabha, and people can benefit .”
Resource Person Dr. Yashwant Singh shared his knowledge about relevant government schemes, and how they can be utilized properly to benefit people in their livelihood, and to reduce the risk of loss in farming.
With a fun game he explained that the coordinators/trainers should have different and positive mindset, they should be able to find many ways to do one work.
One of the participants asked how to fight corruption in this process. “If you are eligible to get benefits from any government scheme, then there is no one who can stop you from getting that benefit. If anyone tries to refuse your application or demands you for money then you can complain about the officer to the District magistrate” Dr. Yashwant replied. He also explained how farmers can check schemes provided by the state government and applicant eligibility can also be checked – www.state.bihar.gov.in
Mr. Prem Prakash, global programme animator of Patna unit, shared his thoughts about the programme ”we gained our knowledge about gram sabha and government schemes, and I am sure that we will bring some awareness in the society about government schemes and how to use them properly to reduce the risk of disaster.”
Ms Sonica Hansda, project animator from Bhagalpur, said “this programme was so useful for us, as we learned how to utilize gram sabha for spreading awareness about the schemes which can benefit people. And now after knowing about the websites no one can fool people about the schemes that government has made for them.”
At the end of the programme IEC materials and calendars on lightening, drought, flood, Corona safety, wind storm and thunderbolt was distributed to the participants by FSI Coordinator
CONTENT PREPARED BY HARSHIT PAUL