Interview of Ramlal Kale (Above)
We are happy to share that Payvihir village at foothills of Melghat was awarded the United Nations Development Program, India Biodiversity Award in Decentralised Governance category on 22nd May 2014 at an event in Port Blair. The award included Citation and a cash prize of 1 lakh rupees that goes to the Gram Sabha.
The village has in the last 4 years worked hard to regenerate its forest biodiversity, after the processes of Community Forest Rights were initiated in this village by KHOJ. Since then, they have undertaken soil water conservation works, plantation, protection of forest from fire and over grazing and ensuring a mix of natural regeneration and afforestation with the help of Association for India’s Development Johns Hopkins University Chapter. We are currently working towards creation of biogas plant in the villages.
A wonderful convergence with NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) has helped villagers curtail its migration and divert all the energies in village development through forestry operations. Other livelihoods improvement programmes are helping add to the incomes. A community bio gas programme is waiting its installation, supported by funds from the State governemnt through its Tribal Cell.
This has also created ripple effects in neighboring villages and today a cluster of 4 villages are working together in regenerating over 1000 hectares of degraded forest land.
Ramlal Kale and Shriram Dahikar represented the Gram Sabha at Port Blair.
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