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Koraput District admin launches \"Mission Ashray\"

Koraput District is forerunner in house completion in rural housing schemes among the other districts of Odisha. In fact, over the last two months 5956 houses under various rural housing schemes got completed in Koraput in spite of hurdles like remote habitations, connectivity and left wing extremism problems. This progress is made possible due to various initiatives taken in mission mode under one umbrella namely “Mission Ashray”. The objective of “Mission Ashray” is to facilitate early completion of houses by the beneficiaries. The strategy was devised based on the feedback received from various field functionaries, interaction with beneficiaries and past experiences in Koraput District. It is based on 3 broad pillars: 1. Convergence with various schemes 2. Awareness of beneficiaries 3. Monitoring of functionaries Various Components of Mission Ashray Convergence with Other Schemes: The convergence with various schemes like MGNREGS, Swatch Bharat Mission (SBM), Odisha Livelihood Mission(OLM), Bharat Nirman Volunteers (BNV) program etc. were used to raise awareness among beneficiaries, provide extra financial support in house construction, spread the message of Mission Ashray. The convergence plan was explained to all the field level functionaries in block level nodal meetings by district level monitoring team members. 1.1 Mason training and Skill Development in convergence with ITDA: Being realised the shortage of skilled masons in Koraput district especially in backward blocks like Narayanapatna and Bandhugaon, a special training programme has been launched by DRDA to train unemployed youth to become masons. A ten day residential training programme was designed fully funded by DRDA from IAY contingency fund. A special approval has been obtained from commissioner cum secretary, Panchayat Raj department in this regard. The 10 day training programme has 1 day thematic training and 9 days practical training at under construction work site. The thematic training was carried out by junior engineers from DRDA and DWSM. Local masons were recruited as resource persons to explain the nuances of masonry to participants in their native language. A training kit consisting of basic masonry instruments was also being distributed to participants to enable them to practice their learnings immediately. BDOs were encouraged to involve them in ongoing construction activities. Till 20th March, three batches consisting of 284 participants from 9 blocks have undergone the training successfully. Recently R-SETI was also roped in to provide the mason training to the eligible candidates. 1.2 Producer Groups in convergence with OLM: Beneficiaries and field level staff involved complained of shortage and high price of bricks as one of reason for slowing down of house construction. To ease brick shortage and provide livelihood opportunities to people, 14 brick making producer groups were started in Koraput. The SHG groups having experience in brick making were identified and were given Institutional and capacity building training. Initial capital of Rs.91000 in form of Institutional Building and Capacity Building fund was released for the groups to procure brick making frames and other necessary equipment for scaling up their business. 1.3 Rural Housing – SBM Convergence: The beneficiaries of 2013-14 and 2014-15 beneficiaries were eligible for a toilet under Swatch Bharat Mission. JEs/GPTAs involved in Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) were roped in to provide material and technical assistance to the beneficiaries. As on date, 6703 toilets were constructed under SBA making 37 villages ODF, motivating the IAY beneficiaries to construct their own toilets. 1.4 Rural Housing – MGNREGS Convergence: As on date, around 41 lakh man days (3rd highest in the state) have been generated in the district under MGNREGS against the labour budget of 31 lakh man days (Increase of 33% over the target). The beneficiaries of 2014-15 rural housing beneficiaries are eligible to get 95 extra man days under MGNREGS. This was pursued to provide extra financial support to the beneficiary. It was widely publicized as an additional financial incentive of Rs 15,580 for only those who complete their houses before the financial year end, although case records were opened for all the beneficiaries. It went a long way in motivating the beneficiaries to speed up their construction work. 1.5 Rural Housing - BNV Convergence: Bharat Nirman Volunteers (BNV) concept was envisaged as mechanism to disseminate information relating to various Government schemes to people in their locality. During “Parab” – District level cultural festival, 3400 BNVs were mobilized from all the blocks. They were given first hand feel of what a model village will look like. Prominently in display are prototypes of IAY house and toilets, initiatives taken under “Mission Ashray”. Thus the initiatives taken were widely disseminated to all the corners of Koraput district. The Mission Ashray initiatives and convergence programme were again explained during the first batch of BNV training (16th March- 23rd March). 2 Awareness of beneficiaries: Most of the rural housing beneficiaries in Koraput district used to be unaware of the basic details of rural housing schemes like total money entitled to them, instalment wise breakup of money, procedure of instalment release and benefits available under other schemes like MGNREGS and SBM. The beneficiaries used to suffer from delay in instalments released due to several procedural gaps. The District Administration has taken all these concerns while formulating “Mission Ashray”. The primary task is to develop awareness among beneficiaries about various aspects of rural housing schemes and formulate proper grievance redressal system available to them at their door step. As part of this awareness raising program, the following initiatives were taken 2.1 IAY house and toilet prototypes: A prototype IAY house and toilets were constructed in all 14 no of block office premises to sensitize the beneficiaries about the possible design and scope of the disaster resilient roof cast houses and toilets. This assumes significance considering the damage caused to the asbestos houses during the recent “Hudhud” cyclone. During block level workshops, most of the beneficiaries have visited these prototype constructions to clear their doubts. 2.2 Work Order distribution in IEC mela: During this current financial year 2014-15, work orders have been distributed to the beneficiaries by organising a separate IEC mela a at block level. All the beneficiaries are gathered for this mela and all out efforts have been made by the Block administration to orient the beneficiaries regarding the present instalment pattern and emphasized for earlier completion of houses. This was in contrast with earlier practice, where work orders were distributed as formality under some other meeting at the block level. 2.3 GP level workshop: All the rural housing beneficiaries till 2014-15 who have not yet completed their sanctioned houses were asked to attend this workshop at GP level. They were explained about the seriousness of government drive towards house completion, procedure for instalment release, help line number (1077) for grievance redressal etc. They were also oriented on technical aspects of house and toilet construction. All the field functionaries like PEO, GRS, JE/GPTA, sarpanch, ward members, a block level nodal officer, and a representative of PD DRDA from district level attended these meetings. 2.4 Block level sensitization workshop: To expedite the process of 2014-15 houses construction and completion, a block level work shop was conducted in all 14 blocks in 3rd week of February. The local people representatives like MLA, PRI members, BDOs and district level observers attended the meetings. The beneficiaries were requested to complete their construction of their houses before March. This message was also put forward effectively through the speeches of people’s representatives as well. The block level work shop along with persuasion by PRI members seems to have a huge impact on beneficiaries. The rural housing construction got sped up visibly after this workshop. 2.5 Wall Paintings: To ensure transparency and facilitate great visibility for rural housing scheme, wall paintings were done in all 226 no of GP offices revealing names of 2014-15 beneficiaries. Along with this information on rural housing schemes and helpline number 1077 particularly created for grievance redressal under rural housing are also prominently included in the wall paintings. 2.6 Community Radio: Radio Dhimsa, a community radio was promoted by NGO SOVA (Southern Orissa Voluntary Association) with the help of UNICEF at Koraput Block. To ensure information regarding rural housing and helpline number: 1077 reach tribal people in their native language.ie. Desia, a jingle and short dialogue was developed by SOVA and prominently aired in the community radio. 2.7 Communication through All India Radio: The initiatives taken under “Mission Ashray” and the concept of convergence with various schemes were shared to the All India Radio (AIR) Jeypore listeners through a phone-in programme held on 13th March, 2015 at Jeypore, AIR station. Thoughts related to the house completion and initiatives were well appreciated by listeners through their phone calls. 2.8 Toll Free Helpline: A toll free helpline number (1077) has been established in DRDA and manned by clerical staff. Wide publicity was given to helpline number through community radio, wall paintings and in GP level workshops. All the calls coming to helpline were recorded for monitoring purpose and the issues were pursued with block level staff for resolving them. So far 25 no calls were received regarding delay in payments and the complaints were promptly addressed. 2.9 A separate letter head with bright colours was designed for communication and subsequent correspondence regarding rural housing. This makes it easy for BDOs to prioritize the letters regarding rural housing immediately among the bunch of letters they receive every day and act on it soon. Sachetanata Ratha: Mobile vans named as “Sachetanata Ratha” have been utilized to publicize Mission Ashray initiatives in 49 no of Weekly Rural Haats of Koraput district to create awareness about rural housing scheme, Mission Ashray program and toll free helpline number (1077). Wide publicity was also done through mike announcements in GPs nearby the weekly haats. This was done to publicize this initiative to the people who come from remote habitations to the weekly haats. A 15” X 15” marble engraved with BPGY logo and corresponding details will also be placed in the wall of all BPGY houses sanctioned during the year 2014-15. 3 Monitoring of field functionaries: The monitoring of field functionaries who were involved in various aspects of rural housing schemes was taken up as next priority item. The constructive monitoring mechanism, regular follow up and field visits made the functionaries stay alert and focussed on the task assigned to them. The various initiatives taken under monitoring are 3.1 Observation of AWAAS Divas at GP Level: Two no. of days i.e. 1st and 16th of every month have been earmarked exclusively for proper monitoring and supervision of various Rural Housing schemes implemented at grass root level. These two days are declared as the “AWAAS Divas”. These days have been observed at GP Level, Block Level simultaneously. All the issues related to Rural Housing must be redressed on these days particularly by providing the optimum services to the beneficiaries for successful completion of the houses. 3.2 District level monitoring team: A district level monitoring team consisting of all APD level officers, MC, PMRDFs was constituted. Each of them was made a nodal officer for a specific block. They were to visit the 2 GPs of their respective block at least once a week. Their experiences and findings are shared in weekly meeting with PD, DRDA and required steps were being taken promptly. Their focus was To find out cases of delay in payment and field level staff harassment Interact with rural housing beneficiaries and enquire about the issues faced Monitor the convergence of various schemes with rural housing Keep the field functionaries alert and focussed Monitor progress of NREGS and SBM 3.3 Involving JE/GPTAs: Considering the experience of JE/GPTAs in construction activities especially in toilets under Swatch Bharat Mission, their extensive contacts with material suppliers, engagement with people in NREGS JEs/GPTAs were roped in rural housing schemes. They were supposed to Help people in material procurement through their contacts Provide technical advice and support during construction Check status of construction and recommend the release of instalments The number of incomplete houses for the past 3 years under IAY, IAY-FRA and BPGY were compiled GP wise. The weekly targets for JEs/GPTAs were given in last week of January by spreading the incomplete houses over 8 weeks. Messaging JEs/GPTAs about their targets on regular intervals and follow up with non-performing JEs/GPTAs was ensured to get them involved in rural housing schemes. 3.4 Review of block level functionaries: Regular review of all functionaries involved in rural housing: Performance of BDO, ABDO, Development Clerk, Cashier, and Computer Programmer was reviewed by PD, DRDA to communicate the seriousness of the district administration. Inspection of cash register and passbook of every block on fortnightly basis: This is being done to ensure all the instalments have to be released to the beneficiaries quickly without pending at Block and bank level Fortnightly review of BDOs and ABDOs on rural housing: Major focus of review in DRDA review meetings from December is on rural housing schemes such as number of instalments released and no. of houses completed, reason for non-release of instalments pending at Block level. 3.5 Social Audit: Social audit of rural housing scheme was also conducted in each GP of Koraput district in 3rd week of December. This opportunity was used to identify delay in instalment release, field staff harassment cases and urge beneficiaries once more to finish their houses construction soon and other related issues of Rural Housing.
Financial Year : 0
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