Identifying livelihood promotion strategies for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups under NRLM

Identifying livelihood promotion strategies for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups under NRLM

The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), the flagship programme of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India (GoI), is keen to promote the development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) on a priority basis.

This report suggests suitable methodologies and analytical tools for making such assessments. It also presents certain broad principles and strategies which can be used while working with PVTGs.

Developing livelihoods and socio-economic conditions of PVTGs is a priority area for NRLM. Given the special characteristics of PVTGs, NRLM recognizes the need to evolve separate strategies for their development. Further, it recognizes the need to be flexible in approach and support those agencies which have been working closely with PVTGs or which have developed rapport with them.

The exercise covered in this report - organizing regional consultations in four states which have a substantial number of PVTGs -  proved to be productive and useful in a number of ways. It helped in identifying issues that are critical for the development of PVTGs. It also helped to throw light on some interesting ideas and initiatives taking place at the grassroots level. Finally it helped to bring together a number of resource persons, activists, and resource institutions keenly engaged and interested
in the development of PVTGs.

Some of the important conclusions of the consultations can be summarized as:
  • the importance of ‘right to habitat’ as a pre-condition for the rehabilitation and development of PVTGs
  • the need for state investment in basic infrastructure such as access roads, local haats, primary healthcare centres, schools, and anganwadis
  • urgent need to address health related problems and the need to set up a primary healthcare system that leverages indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants
  • designing interventions taking into account the present scenario resulting from the state of traditional habitats, the extent of isolation, and the extent of migration/displacement of PVTGs
  • need to spend considerable time in building rapport with the community and addressing felt-needs before moving on to livelihood augmentation
  • designing interventions only after learning about the culture of the PVTG in question and acknowledging, respecting, and leveraging indigenous knowledge about local biodiversity. Also, building upon the strengths of traditional institutions to manage natural resources on a sustainable basis
  • ensuring that the ‘honour and freedom’ of the PVTGs is preserved and not compromised in any way throughout the development process