Tribal Development (Katakari Tribe)
The Katkari tribe belonging to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) and is considered the most poor, neglected and isolated amongst all adivasis, residing on the village outskirts along mountainsides or in forest land. Illiterate, ignorant and superstitious the Katkari tribe barely survived on traditional seasonal fishing, selling forest produce and timber, and were completely alienated from mainstream village community. Issues like poor health, malnutrition, lack of access to government schemes deprive these tribal community of basic necessities of living.
Migration for work and survival is rampant among the tribal families. It was Shramjivi’s persistent efforts that majority of Katkari sunder its project area – over 29000, have gained an identity, voting rights and ration supply through public distribution system. Formation of women’s and men’s self help groups have enabled them to save for purchase of rations and other essentials. Trainings and generation of local livelihood supports arrested migration to some extent. Efforts are on to empower Katkaris through information and knowledge inputs, building bridges to close communication gaps with mainstream villagers.
Katakries areTraditional river fisher folks. But Increased pollution levels in rivers affected their livelihood. Shramjivi Janata Sahayyak Mandal Introduced reservoir based inland fisheries (IF) as an alternate source. It has promoted 13 tribal fishing cooperatives (887 members) and established fishing rights over 18 water bodies (water spread area of 489.60 ha) from Poladpur and Mahad block of Raigad district. There was requirement of at least 23.52 lakh fingerling size seeds per year. But the main hurdle was of quality and quantity seeds of Indian Major Carp (IMC) and Common Carp (CC) for stocking in the water bodies. Hence SJSM has introduced the innovation of “Low cost circular Carp Hatechery” at Khaire, Tal. Mahad, Dist. Raigad.
To develop own means of securing funds for personal and livelihood needs, and reduce dependency of Katakries on other financiers “Savitri Tribal Credit cooperative” was promoted by SJSM. It was envisaged that it will be a viable alternative to free the tribal from bondage and exploitation from money lenders, and at the same time learn finance management and proper utilization of their own hard earned money for self and community betterment. Loans provided from this cooperative is at very minimal interest rates and only for the livelihood promotion. The office holders trained and guided by Shramjivi.