Vazhndhu Kaattuvom Project

Vazhndhu Kaattuvom Project is an empowerment and poverty alleviation project implemented by the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department of Government of Tamil Nadu with the World Bank assistance in a phased manner. The project is implemented over a 6 year period at an outlay of Rs.717 crores. The Project covers 2509 village Panchayats in 70 Backward Blocks in 16 districts. Now under the additional financing agreement between the Project and the world Bank, the project was extended to 10 more districts covering 9.6 lakh poor families from 50 Backward blocks at an outlay of 950 crores.

Objective / Vision

To empower the poor and improve their livelihood and reducing poverty by

  • Developing, strengthening Pro- poor local Institutions at the village level

  • Building the skills and capacities of the poor

  • Enhancing their livelihood by financing demand driven sub project investments
     

 

In Thiruvallur District the Project was Implemented as the detailed below

Phase

Starting Year

Name of the Block

Name of the Cluster

No. of VP

No. of General VPRC

No. of Tribal VPRC

Total No. of VPRC

I

2006 -2007

Ellapuram

Thamaraipakkam

12

12

1

13

Vengal

14

14

1

15

Periyapalayam

14

14

1

15

Uthukkotai

13

13

4

17

Sub Total

53

53

7

60

II

2007 - 2008

Poondi

Pattaraiperumbandhur

16

16

2

18

Poondi

16

16

2

18

Katchur

17

17

3

20

Sub Total

49

49

7

56

III

2008 - 2009

Thiruthani

Thiruthani

13

13

1

14

K.G Kandigai

14

14

5

19

Pallipet

Pallipet

16

16

1

17

Pothutturpet

17

17

0

17

Sub Total

60

60

7

67

IV

2009 - 2010

Thiruvalangadu

Chennamapettai

15

15

1

16

Kanagamachatharam

15

15

2

17

Poonimangadu

12

12

2

14

Sub Total

42

42

5

47

Grand Total

204

204

26

230

Project Strategy and Approach

 

The target population of this Project are the poor households, the most vulnerable sections including the physically challenged and the marginalized communities. The project follows the CDD approach wherein village communities identify their own needs, design and plan interventions and implement and monitor them by adopting the following key non-negotiable principles of the project.

bullet Inclusion of the poorest in all project activities.
bullet Direct transfer of funds to village communities.
bullet Village communities to prioritize, plan, implement and monitor the project activities in a participative manner.
bullet Transparency and accountability in all activities.
bullet Monitored and evaluated the project activities by the community it self.

Unique features of the project

Project Implementation

Initiation Activities

The Project adopts involving CDD approach, involving village communities at every level of project Implementation.

The project activities to start with are aimed at Social Mobilization of the poor and Marginalized. After formation and Capacity Building of the CBOs, the project focuses on the livelihood promotion of the target population. 

The Initial Activities are
  • Initial Communication to create awareness about project
  • Identification of target poor by participatory methodology
  • Grama Sabha approval and release of panchayat initiation fund
 

 

Participatory Identification of Poor (PIP)

Under the project, the target poor are identified by the community using participatory methodologies and the list is approved by the Grama Sabha. The Participatory identification of the poor (PIP) methodology has proved to be a powerful and transparent tool to identify the poorest and the excluded members of the village communities.

This methodology involving the community has found wise acceptance among all stakeholders and is considered the best way of identifying the target population.

 

The Target Community Identified through PIP in the Thiruvallur District are as follows,

Phase

Total Population

Total HH

Total Target HH

Category of the Target

Poor

V. Poor

Disabled

Vulnerable

Phase -I

124591

28676

9901

4895

5006

1846

2098

Phase - II

109972

24555

7809

4407

3402

1090

869

Phase - III

144263

34989

11694

6776

4918

1993

1421

Phase -IV

79452

20103

6997

4469

2528

1276

949

TOTAL

458278

108323

36401

20547

15854

6205

5337

Institution Building

Developing Pro-poor, autonomous and accountable institutions with target people’s representation to implement the project at the village level.

The Village Poverty Reduction Committee(VPRC)

 

In Thiruvallur District the VPRCs and SACs are formed as per the details below

The Village Poverty Reduction Committee (VPRC) is a community organization formed under the project predominantly with the representatives of the target population. Each hamlet of the Panchayat is represented by a woman SGH member from the target population. A PLF office bearer a representative of the disabled,2 member from youth, are also nominated to VPRC by Grama Sabha. The Village Panchayat is the EX-officio Chairperson of the VPRC.
 

Social Audit Committee(SAC)

Social Audit Committee (SAC) is constituted by Grama Sabha which plays the role of guardian of project principles during the project principles' during project implementation. The committee of accountable to Grama sabha and reports to grama Sabha on regular basis.

 

Phase

Starting Year

Name of the Block

No. of Panchayat

No. of General VPRC

No. of Tribal VPRC

Total No. of VPRC

I

2006 - 07

Ellapuram

53

53

7

60

II

2007 - 08

Poondi

49

49

7

56

III

2008 - 09

Tiruttani & Pallipet

60

60

7

67

IV

2009 - 10

Thiruvalangadu

42

42

5

47

Grand Total

204

204

26

230

    The below table Shows the Existing SHG affiliation and the New SHG Formation details
Self Help Groups (SHG) – New group Formation

Self Help Groups(SHG) the left out target poor, and persons with disability are formed into self help groups with 10-20 in a group or 5 - 10 in the case of persons with disabilities. The Members in the SHG are given training, to build their capacities and encouraged to save money. They are then linked to banks, Government Schemes and access funds to start livelihood activities. Sufficient hand holding support is given to the SHGs and are monitored by CSTs(Community SGH trainers) who have been developed by the project. In Thiruvallur district, so far totally 230 CST has been identified, trained and in service.   

Self Help Groups(SHG) – Affiliation of Old Groups

Many of the target people are already been members of the existing SHG, in order to give the assistance to them also, more focus has been given to affiliate their existing SHGs with the VPRC and restructured PLF. Only after the affiliation process, the project supports like, SHG Monitoring through CST, Bank Linkages, Seed Money and Amudha Surabi Fund, etc

 

Phase

Block

No of VPRC

No of Existing SHG

No of SHG Affiliated With VPRC

Newly Formed SHG

Total No of SHG

W

T

Y

D

Total

I

Ellapuram

60

1343

1343

102

24

44

123

293

1636

II

Poondi

56

1071

1071

119

21

22

97

259

1330

III

Thiruthani & Pallipet

67

1073

1073

196

22

32

146

396

1469

IV

Thiruvalangadu

47

812

812

66

10

15

127

218

1030

Total

230

4299

4299

532

89

120

493

1234

5533

The PLFs details of the VKP Blocks are as per the details below
 Panchayat Level Federation (PLF)

All SHGs in a Village Panchayat form a federation. The Panchayat level Federation of SHGs is a forum to share their experience and to voice their problems. PLFs provide sustainability and self reliance to the SHGs.

        The PLFs of VKP Blocks are provided with a livelihood corpus fund called Amudha Surabi Fund (ASF), which may vary from minimum of 6 Lakhs to maximum of 10 Lakhs according the size of the village. This fund should be utilized exclusively for the livelihood development of the target community. There is a well defined guidelines for , how the ASF can be utilized.

 

 
Phase Name of the Block No. of VPRC's including Tribal VPRC's PLF
Restructures LH sub committee Registered Appointed book keeper Opened as bank account ASF Released ASF Utilised

I

Ellapuram

60 53 7 53 60 60 60 60
II Poondi 56 49 7 49 56 56 56 56
III Tiruttani & Pallipet 67 61 6 61 67 67 67 67
IV Thiruvalangadu 47 42 5 42 47 47 47 47

Total

230 204 25 204 230 230 230 183
Capacity Building    
Vazndhu Kaattuvom Project has builds the capacity of the Project staff as well as the community  by organizing the following training & exposure visits for the effective implementation of the project
CB for Staffs  

CB for Community

 
  • Induction Training
  • Functional Training
  • Exposure Visit
 
  • PIP & COM Training

  • Fund Management Trainings

  • Government Trainings

  • SHG Training Modules I to III

  • PLF Trainings

  • CLG Trainigs

Special Focus on Differently abled and Vulnerable

VKP has a special commitment to Empower and mainstream the physically challenged and most vulnerable people in the community, by providing them special attention during social mobilisation and institution building of the Project. Consequently providing them financial assistance, hand holding support  and community facilitation to create livelihood assets, quality of life and securing their dignity. The project has been able to reach the marginalized like the disabled, vulnerable and tribals and bring them into the mainstream. Apart from assisting disabled SHGs, financial assistance is also provided by the VPRCs to disabled and vulnerable persons individually for starting livelihood activities. Some of the Project interventions for the betterment of Differently abled and Vulnerable as follows

 

 
bullet

Disability assessment with the help of DDRO and Govt. Doctors.

bullet

Day Care centres for the children with disability.

bullet

Asst. to get National ID cards from DDRO.

bullet

Asst. to get Aids and appliances from convergence Sources.

bullet

Formation of Special Self help groups for the disabled.

bullet

Providing Medical care through Convergence Sources.

bullet

Providing Vocational skill Training

bullet

Individual financial assistance for the development of livelihoods.

bullet

Formation of Special Economic activity groups.

bullet

Asst. to get Old age Pension

bullet

Enrolling them in the free or subsidized Insurance Scheme
 

Phase

Blocks

No of VPRC

Total No of Disabled Identified

No of Disabled Rcd. National ID Cards

Disabled Rcd. IA

Convergence

Total No of Vulnerable Identified

Vulnerable Rcd. IA

A&A

MG

Nir. Ins

I

Ella Puram

60

1846

1761

1846

361

230

205

2057

2057

II

Poondi

56

1090

986

1027

116

122

122

957

957

III

Thiruthani

33

972

902

732

77

78

1

795

592

Pallipet

34

1019

933

835

96

52

0

626

428

IV

Thiruvalangadu

47

1261

1179

569

0

74

0

949

467

Grand Total

230

6188

5761

5072

600

257

328

5384

4501

 
Convergence Efforts

VKP Clearly knows that, the project support or project fund alone not sufficient to reduce the poverty of the target people. So leverage of assistance and support from various sources are very crucial in the task of poverty eradication. In Thiruvallur VKP project has build a very good rapport with the line departments and leverage the following supports to our target community through convergence.

 
  • Differently Abled Assistance through DDRO

  • Vulnerable Assistance through Revenue Dept.

  • Welfare Assistances through various Welfare Boards.

  • Tribal Assistance through Department of Tribal Development.

  •  Free Housing under IAY, KVVT and DTD.

 

Bank Linkages & Group subsidies

One of the main focus of the VKP is the development of Livelihood of the target poor. To establish the livelihood assets and scale up of activities is money consuming process for which, the money spent under VKP alone not sufficient. Hence VKP concentrates on trapping bank loans through SHG movement for the investments on livelihood promotion.

Group Subsidies

     

Providing  Subsidy Is the one of the strongest tool in the poverty reduction process. Hence VKP vigorously  sourcing the group subsidy from the line departments like Mahalir Thttam, TAHDCO, etc.. to the SHGs of our target as well as non target groups  as convergence.

Tribal Strategy

Thiruvallur district is one of the tribal rich district in Tamilnadu. One of the common identity of the tribal was the poverty. As a Poverty reduction project VKP have a separate Tribal Development Plan aims at building strong self reliant and self managing community organisations for tribals and enables them to access economic and social opportunities to overcome poverty and improve their living standards with dignity, human rights and cultural uniqueness of indigenous people.

 
 
  • Higher allocation of Project funds to tribal families

  • Special institutional arrangements such as additional and special VPRCs.

  • Tribal sub-committees to plan and execute tribal development plans.

  • Promotion of tribal specific livelihoods.

  • Engaging tribal community facilitators.

  • Convergence with forest, health and other departments.

Livelihood Promotion

To promote the livelihoods of the poor, the project follows two approaches

Employable Skill Training and Placement    

Job oriented skill training for youth leading to employment in Corporate sector or self employment. So for In Thiruvallur District, No. of Youth has been trained and placed with decent salary in the National and Multi national institutions.

Formation of Economic Activity Groups, Common Livelihood Groups and  Economic Activity Federations Federations

Promoting individual livelihoods through small loans from VPRCs or through the livelihood corpus available with Panchayat Level Federations (PLFs) of SHGs. Promoting small group activities through Revolving fund and other Bank linkages  

Then the Individuals and the and Groups those who are all situated in same location and involved in the same livelihood activity  are formed in to small Common livelihood Group in order to get some commom facilities like Collective Procurement of Raw materials, Collective Marketting to get better price and support services, etc…

Then the CLGs and EAGs of cluster level are federated to involve in a higher level activities like, Value addition, Branding, Packaging and forwarding etc…

 

Creating Social Capital

A remarkable innovation in the project has been the transfer of experience gained by village level workers from one village to another and building capacity at the village level itself. This social capital has been very useful while scaling up the project within a short period of time.

The project has established a cadre of community level professionals (CPs) who are willing to provide their services as trainers to other project villages or line departments. To provide an institutional mechanism for the CPs to provide services on a continuing basis, Community Professional learning and training centres (CPLTC) have been established and are managed by the community themselves. CPLTCs provide a platform for community members to share their learning and experience and is meant to facilitate community to community learning.

Promoting Social Accountability and Self Governance

Social accountability and good governance have been the guiding principles in Vazhndhu Kaattuvom Project. The social audit committees are the guardians of project principles and are formed from among the community members. The social audit committees monitor all the activities of the village institutions and submit their report to the Grama Sabha. This transparent functioning of the village institutions and community monitoring has enabled the project benefits to reach the target poor without any leakage of cost. The following are the some steps to ensure the accountability and governance in Thiruvallur District.

Monitoring Evaluation and Learning

Monitoring and Evaluation in rural development means learning about achievements and problems in order to improve implementation and thus achieve a better impact. As Vazhndhu Kaattuvom is a community driven development based Project, there is a quality and processes oriented monitoring of quantitative indicators and outcome results.

Hence the project has initiated

Expected outcomes of the project

The Expected Outcomes of the project from the community is as follows,