Knowledge-Livelihood-Prosperity: Community Information Centre – Empowering the isolated tribal communities through ICT Workshop on E-Inclusion and Media for Indigenous Peoples At the e-Bario Knowledge Fair, Bario, Malaysia 6-8 December 2007 Dillip Pattanaik IRMA-India
Vision and Mission of IRMA-India: Established in 2003 at Bhubaneswar, State capital city of Orissa (Eastern India).
- Connecting the unconnected communities through ICT in the rural India.
- Development, promotion, and dissemination of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for empowering rural and isolated tribal communities and
strengthening their livelihood system.
Project for Tribal Communities:
- Two Community Information Centres forming part of the ‘Common Facility Centres’ providing other multiple services like fair price shop, marketing centre for local produce, IMT service centre and agro-service centre.
- Project area : Daspalla Block under Nayagarh district of Orissa
- Area coverage: Chadeyapalli Gram Panchayat of Daspalla Block covering a cluster of 35 tribal villages with population of 5177. Percentage of illiterates is 71.22 and 95 percent families are below poverty line (less than 1 $ per day).
- Project phases : (1) 2005-06: CICs established with library, reading room, books and reading materials, audio-video equipments and portable power generator sets. (2) 2007-08: CICs strengthened with computer hardwares including laptops, printers, scanners and other accessories.
- Ready availability of information, procedure, system and guidelines about
pro-poor government schemes, plans, policies, programmes and services
- The communities have easy access to information on health care, education,
water and sanitation, animal husbandry, agricultural practices and inputs etc.
- Easy access to timely information on markets, examination results, employment opportunities, weather, and disaster related early warnings.
- The communities are well aware of their rights, entitlements to public
services, facilities, Acts, rules and regulations.
- Increased demanding power, capacity, articulation, capacity to make lobby and advocacy, fruitful implementation of pro-poor programmes at grassroot level, resulting in reducing poverty.
- Increased application of right to information under ‘Right to Information Act’ and mobilization of rights, entitlements and opportunities.
- The social well being of the community strengthened further with accessibility to information on health and other basic facilities
- Increased economic status with increased productivity, local entrepreneurship, better market access, value addition to the products. It will fuel the creation of additional local business and community enterprises
Development approaches need to touch the inaccessible and remote tribal pockets on priority
All development interventions need to be community centred and local communities need to be actively involved in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, which could ensure sustainability
Before any development interventions among the tribal communities, sincere efforts are necessary for gaining their confidence as they feel that all outsiders are exploiters
Basic infrastructure like power, telecommunication and roads should be made available to remote tribal areas for fostering the development process. Convergence approach of different interveners is also essential.
The approach for development of tribals is to be holistic covering their social, cultural, economic, environmental and human needs.