A recently carved district of Rajasthan, Pratapgarh is situated at the junction of the Aravali mountain ranges and the Malwa Plateau and displays a unique amalgamation of characteristics of both. The region is characterised by scattered habitations and small villages with 65% of the population living below the poverty line. Common lands (grazing and forest lands) are vital components of the landscape. However, a combination of factors including unfavourable tenurial arrangements, eroding protection and management systems, overgrazing and illegal tree felling has left them increasingly degraded over the years.
Working in a watershed concept in rain fed areas such as these not only entails the enhancement of biomass and water availability, but also takes into account a long-term perspective and works towards bringing about a balance in the appropriation of natural resources and production needs. In the given context, adopting a unique approach to implementing the (MG)NREGS offers new dimensions in the implementation of watershed development by involving Government, Panchayats, Peoples' representatives, local communities, corporate and development agencies under various innovative PPCP arrangements.
The project aims to facilitate ecological restoration activities by leveraging the opportunities in the (MG) NREGA and further graduating to the landscape level by augmenting collaborative arrangements in tandem with multiple actors for an integrated development process. Soil and moisture conservation measures specific to the land type and condition, revegetation measures on the identified commons under various secure or tenurial arrangements and strengthening systems of collective management and governance over land and water over contiguous areas in order to draw on the advantages of their ecological and social structures would go a long way in reinforcing the inter linkages in the ecosystem and boosting agriculture and livestock based livelihoods in the region. Implementation of the activities under the (MG)NREGS would impact the livelihoods of the rural communities both in terms of short term gains through wage earnings from various activities, and addressing the land and water scenario of the entire project area in the long run. The efforts would also help instil an awareness in the community towards their right to work, financial transparency, simplicity in procedures and the significance of their own vision and perspective in the overall program.
Working with Government of Rajasthan MG(NREGS) through shared arrangements with ITC Sunehra Kal is helping expand the project base to the suit interests of the various partner agencies and complementing the watershed/landscape approach. The total area under the MGNREGS-ITC project is 8020 ha.
Government of Rajasthan
ITC Sunehra Kal