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Wayanad Social Service Society

Tribal Community Development


Under NABARD Tribal Development Fund (TDF) 203 acres of WADI Project for 203 families have initiated by WSSS in Thondernadu Grama Panchayath since 2010 and a new WADI Project with 730 Families in Thavinjal Grama Panchyath. WADI is a comprehensive Tribal Development Programme focusing on sustainable development, while conserving the natural resources. The goal was to ensure food security, community health, empowerment of women, education for children, functional literacy for adults, prevention of distress migration, and improved quality of life without disturbing their culture and religious sentiments.

The main activity was to promote income generation through establishment of cash crops on 0.4 ha of degraded land by each family. Other activities included shaping of hilly terrains by establishing series of contour bunds and silt pits to prevent soil erosion and for moisture conservation, establishment of cash crops like Coffee, Pepper, Cashew etc as main crops, cultivation of seasonal food crops in the inter space between cash crops and fencing of these orchards by planting saplings of various plant species useful as food, fodder, timber, fuel, herbal medicines, along the boundary. While promoting these economic development activities, it was also necessary to promote various community health care activities such as immunization, development of clean potable water resources through chlorination of open wells, medical camps, Anti alcoholic activities etc. Along with this, awareness was created about family welfare issues relating to problems of malnutrition, use of alcohol, neglect of maternal and child health and sanitation. These activities kept the participants healthy and enabled them to devote adequate time for development of their orchards. As most of the tribals did not have easy access to Public Health Centers and hospitals for medical treatment organised several medical camps as part of WADI Project. Self Help Groups of women and men belonging to homogenous socio-economic segments were formed to plan and implement the programme with mutual understanding and support. Women groups also took the responsibility of organizing micro-credit and development of various non-farm enterprises. These people’s organizations took the lead in procuring inputs and to coordinate marketing of their produce as well. Reduction of hardship, particularly of women, was initiated through easy access to drinking water, fodder and fuel. Joint bank accounts were established in the name of both husband and wife to facilitate the women to take up financial transactions independently. With series of training activities and timely technical support from the project staff, these participants were able to establish their food and cash crops making good use of the available natural resources. While the cash crops started yield after four to five years, the income from food crops started from the first year itself. Thus, these tribals, particularly the women, stopped migrating to other places. This ensured good health and instilled confidence in them, while their healthy children could also attend schools. Various supplementary income generation activities such as establishment of plants nurseries, mushroom production, processing of local fruits and vegetables, establishment of goat, poultry and dairy herds further enhanced their income by 40-60%.  In this process of development, the tribal families realized the importance of forests and natural resources in directly influencing their agricultural production. As cash crops orchards did not require intensive tillage operations, the programme ensured improvement in soil and water conservation, resulting in a clean environment and improvement in the bio-diversity

Programme impact:

  • Safe food production ensured reduction of hardship, good health and better quality of life.
  • With focus on literacy, there has been significant improvement in the literacy level.
  • Mobilised more than 04 lakhs rupees as Savings by the Paniya Community through SHG Programs
  • The programme has ensured food security and connectivity with various development institutions such as Government departments, Panchayati Raj and financial institutions.
  • The anti alcoholic activities create significant models in development sector. With the active involvement of the community one out let of  Beverage corporation was closed in Thondernadu Grama Panchayath.
  • Mobilised more than 30 Lakhs labour contribution for the WADI Establishment through MNREGA.
  • Greater awareness about organic farming, hygiene, sanitation and clean environment has been leading to sustainable development.
  • A model has been demonstrated with a unique approach to rehabilitate the tribals while enriching the environment.
  • This programme has been very well accepted by the tribal’s as well as the stakeholders in the Development Sector