Undaunted by the challenges of poor irrigation, poor service delivery, low rate of literacy, poor health facilities, degraded land, under-developed agriculture, and lack of basic services in Godda, PRADAN’s initiation of INRM, is slowly transforming the land, the women and the villages, bringing hope of economic self-sufficiency.
G odda is located in the north-eastern part of Jharkhand, and is an area that falls in the agro-climatic Zone VII. Two-thirds of the total geographical area of the district is cultivable. It is also fairly densely forested, covering about a tenth of the district (Source: DRDA, Godda), especially two of the tribal dominated blocks of Sundarpaharai and Boarijore. Although the district receives around 1,200 mm of precipitation, inadequate water harvesting mechanisms limit the scope of expansion of an agriculture-based economy in the area.
The district is low on most indices of development and has poor infrastructure—very little irrigated area (15.5 per cent of the cultivable land); poor service delivery; low rate of literacy (overall 57.68 per cent and female literacy 44.9 per cent); poor health facilities (institutional delivery is 22.63 per cent); degraded land; under-developed agriculture with low productivity per unit of area (909 kg of paddy per ha); and lack of basic services.
There is little understanding, among the local people, regarding these issues, which contributes to the sluggish development in the area. In spite of the best efforts of the government to ensure last mile delivery of its services, there has been a colossal gap in the implementation of welfare schemes. Low awareness in the community and lack of dedicated manpower to effectively implement and monitor the schemes within a stipulated time-frame lead to the slow development of the region.