Butu Nayak, 35, lives with his wife, old mother, three daughters and a son in Badnuagaon village in Lahunipara block of Sundargarh, Odisha. Belonging to a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group, Paudi Bhuyan, Butu’s significant sources of livelihood comprise agriculture and collection of minor forest produce. To be able to run the house, Butu also works as a labourer at construction sites. This year, however, given the drought in their area, the forest produce was not enough, and the COVID-19 induced lockdown stopped his wage work as well. The rations provided by the government during the lockdown and the subsidized rice helped the family address the food crisis during the pandemic.
Adivasi Ekta Manch, a district-level formation of tribal peoples supported by ActionAid Association, started to engage with government’s Paudi Bhuyan Development Agency (PBDA) to facilitate livelihood support for this vulnerable community during these tough times. As a result of this engagement, Butu and 69 other households from the Paudi Bhuyan community were provided six kilograms of lac each as support for lac cultivation which is used in jewellery and leather industries. You would be pleased to learn that Butu has already cultivated his share and it promises a yield of around 50 kilograms which, when sold, would bring him around Rs. 25,000.
Besides, from a fund of Rs. 2,07,000 mobilized by Adivasi Ekta Manch from PBDA as livelihood support for community members, Butu has received one kilogram of mushroom seeds as additional livelihood support. He has already started the land development work now for mushroom cultivation, which will bring him an income of around Rs. 4000 within 45 days itself. “Our Adivasi Ekta Manch has played a critical role in mobilizing support for the community during these distressful times. I now have two assured sources of income and this would be a great help for me to manage my family. We thank ActionAid Association for helping organize and collectivize us and strengthening our leadership,” shares a now happy and relieved Butu Nayak.
We have been supporting marginalized communities across states to rebuild their lives and livelihoods in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. You can read more about our livelihood regeneration efforts here.
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