Integrated Tribal Development Programme (ITDP)

Tribals are the integral part of the forest eco-system and their economy depends on the forest resources. Tribal villages are mostly enclosures located within the forest area. In order to improve the productivity of the forests close to the tribal settlements, afforestration works over an extent of 15,000 ha was undertaken to plant useful tree species yielding Minor Forest Produce (MFP), bamboo, small timber and poles. The different components of ITDP are: Buffer Zone Activities- It consists of Income Generation Activities (IGA) and Community Development Works (CDW).

Through CDW infrastructure development in the village such as providing drinking water supply, roads, etc. are undertaken. Through IGA the SHGs and individuals will be given loan to take up alternate employment. Village Forest Councils - Village Forest Council (VFC) is formed in each project village. All willing households in the village are represented by one male and one female member. An Executive Committee (EC) consisting of 5 to 15 members is elected by the VFC. The EC elects a President. The Forest Ranger of that area is the Member Secretary of the VFC. Micro plan- VFC conducts Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to understand the resources available and needs of the people and then prepares a location specific Micro plan for implementation of activities under the project. The Micro-plan gives the details of the village and the adjoining forests. SHGs act as an effective tool for women empowerment. At least two SHGs will be formed in each project village. Each member of the group will be given a loan up to Rs.5,000/-. SEEDS Trust undertakes the social mobilization, awareness creation and institution building in tribal areas as part of Integrated Tribal Development Programme (ITDP). SEEDS Trust is engaged in these activities in 8 villages in tribal areas of Dindigul district. To understand these tribal communities SEEDS Trust undertook the Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) in all these 8 villages and participative micro plans were prepared with the active involvement of these village communities. Awareness programmes through street theatres, meetings and trainings were conducted in the tribal areas on forestry issues like importance of safeguarding forests, consequences of destruction of forests & wildlife and importance of nature conservation. The activities includes providing basic amenities like water & electricity, threshing-floors etc., In these 8 villages in the tribal areas, 8 village forest councils were formed and managed by SEEDS Trust. 19 women SHGs among tribal women were formed in the tribal villages and provided revolving fund of Rs.16 Lakhs which was utilized by the tribal women members to undertake small income generation activities there by reduction in forest destruction in the tribal areas. SEEDS Trust also played a bridge-role between forest department and tribal communities to execute water and soil conservation works in 800 hectares of forest land and plantation activity of 160000 seedlings in the forest land in 8 tribal villages.

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