Naveen Patnaik Hon'ble Chief minister , Odisha

Naveen Patnaik

 #CuttingEdge #Grassroot #Functionary  
GRS Rabi Nayak Wishes for More Responsibilities

As a Gram Rozgar Sevak (GRS), his job is to ensure proper implementation of national rural employment guarantee scheme (NREGS). He has been happily carrying out his duties for last 15 years. He aspires to rise higher in the official hierarchy and serve more people.

Meet 34-year-old Rabi Nayak, who works as a GRS in Similia and Bhubaneswarpur Gram Panchayats in Jajpur district. Quite a loquacious and expressive in nature, he spoke to PHDMA about his life, experience and journey as a grassroot level government functionary.

While studying in intermediate (Plus-II) in 2007, he came across the GRS advertisement and curiously applied for this post. Though he had a dream of joining Indian Army, he couldn’t let go of this job, as he needed money. His unfulfilled dream, however, didn’t prevent him from focusing on his current job. He rather got motivated to work for common people at field level. After getting the job at an early age, he didn’t shy away from studying higher and pursuing graduation while serving as a GRS.

“As I was so much into this job and enjoying working with villagers, I couldn’t think about applying for any other job. With the experience I have earned I want to apply for a higher income job “ cited Rabi.

A father of two children, he lives with his parents, wife and kids at his native village. Earlier, he was posted in his own GP but later, was transferred to neighbouring gram panchayat and given charges of two panchayats. Since the GP headquarters are closer to his village, he doesn’t take pain of travelling much for his work.

 As he remains focused in his work, his wife, who has studied till Plus-II, takes care of the family. His father is a farmer and Rabi sometimes help him in farming. Since, the area is prone to flood every year, their crops get damaged frequently causing the family a lot of stress.   

According to him, there are around 2000 job card holders in both the panchayats. While most of them get jobs throughout the year, during the farming season, the employment through NREGS gets reduced by 50 percent. In the initial days of his transfer to other panchayats, he faced resistance and silent treatment from labourer contractors. “I have been noticing a lot of change in NREGS works over the years. Whenever I face any problem in my work, I consult with higher officials and sort the issues out immediately. I always try to focus on on-time payment of dues of labourers working under this scheme,” said the GRS.

After working as a GRS for so many years, he now, wishes of appearing for the examination to take promotion for the post of Panchayat Executive Officer (PEO). “I am hopeful of appearing next time and go for the higher post. It’ll allow me to work for a broader section of people and handle more schemes. Besides, an enhancement in salary will also help me invest more in my children’s education,” hoped Rabi.


Namita Sargharia’s Road to Prosperity Aided by OLM Interventions


Government interventions have prevented many poor and low-income people from falling into the trap of abject poverty and helped them find alternate livelihood options to augment their income.

Namita Sargharia, a resident of Chalanguda village under Borigumma block in Koraput district and her family were solely dependent on her husband’s meagre earning from daily wage labour. The family was staying in an asbestos house. A medical emergency had almost finished them and they were on the verge of perishing into poverty.

“It was really tough for all of us to survive on the meagre income of my husband. Besides, we had to spend on our children’s education and other needs. When we look back, we see the struggle we all had to put to arrange our daily bread and butter,” recalled Namita who stays with her husband, one son, two daughters and mother-in-law. The son studies in Plus-II while the elder daughter is in standard-IX and younger daughter is in 6th standard.

To add to her woes, she had to take a high-interest hand loan from a local money lender for her husband’s treatment. The loan amount was Rs 22,000 and it took her four years to repay the entire amount.

Her financial fate started changing after she availed an easy credit of Rs 50,000 from Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) to set up her business. She rented a stall from a private individual to start her general store. The rent of the stall was around Rs 1500 per month. Later, she availed a low-cost stall at a rent of Rs 2200 per annum from the panchayat office and started her ladies corner selling cosmetic items for women and girl. The stall yields her around 10,000-15,000 per month. Besides, she is also adept at tailoring and this extra business provides her around 5,000-6,000 per month. Her mother-in-law is also active and has set up a vegetable vending business that brings home around Rs 6,000-8,000 per month. Namita revealed that her mother-in-law’s vegetable vending is also supported by easy credit from OLM. The old woman is availing the old-age pension of Rs 500 under MBPY scheme.

With the change in the family’s income source, the husband stopped working as an unskilled labourer. “My husband is no more working as a labourer. He is, instead, working as an agent for a reputed multi-level marketing agency and earning around Rs 15,000-20,000 per month. The financial condition of my family has improved drastically after I availed the OLM loan. We have also got a house under the Mo Kudia yojana,” shared Namita. Her mother-in-law also has got Rs 5,000 from vulnerable Reduction Fund (VRF).

The family has availed many other benefits such as BPL electricity connectivity and gas connection. The family gets rice and kerosene under PDS. The son had availed cycle in standard-IX under the free bicycle for BPL students scheme of the state government. Over the years, the family also has added some assets such as a TV with dish connection, refrigerator, sewing machine, one bike and a cycle.

 Her economic empowerment is reflected upon her social participation. She is happy to have a regular source of income and help her husband in family affairs. She is a regular at the gram sabha where she takes part in discussions. More importantly, she provides tailoring training to educated girls in the area helping them become self-sufficient.

Aspiration is human nature and Namita has some ambitions for her own and her children. “Expanding my business to increase the income is one of my top aspirations for now. Besides, I want to provide better education to my children so that they can have bright future. My daughter wants to learn music and dance. I want to provide her all the scope to fulfill her dream. My son wants to be a teacher and I would help him achieve his goal. Seeing my children accomplishing their dreams will be my greatest aspiration,” shined off the woman.

#Stories #CuttingEdge Kedar Nath Naik

As a grassroot scheme implementor, Kedar Nath Naik, a Panchayat Executive Officer (PEO) from Kalahandi district, has been enjoying every bit of his job.

He has  handled  the responsibilities of three Gram Panchayats in Bhawanipatna block in his district. Being a government functionary who loves to engage with people directly, he feels it’s difficult for him to visit all villages and look after all scheme implementation. But at the same time, he loves taking such challenges as it involves meeting people and helping them.


Talking about his entry into the government employment and last 16 years’ journey, he recalled how he had to leave his higher and professional educations half way to do the job and serve people. He had to quit his Post Graduation in Geography after one year to study Bachelor in Education (B.Ed.). He again didn’t complete this B.Ed. and left after one year to start his career as a Gram Rozgar Sevak (GRS) in 2006.


“I wanted to do a Master’s Degree but couldn’t make up my mind. Then, I joined B.Ed. and left it after one year, as I was more curious about starting a govt job, where I can work directly for people and serve them. At that time, I got the GRS job and I decided to go for it to fulfill my wish of serving my people. The urge to do something for the society was the reason for me not completing those two degrees,” recollected Kedar.  


The 44-year-old PEO was the GRS in Badapujariguda gram panchayat, which was his native GP. After serving there for 8 years, he was promoted to PEO and posted at Matia GP under Bhawanipatna block. Later, he was given charge of Duarsuni Gram Panchayat along with additional duties as PEO of Talbelgaon and Malgaon GPs.


The PEO posting took him around 90 kms away from his village. While his parents and other family members stay in his native place, the govt functionary has been staying in Bhawanipatna with his wife and two children. Though he has to manage every aspect including financial transactions of various schemes of these three panchayats, staying close to his family gives him the emotional and mental strength to take up so much responsibilities.


“Taking charges of three GPs under which there are 35 revenue villages operating, it’s not easy to manage time and visit every place. I try to work in one GP office in the morning hours and visit the other GP in the second half. The third GP is visited on the next day. Since the GP headquarter offices are nearby, I somehow manage handling all these duties. But I face the uphill task since I like visiting the fields and getting involved in every processes. My GRS people are helping me a lot in these works,” highlighted the PEO who wants to help all the deserving people in his area to avail government schemes that are meant for them.


He also narrated about his proactive nature of approaching people in his area and implementing the pro-poor schemes along with encouraging rural folks to avail the welfare and well-being programmes of both central and state governments.


He aspires to be a vehicle in the process of eliminating poverty and improving human development indicators in rural areas. At the same time, he wants his daughter, who is studying in standard-X and son who is in standard-VI to have better education in future and have bight future.



Life became a little more difficult after the sudden demise of her husband. 
 The family belonged to an income group that did not have enough savings for rainy days and the husband, the only earning member of the family, was no more ….the difficulties for the woman got multifold. 
However, in Odisha, as the various protection schemes along with welfare and well-being measures of the government come to the rescue of the woman and her family .. the tale is different here.

Meet Dalima Bhatra, who lost her husband around few years ago. 
While the physical absence of her husband still hurts her, she however, has managed to overcome the financial loss with various government interventions.

Both Dalima and her husband used to work as masons and their primary source of income or livelihood was skilled daily wage labour in Nabarangpur town. The couple with their two daughters and two sons were residing in their kutcha house in Pujariguda village under Pujariguda GP of Nabarangpur block. They were surviving on their meagre income. 

The husband died of an illness around five years ago. It was a bolt from the blue for Dalima who had to singlehandedly take care of the children. According to the family members, she had already gone into deep depression as it was tough for her to imagine life without her husband. But she slowly came to terms with her changed reality and took control of her life. 

While alive, her husband had applied for a Nirman Shramik Pucca Ghar Yojana (NSPGY) and he had been granted a pucca house under this state government scheme. He passed away at the initial stage of the construction of the house. The support from her in-laws and a will power to overcome the loss and to take care of the children, made her stronger. With the help of government officials, she availed the remaining money under the scheme and completed construction of the house in 2017-18. She also got electricity connection to her new house.

“When we used to stay in a kutcha house, it cost us a minimum of Rs 1500 annually for maintenance. The kutcha house was also prone to natural calamities. The pucca house is much economical for living and safe from all aspects,” said Dalima. 

With a pucca ghar over their heads, the family now felt safe and Dalima could think of going extra miles to earn enough for her children. She has also been receiving a pension of Rs 500 per month under the Madhu Babu Pension Yojana for widows since her husband’s death. She also availed a sum of Rs 1.5 lakh from the labour department as labour insurance, since her husband was a registered skilled construction worker who was eligible for the insurance. 

“Since I have two daughters, I have to think about their future. So, I have invested half of the insurance money on purchasing gold for their future. Besides, I have also deposited the other half in my bank account for the future use in my sons’ education,” she explained. Her elder daughter studies in standard-X while the other daughter is in standard-VII. One of the sons is studying in the nearby school while the youngest son is in Anganwadi. 

She works as a daily wage labourer. The MGNREGS works provide her Rs 215 per day while working elsewhere yields her Rs 170 per day. She owns a patch of small land which is around 50 decimals, where she cultivates paddy. She harvests around 25 packets of paddy, which is used for family consumption. She has been a part of a Self Help group (SHG) in which she had received a loan of Rs 5 lakhs for motor facilities. Besides, she also has received a subsidy of Rs 1 lakh 25 thousand. 

The family has got several other benefits from government schemes such as Rs 18,000 under KALIA scheme, Rs 18,000 under PM KISAN scheme, Rs 20,000 under National family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) and 25 kgs of rice through PDS. Dalima also has a Kendu leaf collection card which provides her Rs 17,000 to Rs 20,000 annually. 

She gives credit to the sarapanch and government officials for informing her about various schemes of the governments. The intervention of government programmes has not only provided her the protection needed after the death of her husband but also showed her the way forward. She has access to drinking water through a borewell. Her youngest son gets nutritional benefits from Anganwadi centre. She attends the gram sabha and asserts her presence by active participation.  

Since she has never got the education due to her poor family background, she aspires to provide education to her children. “Whatever be the struggle, I am ready to undergo and want to see my children getting proper education and having better life in future,” aspired the woman.

Lucky Hota: A common housewife who became an award-winning mushroom farmer

For an aspirational individual, a little push or a small intervention can do wonder for them. Meet Lucky Hota of Sahajbahal village in Balangir district, who has transformed her socio-economic condition after availing some government schemes meant for low-income people in Odisha. Her road to prosperity has started inspiring thousand others in her locality.

From a common housewife, she has become an award-winning mushroom cultivator and a Youtuber, who wants to disseminate her knowledge and expertise through modern technology.

Her family of four including two teenaged children were earlier struggling to maintain a normal life. The reason of their distressed financial condition was heavy dependency on paddy cultivation with occasional mung or corn farming, which could fetch them around Rs 4,000 per month and was not enough for the family to sustain.

In 2018, the 35-year-old woman decided to join an SHG. That’s when her state of financial status started changing for good. She took a loan to cultivate mushroom. “My first attempt with mushroom farming has been a success story as it yielded me lucrative profit. I left no stones unturned in investing more in mushroom cultivation. Besides, I looked for other livelihood options to increase my income,” said Lucky with excitement.  Buoyed by the success of mushroom farming, she then took a CIF loan to buy cows and started her dairy business. Three years ago, her husband availed a borewell from Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC) for their 2-acres of land. Now, they have doubled up paddy cultivation in a year along with indulging in other seasonal crops in their land.

In last few years, her family has availed various government schemes that included a cowshed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 54-days work during 2021-22 under MGNREGA, Mo Upakari Bagicha under MGNREGA-OLM, Ujjala, KALIA, Horticulture and OLM loans.

Not only the schemes but also the involvement of an ecosystem that includes government officers who provided her necessary training, regular block level meetings and IEC materials, worked as enablers for her. 

These protection and promotion schemes have helped Lucky in her socio-economic upward mobility. Mushroom cultivation and borewell in the farmland have helped her family go from the verge of poverty to a medium income group. The development is manifested through her active participation in community-level decision making. “I am, currently, working as a Community Resource Person, sharing my knowledge among village women. As I have been dedicated invested into mushrooming farming, I was bestowed upon best mushroom producer farmer award. I got the award from Honorable Governor of Odisha in 2021,” Lucky narrated about her achievements.

This award has increased her social status back in her village. People are approaching her with a lot of curiosity and aspiration. Her kids have even recently opened a YouTube channel for her to disseminate her knowledge and expertise with others. The channel has already crossed over 600 subscribers in 5-6 months.

With the growing income, the family could buy a motorcycle. “I’m focussing on my children’s education. My daughter wants to be a lecturer and son wants to be a police officer. I just want them to fulfil their dreams. Besides, I also want to set up a mushroom seed unit in the area to enhance my income and help others,” she spoke about her aspirations.


Meet Bhabaranjan Sikdar, the Panchayat Executive Officer (PEO) handling the duties of Kianga and Dalapatgudia GPs under Maithili block in Malkangiri.

The 53-year-old loquacious man had started his job as a VRW in 1997 under Panchayati Raj Department. In last 25 years of his career, he has served in various roles at various places across the district and has performed his duty with utmost professionalism and sincerity. 

His father came to India during Bangladesh war and they have been rehabilitated in Malkangiri. As a teenager, he was more interested to live life independently without doing any job. But fate played spoilsport in his plans as his father’s untimely death, when he was studying in Standard 8th, forced him to continue his study till Plus-II. After finishing intermediate, he started job searching and landed up in his first job with Panchayat raj department. Since then, he has never looked back.

Despite working in the remotest part of the state and remaining proactively engaged in implementing government schemes and programmes, he had never lost the desire to acquire knowledge. In between he pursued his under graduation in arts through distance learning from Utkal University. In his own admission, he has been studying and analysing various aspects of poverty and human development and feels he can contribute to the understanding of such an intense topic.

He is equally vocal about narrating his experiences as a grassroot implementor, his various encounters with red wing guerrillas, his interactions with tribal people, test of his patience during scheme implementation programmes, coming in front of jungle animals while treading through the dense forests, falling down from vehicles while passing through sloppy terrains, saving a colleague from departmental action and working under politically charged up situations.

“After serving for around 13 years as VRW and Progress Assistant, I was promoted to PEO in 2010 and posted at Khairiput block. I kept on serving at various places in Khairiput, Kalimela and Korkunda blocks, I was posted at Kianga GP under Maithili block in 2017. For last few months, I have been assigned additional duty of Dalapatiguda GP. I have been happily and dutifully carrying out all my responsibilities. It gives me immense pleasure to work for people and my state,” said the PEO.

His son is currently preparing for JEE mains at Kota, Rajasthan. “My family has been my strength. While I was always busy, my wife was taking care of our son. Whenever I used to get time, I would be looking after his study,” he stated.  

His active and dedicated works have helped him achieve various targets. He was rewarded for his outstanding achievement in implementing PMAY-G scheme in 2019 from Project Director, DRDA.

He has another few years in service. But he wants every moment of this phase counted. Being a seeker, he wishes to acquire more knowledge from various sources and help in poverty reduction.

Biswanath Nag: From Migrant Labourer To Successful Farmer and Employer

Once, struggling in every bit of his life as a migrant labourer, today, he is a successful farmer, who provides employment to many in his area. Though not quite a tale of ‘rags to riches’, the upward mobility of the socio-economic status of 61-year-old Biswanath Nag from Kalahandi, in last 10 years, certainly comes close.

 Biswanath hails from Sancher gaon under Golamunda block in Kalahandi district. Team PHDMA, during its ‘Odisha on the Move’ journey met this ever-smiling and joyful farmer at his native village. The prosperous peasant, who has a huge farmland full with vegetable cultivation, and a host of labourers working with modern equipment, sat with our team to narrate his personal journey from poverty to prosperity. Sometimes, he was teary-eyed and at times, his voice chocked while narrating his past battle with poverty. However, he was trying to keep up a smiling face to hide the scars of the past of being a migrant labourer.

His father and three uncles had inherited seven acres of land from his grandfather, of which, his family got less than two acres. Paddy cultivation was the only option for them. The meagre earning was not enough for Biswanath’s father to run the family and fulfil every need of them. Frustrated of such struggle at home, he migrated to Raipur with his family. He worked as a daily-wage labourer in a farm. A monthly income of around Rs 3,000, though was not enough for managing a family, provided him the fodder for a lengthy struggle with life. However, working in the farm enabled him to learn the nitty gritty of farming practices.

“After my children grew up and became independent, they urged me to experiment with farming in my own land in my native place. That’s when around 10 years ago, I started vegetable farming. I cultivated brinjal in half acres of land taking necessary support from Horticulture department. My efforts bore fruits as I earned good profit from the first attempt of farming in my own land,” said Biswanath with a glitter in his eyes.

Understanding the need of farmland for better harvest and augmented income, he invested his profit money in acquiring more land. Currently, he owns over 9 acres of land and employs as many as 20 farm workers. Realising the value of diversification, he has added cultivation of bitter gourd, chilly and tomatoes to his first choice of brinjal farming.

He took the help of government schemes such as Jeevan Dhara that ensured cluster bore-well facility in his farmland. Intervention of Horticulture Department has helped him with micro-irrigation through drips, and he also has got two more borewells in 2021 from Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC). He also has availed a pack house through the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) for storage purposes.

He never shies away from acknowledging government officials who constantly provide him with latest updates in terms of technical knowhow and scheme related information.

From Rs 3,000 a month 10 years ago to earning Rs 15-20 lakhs annually from horticulture now, Biswanath has scripted a successful journey from poverty to prosperity. With economic transformation, he has empowered himself socially. The socio-economic empowerment is translated into his active participation in community decision-making as he consciously and assertively takes part in Gram Sabha and other village-level meetings.      

He suggested to PHDMA team, “Better road infrastructure in our locality can help all the farmers here access nearby markets at Junagarh, Bhawanipatna and Raipur”.   

Biswanath, who has lived a major part of his life in abject poverty, doesn’t want his children see similar days. He has successfully broken the vicious cycle of poverty and wants his moving chariot of prosperity to never stop. Instead of owning assets for his comfort, he wants to invest more in horticulture and diversify further so that he can enhance his income and provide employment to more people. He aspires to own more farmland so that his children never face any problem and lead a comfortable life.

Public Welfare Activities Give This PEO Immense Satisfaction

PHDMA has a unique approach of bringing field-level policy and scheme implementing cadres into its monitoring and evaluation framework. This approach of participatory monitoring and evaluation (PME) puts PHDMA in a different league among agencies and organisations solely involved in M&E.

These functionaries, known as Voice of PHDMA (VoP), have been trained by this apex monitoring agency of Odisha government to carry out the narrative-based evaluation and provide the initial inputs for setting up a foundation for every robust M&E exercise undertaken by it.

Each one of them has their story to say to the world in terms of their lived realities as scheme implementors as well as PME practitioners.

Here’s the story of Srikanta Rout, a PEO from Mayurbhanj district narrating his experience and journey as a grassroot level policy implementor.   

Srikanta Rout, who started his career as a Gram Rozgar Sevak (GRS) in 2006, is currently working as the Panchayat Executive Officer (PEO) at Digdhar gram panchayat under Thakurmunda block of Mayurbhanj district. He is also handling the additional charge of PEO of Salegada GP under the same block.

 Promoted as a PEO in 2021, Srikanta has been happily and professionally handling the nitty-gritty of this important post for last one year ensuring all the schemes meant for people must reach the deserving beneficiary.

A native of Itamundia village under Badasahi block, which is around 100 km from his workplace, Srikanta narrates about his initial apprehensions about the new responsibility. He was skeptical about his sudden change in responsibilities. “As a GRS, I was only concerned about the implementation of NREGS works. Sometimes, I used to help the PEO in other scheme implementations. But becoming a PEO means handling a lot of other schemes,” said Srikanta. However, a positive approach towards the job and a people-first perspective gave him the confidence to carry out his work with aplomb.

“I welcome people to my off ice and address their issues with utmost care and politeness. My good relationship with the public in my GP helps me in smooth implementation of schemes and programmes. This gives me the much-needed boost to work more proactively for them. I also keep regular notes of my work which helps me in attending and solving people’s problem in time. Besides, I also review my work at the end of the day, which makes me more alert and active,” said the PEO. 

Quite aware of his duties and responsibilities, he said that he has been exercising all the powers specifically conferred upon him by the government along with decisions taken in the gram panchayat meeting and orders issued by appropriate authority. He has been implementing schemes such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) that provides work to rural people, Public Distribution System (PDS) under which rice, wheat, Kerosene oil are distributed to BPL families, Social Security Schemes like pension under Madhu Babu Pension Yojana (MBPY) and National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), distribution of Harischandra Sahayata Yojana, Drinking Water, Rural Housing schemes like Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY) and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana- Gramin (PMAY-G), Rural Electrification, Social Forestry, Rural connectivity, development of agricultural land, water conservation and water resources, sports and cultural activities and implementation of 14th and 15th  C.F.C. and 4th and 5th S.F.C..

With increased responsibilities, he is also facing many roadblocks in implementing various schemes. Among the schemes, he said that the housing scheme implementation in the area has been facing a peculiar bottleneck. While beneficiaries are asked to complete the construction work within a time period, it’s the contractors who have been assigned the works, are dillydallying. “These contractors are not listening to people. Even some beneficiaries have approached police,” he informed. All other schemes are being implemented smoothly and on time.

Since he has been implementing so many programmes related to poverty alleviation and public welfare, he feels happy and gets a sense of satisfaction. In his own words, “My involvement in various public welfare activities gives me immense peace and happiness. I enjoy my journey from GRS to PEO and looking forward to contributing in every way possible for the development of my people and state”.

About his additional duty of monitoring and evaluation, he is equally ecstatic about handling this responsibility.

Laxmipriya Sethi

Laxmipriya Sethi was a female horticulture farmer working alongside her husband Amiya Kumar Sethi and his brother Suresh Kumar Sethi. They were from the Khilaberani village from Reamal Block. They own a total area of 3 acres(2 acres for Horticulture Crops and 1 acre for agriculture). They grow oranges and pointed gourd in their field. They had more than 400 trees of Oranges in 1 acre and 1700 gourd plants in 0.5 acres. Their predecessors had been doing the orange plantation and it has been more than 25 years since they have been observing the trees grow. They added 100 new trees with the help of MGNREGA. 

The Horticulture department had trained them in single line trellis farming for cultivating pointed gourd and bitter gourd. Trellising plants is an old garden technique adopted by many farmers. It does not only keep crops off the ground but increase usable space as well as yield. Crops like tomatoes benefit when trellis is used in the garden. It will prevent fruit rotting which results when fruits are hidden deep within the crop or sitting on the soil. Only creeper crops are grown in Laxmipriya’s field for efficient products. Even the seeds were provided through MGNREGA. Amiya explained that the quality of the oranges had been degrading for the last 25 years due to a lack of calcium nutrient in the soil. Therefore, the department had asked them to provide Calcium in their fertilizers, which will help the oranges to get back the sweetness. The department had asked them to put 1 kg of Calcium+Fertlizer in 1 plant for the most efficient outputs. Amiya and Suresh had been properly adding NPK and M.O.P i.e. Nitrogen, Phosphorous & Potassium and Potassium Oxide respectively. They explained that all the fertilizers they are using are non-subsidised. 

The total investment annually is nearly Rs.40,000 and the Return on Investment (ROI) can go up to Rs. 1,00,000. They harvest 10-15 quintals of paddy which will earn them Rs.20000. They explained that with proper care and patience, orange gives them much more profit than paddy ever will. But any value addition to the products is still under the radar. One of the problematic issues was the fruit sucking moth, which destroyed many of the fruits. NHM had provided 100 carriages with the packhouse for storing oranges, mango, etc. A solar dryer will be provided to them as a new initiative from NHM. 

They are a total family of 14, and the most important aspect was the female members of the family are working shoulder to shoulder with the male members. As per the department, Laxmipriya is one of the finest farmers who had triumphed single line trellis farming and she could achieve much more in the future. With the profit incurring due to Horticulture, the financial situation of the family is improving by every day. They were collecting kendu leaves to make bidi sticks. They sold them to private traders as they provide better money. For 1000 bidis they receive Rs.140, which is more than what the government traders provide. In the last 3 years, they have created considerable assets. They have increased the area of their homestead, they bought TV, Bike and other essential assets with the help of micro-finances too. Laxmipriya is very proud of their family who had given the women of the house to be self-dependant and empowered.

Saditya Behera

“We were working as daily wage labors in other’s field and today we have employed others in our field,” says Saditya Behera.

Saditya Behera is a middle-aged farmer who cultivates vegetables like long beans (jhudanga or jhuler), pointed gourd in his land. He depended on rain for his cultivation before the deep borewell. Due to scarcity of water, the crops during kharif also failed at times. They didn’t cultivate anything during Rabi season. He and his family worked as daily wage labors in the field of others. They didn’t have any other alternative livelihood. After receiving the benefits of deep borewell, he is now able to cultivate his land throughout the year and has employed few labors in his field 

              With the increase in production, his income has increased, from which he has also created assets like tractor and power tiller to help in his cultivation, also he now has 40 cattle and 50 goats which has created additional source of income. He shares that the village was too poor few years back and today, the standard of living has increased. There were very few pucca houses and now almost everyone is living in a pucca house and earns better.

              The increase in production of vegetables has raised an issue of marketing of the same. They need proper marketing channels in order to sell their produce. He also mentioned the need of a cold storage in order to store the produce and sell it at an adequate price.