The pattern of life that existed for centuries in the tribal remote areas of Chamba, Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur has now been transformed by the development efforts of Ceva which have largely contributed to the upliftment of social and economic life of these tribal people especially women. Ceva is providing employment opportunities and social security, improving the status of women including advocating late age marriage and access to health care, family planning, domestic issues etc.
Most of the community people from these areas are illiterate and ignorant about their rights. Ceva is helping spread awareness about various laws and rights which have given to these people by the govt. and help in flawless implementation of schemes such as Public distribution system (PDS) and fight issues related to the Forest Rights Act (FRA). We have identified the core areas and issues which could strengthen their rights to live with dignity. We also created a support structure where people could get technical and non technical information to support their cause. Ceva is enlightening and guiding tribal people and also give advocacy on various issues. Apart from the basic needs, we also focused on building capacities in terms of leadership and participation in local governance. Through this there is a sense of building ownership qualities among tribal people.
We are quite vigilant about the traditional, constitutional and for human rights of these tribal people. We are active enough to check the corrupt practices and exploitation of community people as well as Mother Nature, if going on in the area. We are vigilant about biodiversity conservation and keeps check on trafficking of endangered animals like Snow leopard, Musk Deer etc.
These women have skilled in handlooms and handicrafts and these groups are making finest quality products on traditional Khaddi like shawls, caps, gloves, socks etc. They are also made aware of the use valuable forest products without exploiting them and involved in the collection of Hazelnut, Gucchi, kala jeera and herbs of ethno medicinal value. The cultivated produce grown by these women farmers is pure, organic and grown without any pesticides and chemicals.
Along with the training, Ceva has also provided them a market linkage to sell their products at fair price without the involvement of any middleman. So the whole profit goes back to the tribal people. These groups are earning a fair amount per month to sustain their lives. These SHG’s also take part in various state level and national level fair like Minjar, Shivratri, Dushehra etc. to showcase their unique products.
The formation of SHG’s and promoting thrift and credit activities helped in empowering the women, creating awareness regarding their rights and responsibilities. Poverty reduction is hard nut to crack but the kind of development is taking place and the leadership that is emerging with the SHG movement is phenomenal in the tribal area. SHG’s are instrumental in bringing about the structural changes in the tribal community and its economy.