Operational Area

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Operational Area

SHAKTI has been working in the Rayagada District since 1992 covering the whole District, all 11 Blocks and Rayagada Municipality. The following are programme-wise operational areas:

SHAKTI works with the poorest and most marginalized people of Rayagada district. We work in:

  • remote and difficult to reach villages where the rays of development have not reached; areas where the SC/ST population is more than 75%;
  • remote and difficult to reach villages where the rays of development have not reached; areas where the SC/ST population is more than 75%;
  • degraded forest areas.

Context of the community

The area covered by SHAKTI lies in the interior of the District. It is very remote with most of the villages inaccessible by any vehicle. The terrain is hilly, traversed by numerous streams, rendering many villages totally inaccessible during the rainy season.

Operational Area Map

The tribes inhabiting the area are Kondha, Soura and Primitive Tribes like Porjas and Dongaria Kondhs. They converse in a dialect of Adivasi Odiya and Kui.

90% of the population in SHAKTI’s area of operation live below the poverty line below USD1 income per day. The livelihood of region’s tribal communities has a distinct set of economic characteristics. Most people are marginal farmers with small land holdings. Subsistence agriculture is the primary occupation for nearly 99% of tribal people and includes:

  • primitive agriculture through Slash and Burn technique on hill slopes, known as podu cultivation;
  • gathering of Non Timber Forest Produces and selling in the open market;
  • farming on terraces or in valleys both under irrigated and rain fed conditions; and
  • cattle and backyards gardens.

The average household income in the area ranges from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 18,000 per annum (USD 178-400). 23% are landless and depend on podu cultivation. Indiscriminate podu cultivation has resulted in barren lands, increased soil erosion and environmental degradation. This has contributed to poverty and deprivation in the area. Dependence on forest and land has become extremely difficult. The rate of population growth and the diminishing forest cover makes tribal peoples extremely vulnerable.

There is absence of safe drinking water in 60% of the villages. Malaria and TB are endemic in the area. People are still seeped in traditional practices, a few of which can be harmful such as usage of sickle or bow and arrow during the delivery of newborn children. Most of the communities do not have proper schooling facilities and tribal literacy rates are extremely low. Male literacy rate stands at 14% and female literacy rate at 5.65%. All of these factors contribute to rates of Infant Mortality (IMR) above the national rate and to a Maternal Mortality (MMR) almost three times as high as the national rate

  India Rayagada
Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) 135 per 1000 195 per 1000
Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) 57 per 1000 137 per 1000

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