In the Indian context, rural development has a lot of significance because majority of the people in our country live in rural areas. At the time of independence, around 83 per cent of the Indian population were living in rural areas. As per the 2011 Census Report, the rural population in India is 68.86% (833.75 million) where as in Kerala it is 52.30% (17.47 million). The unique feature of Kerala is that the features in rural and urban areas in the State are almost alike.
Rural development programmes in Kerala are either Centrally Sponsored Schemes
(CSS) or State Sponsored Schemes or Schemes of Local Governments
and many of these schemes are implemented through Local Governments.
A number of centrally sponsored schemes are being implemented in
rural areas through the State Government for poverty reduction,
employment generation, rural infrastructure development and provision
of basic minimum services. All these programmes are directly or
indirectly related to the overall development of the rural areas
in the State. A brief review about the major schemes implementing
Rural Development Sector is given below.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 2005 seeks to enhance the livelihood security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. MGNREGA has become a powerful instrument for inclusive growth in rural India through its impact on social protection, livelihood security and democratic governance.
In addition to providing employment to the rural poor, the scheme is intended to create productive assets, which contribute towards development. The works related to natural resource management are given prime priority. Water conservation, afforestation, rural connectivity, rural infrastructure and sanitation are the major areas of work undertaken under this programme. During the review period, wage rate under this programme was 240/- per day.
The financial achievement under MGNREGP during 2015-16 was 1483.50 crore which is 93 per cent of the total release during the year. A total of 7.42 crore person days were generated of which 1.29 crore were for Scheduled castes and 0.29 crore for Scheduled Tribes. The physical and financial progress of the programme during 2015-16 and financial and employment details of MGNREGP during 2016-17 (upto October 2016) are given in Appendix 2.85, Appendix 2.86, Appendix 2.87 and Appendix 2.88.
Safe and secure shelter is one of the basic needs for human being. Therefore, construction of houses was included as one of the major activities under the Rural Development Sector. Indira Awaas Yojna (IAY) is the biggest and most comprehensive rural housing programme ever taken up in the country. This scheme aims to provide dwelling units to the homeless rural poor belonging to the BPL category.
From 2015-16 onwards, the sharing pattern under IAY has been changed to 60:40 instead of 75:25. Government of India has revamped the scheme IAY into Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) (PMAY-G) and the financial assistance provided under the scheme for each house has been enhanced from 70,000/- to 1,20,000/- in plain areas and 75,000/- to 1,30,000/- in hilly/difficult areas from 2016-17 onwards.
Since the amount fixed by the Government of India is inadequate to construct a pucca house, State Government have enhanced the unit cost to 2.00 lakh for general beneficiaries, 3.00 lakh for SC beneficiaries and 3.50 lakh for ST beneficiaries. The additional amount over and above the unit cost fixed by the Government of India has to be met by Grama-Block-District Panchayats in the ratio of 25:40:35. As the three tier panchayats are not in a position to meet the additional amount, State Government has provided 50,000/- to all categories from the year 2013-14 onwards. Three per cent of the funds have been earmarked for the benefit of differently abled persons below poverty line.
During 2015-16, an amount of 400.74 crore was expended and construction of 49551 new houses was completed. Financial and physical achievements of the programme during 2015-16 and 2016-17 (upto October 2016) are shown in Appendix 2.89 and Appendix 2.90 respectively.
The spirit and the objective of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is to provide good all-weather road connectivity to the unconnected habitations. PMGSY-I is 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme and PMGSY-II is 60% Centrally Sponsored Scheme. In Kerala, PMGSY-II was started during 2016-17.
Since Government of India funds can be utilized only for the actual estimated cost of construction of roads under the scheme, state support to PMGSY for meeting tender excess, shifting of utilities and maintenance provision for assets already created was included in the State Budget from the financial year 2010-11 onwards.
During 2015-16, an amount of 193.05 crore and 43.54 crore was the expenditure towards PMGSY (100% CSS) and State support to PMGSY respectively. During 2015-16 and 2016-17 (upto October 31, 2016) the total length of roads completed was 541.54 km. and 15 habitations were connected under the scheme PMGSY.
From July 1, 2015, Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) has been converted as Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) - (Water Shed Component). From 2015-16 onwards the funding pattern of the scheme between the Centre and State Government has been changed to the ratio 60:40 instead of the earlier pattern of 90:10.
Effective management of runoff water and improved soil and moisture conservation activities such as ridge area treatment, drainage line treatment, rain water harvesting, in-situ moisture conservation and other allied activities on watershed basis and converging with MGNREGS for creation of water source to full potential in identified backward rainfed blocks including renovation of traditional water bodies are included under the programme PMKSY (Water Shed Component). During 2015-16 an amount of 28.56 crore was expended and construction of 1505 number of rain water harvesting structures were completed under the scheme.
With effect from October 2, 2014, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, sanitation related scheme of Government of India has been restructured and renamed as Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) with the aim to achieve an Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. From 2015-16 onwards, the sharing pattern of the scheme has been changed to 60:40 instead of 75:25.
During 2015-16, construction of 32167 individual household latrines, 58 community sanitary complexes and 95 school/anganwadi toilets was completed under the scheme SBM (G).
The State Government declared Rural Kerala as ODF on November 1, 2016. Around 174720 numbers of latrines were constructed by that time. Unit cost of individual household latrine was 15400/- of which 12000/- was released from SBM (Gramin) in rural areas. Declaration of Urban Kerala as ODF will be done by March 31, 2017 with a target of 32197 latrines. For this, 6667/- is released from SBM (Urban) assistance. Balance amount will be met by the concerned local governments.
Source: Suchitwa Mission
District wise details of Open Defecation Free (ODF) declared Grama Panchayats in Kerala are given in Appendix 2.91
Kudumbashree is a holistic, participatory, women oriented innovative overarching poverty reduction approach launched in 1998. Today 44 lakh women participate in the Kudumbashree movement in the State cutting across political ideologies and religious faiths. Kudumbashree is not only envisaged as a Mission, but also as a process, a project and a benefit delivery mechanism for the poor.
Some of the major poverty reduction programmes of Kudumbashree Mission are micro finance activities, social development initiatives, micro enterprises, marketing, agriculture and animal husbandry, livelihood collectives and producer companies, gender education and women empowerment activities, tribal development and activities of balasabha.
Matching Grant, Linkage Banking, Thrift and Credit, Interest Subsidy Scheme, Financial Literacy Campaign and Yuvashree are included under Micro Finance activities. Of the total 2,58,035 Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) over 19,230 Area Development Societies (ADS) and 1,071 Community Development Society (CDS), during 2015-16, 31,087 number of NHGs were graded and 33,261 number of NHGs were linked with various banks and an amount of 95,568 lakhs was disbursed to NHGs as loan. 39.87 lakh families were covered under 2.58 lakh of NHGs, an amount of 1,896.68 crore was disbursed as loan and an amount of 468.42 crore was provided as thrift. District wise details about linkage banking and thrift and credit operation are given in Appendix 2.92 and Appendix 2.93 respectively.
During 2015-16, 6,431 families were benefited through Ashraya progrmme. So far 62 BUDS schools and 83 BUDS Rehabilitation Centers have come up in the State. During 2015-16, an amount of 1.74 lakh is used for providing training to the teachers in the BUDs and an amount of 10.45 lakh is used for the activities of BRCs.
More than 60,000 Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) are engaged in cultivating about one lakh acres of land (which includes lease land farming, fallow land farming, terrace farming and cultivation in own land) through agriculture related activities of Kudumbashree. During 2015-16, the Goat Village and Ksheera Sagaram projects benefited 1926 and 814 families respectively.
The objectives of the mission is planned to be achieved with the active convergence of various government and non-government agencies as well as departments. At present, about 99,478 tribal families are covered under 5,764 NHGs.
Micro finance and micro enterprise activities are given special focus among the tribals as part of the project activities. Measures have also been taken to ensure cent per cent tribal participation in the MGNREGS activities. Formation of Special Ashraya Projects, provision of supplementary food for the malnourished aged, infants and adolescent girls, and formation of ST Balasabhas are some of the highlights of the project.
Activities of Balasabha aim at providing education, exposure and empowerment to children. Small Learning Groups for experimental and systematic learning, opportunities for understanding democratic process, participation in conserving environment, enabling children to unfold the intricacies of collectivisation are the basic focal points of Balasabha. Upto 2015 -16, 26,896 Balasabhas were functioning with the involvement of 4.11 lakh children. The district wise details of Balasabha are given in Appendix 2.94.
Samagra Projects is an initiative independently developed by Kudumbashree and being implemented in the State in collaboration with the three tier local governments and other agencies. It is an attempt to address the entire production – supply value chain holistically, by scaling up productive activity both qualitatively and quantitatively and seeking viable supply opportunities. The major samagra projects that are implemented in various districts are given below.
In addition to the above mentioned activities, Kudumbashree is the nodal agency for the implementation of Centrally Sponsored Programmes in the State. The programmes like National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), and Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Grameena Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) were successfully implemented in rural areas through Kudumbashree.