Deenanath Rajput Empowers Tribal Women in Bastar, Chhattisgarh
In a significant acknowledgment of his remarkable efforts, Deenanath Rajput, an engineer-turned-social worker, was awarded the Second Rohini Nayyar Prize for his outstanding contribution to rural development. The prestigious award was presented in memory of the late economist-administrator Dr. Rohini Nayyar, and it came with a trophy, a citation, and a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh.
Empowering Tribal Women in Bastar, Chhattisgarh
Deenanath Rajput’s commendable work focuses on empowering tribal women in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, a region known for its challenges, including Naxalite activities. His efforts have been instrumental in positively transforming the lives of over 6,000 tribal women in the area.
Establishing a Farmers Producers Organisation (FPO)
At the heart of Rajput’s initiative is the establishment of a Farmers Producers Organisation (FPO). The FPO was founded in 2018 with an initial membership of 337 women from Jagdalpur in Bastar. Since then, it has grown to encompass over 6,000 members across four districts in the region.
Key Initiatives of the FPO
The Farmers Producers Organisation (FPO) spearheaded by Deenanath Rajput implements a range of initiatives to uplift and support women farmers:
- Agricultural Extension Services: The FPO provides vital agricultural extension services to women farmers, equipping them with knowledge and skills to enhance agricultural productivity.
- Cold Storage Infrastructure: Building cold storage infrastructure is a crucial component of the initiative. This infrastructure helps in preserving agricultural produce, reducing wastage, and ensuring that farmers have access to markets for longer periods.
- Market Connectivity: One of the significant achievements of the FPO is connecting women farmers with both national and international markets. This connection allows them to sell their products and produce to a wider audience, opening up new opportunities for economic growth.
- Diversification: The FPO supports women farmers in diversifying their agricultural activities. This includes helping them venture into producing higher value-added products and services, which can significantly improve their income and livelihoods.
The Recognition and Jury
The Second Rohini Nayyar Prize was presented by N. K. Singh, Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission, who also served as the chief guest. The distinguished jury responsible for selecting the award winner included Dr. Ashok Khosla of Development Alternatives, Dr. Rajesh Tandon of Participatory Research in Asia, Renana Jhabvala of the Self-Employed Women’s Association, and Professor Seeta Prabhu. Dr. Deepak Nayyar, Emeritus Professor of Economics at JNU, was also present at the event.
Deenanath Rajput’s work is a shining example of dedication and commitment to rural development, and it serves as an inspiration to others striving to make a positive impact in the lives of marginalized communities. His tireless efforts in empowering tribal women in Bastar, Chhattisgarh, underscore the potential for positive change when individuals take initiative to address critical issues in their communities.