District Rural Development Agency (DRDA): Tamenglong

Background:   The District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Tamenglong is the only Agency of Central Government of India for Implementation of Central sponsored Development Schemes. The Deputy Commissioner has been designated as the Chairman of this Agency with an Assistant Project Officer as the principal executive Officer along with Ministerial staff then.

The District Rural Development Agency, Tamenglong had been set up in the year 1981 with Shri A.E. Ahmed, I.A.S, who had assumed on 17th May 1981 as Deputy  Commissioner cum Chairman of DRDA,Tamenglong as other Parts of the country with the appointment of Shri P. Ramgong L.D.C (present Account Officer) Smt Sangbonliu, LDC later who  had resigned from the post and  late Shri P.Arou Grade IV who deceased during his service.

Now, The chairman of the Autonomous District Council is an Ex-Officio Chairman of DRDA,  in Hill areas and the Deputy Commissioner shall be the Executive Director of DRDA as prescribed under the Central guidelines vide Order No. 1/14/2010-CHA(HQ) dated 5th Oct 2010 and was redesignated as Executive Director (DRDA), in the case of Tamenglong with effect from September, 2012 and Asst. Deputy  Commissioner/ADM is designated as Project Director of DRDA with 3 (Three) Project Officers , 3 (Three) Asst. Project Officers, 1(one) Project Economist who monitor & Evaluate the works undertaken by DRDA, 1(one) Executive Engineer, 2(two) Asst. Engineer, 6 (six) TA/SO and 1(one) Superintendent along with 24 ministerial staff. The following development schemes had been taken up since its inception.

1. Self Employment Programmes:-  Various Schemes like Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), Training of Rural Youth Self Employment (TRYSEM), Development of women and children in Rural Areas (DWCRA), supply of improved Toolkits to Rural Artisans (SITRA) Ganga Kalyan Yojana (GKY), million Well Schemes (MWS) etc. are to provide training, credit, technology, infrastructure and marketing otherwise are no longer in operation. These erstwhile programme had been dovetailed into Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar yojana (SGSY) with effect from 1/04/1999 with new guidelines and continued till 2010.

 However, the Ministry of Rural Development Govt. Of India reviewed the progress and failure and has decided to restructure SGSY Schemes into National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) with the objective to promote Self-Employment Oriented income generating activities for the BPL households in the Rural areas to provide greater focus and momentum for poverty reduction rather than alleviation to achieve the millennium Development Goal (MDG) by 2015 through rapid increase in coverage of Rural poor households under Self- Employment in a mission mode.

2. Wage Employment Programme:   Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India reviewed the hitherto erstwhile schemes of the Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) during 1990s as the additional wage employment scheme for rural areas, the Jawarhar Gram Samridhi Yojana(JGSY) a rural infrastructure development Scheme had been merging them into one scheme and launched the new scheme of the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana(SGRY) with effect from September, 2001 to provide additional and supplementary wage employment and National Food for work Programme and thereby provide food security and improve nutritional levels in all rural areas and the secondary objective was the creation of durable community, social and economic assets and infrastructural development in rural areas.

Moreover, the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India amended an Act as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 Guarantees for 100 days of employment in financial year to any rural household whose adult members are willing to do unskilled manual work. The Act had come into force initially in 200 Districts including Tamenglong District, and had been extended gradually to other areas notified by the central Government to provide wage employment. This act is becoming “People Act”. The previous schemes known as SGRY and National Food for Work Program (NFFWP) had been emerged into MGNREGS Act, 2005.

3. Infrastructure Development Program:     This program included rural connectivity, school building, community hall, office building for village Authority and other related works.

(a). RSVY/ BRGF:        The Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India had launched a new  program known as Rastriya Sama Vikas Yojana (RSVY) in 2005- 2006 for the 147 selected most backward District including Tamenglong District. The RSVY project has attempted tp bridge critical gaps in local infrastructure and other development requirements that are not being adequately met through existing inflows and to facilitate participatory planning, decision making, implementation and Monitoring, to reflect local felt needs. In this regards, mention may be made that the infrastructure development program under RSVY had been taken up during Shri. Thaithuilung Pamei, IAS the then former DC/Chairman (DRDA), Tamenglong for the construction of Operation Theatre (OT) for District Hospital, Tamenglong and now being utilised, 3(three) Higher Secondary school buildings, 10 (ten) High School buildings, Agriculture Road connecting from Sangrung (Khongsang) village to Dikiuram 96 KM distance and Haochong to Langka covering with 46 KM distance of rural connectivity and other Horticulture development program had also been taken up successfully.

            Like the previous schemes, the transition has been evolved from Rastriya Sama Vikas Yojana (RSVY) to the Backward Regional Grant Fund (BRGF) including start-up Modalities for the year 2006- 2007 for the same objectives and target for 147 most backward Districts which is presently in operation in the District.

(b). MSDP:      The Multi-Sectoral Development Program (MSDP) has been initiated by the Ministry of Minority Affairs with specific objectives for 90 Minority Concentration District (MCDS). The MSDP aims at improving the Socio-Economic parameters of basic amenities for improving the quality of life of the people and reducing imbalances in the MCDS during the Eleventh Five Year Plan period. The 90 Minority Concentration District (MCDS) have been identified throughout the country which are relatively backward and falling behind the national average in terms of Socio-economic and basic amenities indicators for better infrastructure of school and secondary education, sanitation, pucca housing, drinking water and electricity supply, besides beneficiary oriented schemes for creating income generating activities. This program has been executed in 2009-2010 for rural housing  and 2010-2011 for the construction of primary/Junior High School building and water supply program.

4. Community Development Program:   During the year 2004-2005, Integrated Watershed Development Program (IWDP)/Hariyali has been implemented as Community Development Program till 2008- 2009, and then Change of the nomenclature has been taken place into Integrated Watershed Management Program (IWMP). This program is in operation since 2010-2011 till today having the State Level Nodal Agency (SLNA) with an attempt for employment generation, poverty alleviation, community empowerment and development of human and other economic resources of the rural areas.

5. Rural Housing program:    The Government of India is targeting to provide construction of dwelling house with proper sanitation to every citizen of India who are below poverty line by 2020 A.D. under Indira Awass Yojana (IAY).

Conclusion:    The developmental program can dwell where there is room and ready to accept whatsoever the nature of implementation, guiding principles, different norms and modalities with sincerity and participatory. The government is providing multi-sectoral development programs without the limit for the people especially to the people of most backward region. Thomas Jefferson says, “A government big enough to give you everything  you want, is big enough to take away everything you have”. And again I want to quote the statement of Mahatma Gandhi who said “My life is my message, A man’s true wealth is the good he had done to his fellow man, Let my life speak but not with my mouth”.