Poverty Alleviation in Sarlahi

Context

Sarlahi is one of the Terai districts of the Central Development Regions having six constitutional areas; seventeen area (Ilaka) divisions, one municipality and ninety-nine VDCs. Hempur and Jamuniya, which are the working areas for PAF, projects Hempur and Jamuniya are in the mid part of Sarlahi and the other 2 VDCs Ramban and Rohuwa are near the border of India. Hempur and Jamuniya are both neighboring VDCs. These two VDCs are located about 20 km south from the East West Highway and 7 km south west from Nawalpur. The location of Ramban and Rahuwa is about 20 km. west from Malangwa. There are gravel roads in all VDCs. We can get Haempur and Jamuniya via Gair- and Salempur chowk, which lie on the way to Nawalpur- Malangwa road. Personal and public ponds are the sources of irrigation in addition to water from rain in these VDCs, which are almost dry in other than rainy season. Public wells and private hand pumps are the major sources of drinking water. The level of water is available near about 25/30 ft. under the ground, and the quality of water is good. The household settlement of the VDCs is dense with mostly wooden houses.

People from different walks of life are living together making these VDCs a multi cultural, multi caste and multi practice holding VDCs. Majority of the people are making their livelihood operating with agriculture and livestock farming where as some are making their living on employment business and wages-labor. People are lagging behind in every sector of life because of the miserable economic condition, illiteracy, lack of awareness and employment problem. People are compelled to live their livelihood with labor wages as majority of the people are from dalit, janajati and marginalized sections of the community. It is difficult even to manage food from their own production for 12 months. In spite of 80-90 percent people living below the poverty line these VDCs are getting some sorts of economic support as there has been running three events local bazaar near the VDCs in a week. Local people are taking that bazaar as main centre to selling their products and buying their daily needs.

In the project areas, there is presence of Yadav, Paswan, Mahara, Mahato, Sah, Khatwe, Majhi, Brahmin, Kayastha, Lohar-Thakur, Hajam, Dom and Dhobi. Almost all people respect and follow Hinduism and likewise traditions. Maithili is spoken mostly as a local language and 25 percent of the residents are unfamiliar with the Nepali language. Although caste discrimination is highly prevalent in the area, however, instances of caste-based discrimination are significantly on decline due to greater awareness on the part of youth and civic society interventions. There is a strong prevalence of patriarchal dominance in the working VDCs of this project. Indeed, women are primarily involved in the household chores and have fewer educational opportunities, which is one of the main reasons for their low presence in social work and also hindering their advancement. Due to low literacy rate among people, there is difficulty in developing a culture of team spirit and community work. The area has a very hot climate; nearly 9 months remain hot. The area is flood prone as the Lakhanti River is close to the area causing frequent flood during the rainy season. The economical situation has been improving steadily in recent years through the PAF program. Locals depend heavily on the agricultural production for their livelihood.

The educational status of the area is very poor and is characterized by an overall weak educational system. There are 4 primary and 2 secondary schools running in the area with 35 teachers, including 3 female teachers. Two private boarding schools are also being operated in the area. Due to availability of educational facilities only up to secondary level, people generally go to Malangwa, Janakpur, Birgunj, Kathmandu and foreign countries for their further and advanced education. The public/government schools are characterized with low infrastructure facilities, poor student-teacher ratio and quality education programs, insufficient educational materials and lack of child-friendly teaching learning environment (source: DDC Profile, Sarlahi).

Purpose:

Reduce poverty through supporting poor targeted community

Target:

Sarlahi district

Target Groups:

70 organized COs of Hempur Jamuniya, Ramban, Rohuwa, Godaita, Sisautiya and Laxmipur Sukchaina VDCs and 1954 HHs