Deptt.of Cottage and Rural Industries

The Problem

The fishermen along with their families inhabited the secluded islands in Indira Sagar reservoir for eight months an year to maximize their fish catch, but in the process were left alone, devoid of even the basic services provided by the government.
The main problem was inapproachability and resultant non-delivery of essential services to this inaccessible and fluctuating population on one hand and lack of interdepartmental coordination in government on the other. These essential services included healthcare, safe drinking water, school education, supplementary nutrition, vaccination, neonatal and maternal care, shelter etc. The problem emanated from the fact that these fisher families, in order to maximize their fish catch, moved to deeper areas within the reservoirs and stayed there on the islands for almost eight months (October to June), every year. These inhabited islands were 8 – 10 in number and 15 – 20 kms deep from the banks of the reservoir called Indira Sagar (in Madhya Pradesh, India) which itself is more than 91,000 ha in area covering three districts viz Khandwa, Harda and Dewas. The government machinery, on the other hand could not reach the islands and deliver various services because there was no synergy between the activities of various departments and it did not have special means of transport i.e. boats. Also because their target group was a migratory and fluctuating and invisible population with no definite identity.
Major issues which needed to be addressed were; healthcare, vaccination, safe drinking water, neonatal and maternal care, supplementary nutrition, uninterrupted school education etc. Other issues included proper shelter, regular supply of food & vegetables, protection from snakes, power supply for lighting (through solar power) etc. All the major issues could be addressed by this initiative.
The trend amongst the fisher folk was to stay on the island for eight months at a stretch or until they needed medication or consumables. Lack of regular health check-up and healthcare resulted in frequent illness. This meant absence from work; no fish catch translated to no money. Both income & efficiency were affected adversely. Due to poverty and seclusion from society at large, they were also resigned to destiny with no hope for their future.
The affected group was fisher folk (men, women & children), who in general, belonged to one of the lowest rung of society, both socially & economically. Their lot included fishermen, their wives, who helped them in fishing & children, who could not be left behind on the mainland. The composition of inhabitants of any island at any given point of time kept changing like that of passengers of a moving bus after every stop. This fluctuating population was not only inaccessible but also invisible to the government machinery and therefore, out of sight – out of mind, was devoid of any of the services delivered by the government.
Moreover these people, having being neglected by society and government for generations, had accepted this dismal condition of their lives as their fate and had resigned to it.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
The initiative called JALDEEP (a ray of hope to people living in water bodies) was conceived to address the problem of inaccessibility on one hand and making the stakeholders (beneficiaries as well as government departments) sensitive & responsive to this problem and coordinating their activities towards solving it on the other.
It is about developing a sustainable system for delivery of services to the needy and isolated fisher folk. The initiative entrusted the Fisheries Federation to coordinate and synergize the activities of & provide logistic support (boats etc.) to the stakeholder departments. It ensured that camps were held regularly at every island covering all the fisherfolk. .
The officials of Health department and the Women & Child Development department did prophylactic health checkup, gave prenatal and maternal care, referred major cases to the hospital, monitor children for growth parameters, vaccinated them, distributed medicines, ORS packets, chlorine tablets and first aid kits.
Fishermen were advised to enroll their children in the schools and hostels where they got free education, books, uniform, food & lodging. Thus uninterrupted education of children was ensured while their parents continued fishing on the islands.
In these camps, Fisheries Federation promoted awareness about ongoing government schemes amongst the fisher folk who were advised and encouraged to avail the benefits
Since May 2007, more than 388 camps have been organized on islands and other isolated areas in / and around the three reservoirs viz. IndiraSagar, Bargi and Bansagar benefitting 22606 fisherfolk, including 7899 men, 6559 women and 8148 children. Two camps were held exclusively for administering polio drops.
Better healthcare and nutrition levels have ensured more and fruitful workdays leading to increased productivity and income as wages. In IndiraSagar, during pre-initiative period, per capita fish production was 3.407 kg/day which increased to 16.10 kg/ day in (August, 2012), Similarly, their per capita income rose from Rs.52.06 /day to Rs.380.43 /day which is more than 7 times.
This 631 % increase in their income combined with the raised educational levels and self-confidence has contributed substantially to all round improvement in their lives and their attitude towards life. Fisherfolk are now more vocal, demanding and aware about their rightful place in the society and aspire for a better future for their children. They now feel connected with the society as well as the government and consider themselves to be its important component. They are getting free healthcare, safe drinking water, supplementary nutrition, access and awareness to government schemes and, above all the assurance that someone cares for them.
Quantitative measurement of impact was done by comparing the pre and post initiative income from fish catch, which is a direct derivative of better health and more working hours.
Qualitative measurement was done by comparing their quality of life; in the spheres of health, education, attitude and awareness.
Primary beneficiaries of this initiative were the fishermen , women & children . Other beneficiaries were all the stakeholders. who got a successful, sustainable and transferable model of inter-organization coordination for delivery of services in inapproachable pockets and the help to achieve their targets.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
Mrs. Kanchan Jain, the then Managing Director of M.P. Fisheries Federation observed and empathized with the problems faced by the fisherfolk. She analyzed that the primary problem was inapproachability. Therefore she thought of a workable solution to address this. She first circulated a concept note amongst all the stakeholders and oriented / motivated her subordinates to be responsive to the need. An extensive survey of all the islands and fisherfolk living there was then conducted. Detailed and intimate discussion with the fisher families was held to understand their problems in a holistic manner and also to know their requirements and expectations.
With this basic data and proposal, multiple rounds of meeting with the stakeholder departments and their implementing officers were conducted. Then she prepared a detailed Action Plan with definite timelines and duties assigned to each level / stakeholder.
Implementation of the initiative was entrusted with the field level (at reservoir) officials of the Fisheries Federation. Assistant. Manager of IndiraSagar Reservoir, Mr. R.K. Khare, conducted the survey of islands and the fisherfolk & held discussions with them. He also coordinated assembly of stakeholder officers at a certain date and place for visiting the islands and provided them logistic support. At the camps, he disseminated information about government schemes & motivated the fisherfolk to avail the services. Besides the beneficiaries i.e. the fisherfolk, and the M.P. Fisheries Federation, who were the major stakeholders, other stakeholders were line departments viz. :-
1. Department of Women & Child Development
2. Department of Health & Family Welfare
3. Department of School Education
4. Department of Tribal Development
5. Department of Panchayat & Rural Development
6. Department of Social Justice
7. Department of Food & Civil Supplies.
Everyone in the team contributed to the design & implementation of the initiative as participatory approach and feedback were the backbone. Mrs. Kanchan Jain, having decided to provide services at the workplace (of fisherfolk) chose the path of consultation, coordination, gap-filling and synergy amongst the line departments, which by design, were vertically compartmentalized without any lateral coordination & flexibility.
She persuaded the stakeholder departments to come forward with their schemes and promised to bridge the gap between the benefactors & the beneficiaries. With the result all the necessary resources could be mobilized without any extra cost. The initiative was designed in such a manner that all stakeholder departments could participate within their departmental framework of budget & ongoing schemes, thus ensuring smooth & sustainable implementation of the initiative which is still operational after 5 years of its inception and after 2 ½ years after she left the organization.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The initiative launched on 22.05.07 at the islands adjoining a village called Jogakalan in the district Khandwa, covered by Indira Sagar (reservoir).
Main objective was to ensure delivery of essential services at the workplace of the isolated and needy fishermen dwelling on unapproachable islands thereby ensuring their welfare, upliftment and mainstreaming.

Strategy was to coordinate and synergize the activities of various stakeholders and ensure gap filling by optimizing on the available resources. This was supported by complementary strategy issues like.
- Assessing the problem; its magnitude, depth and repercussions.
- Involving and motivating other stakeholder departments who could help solve the problem.
- Encouraging the officers of her own organization to take extra responsibilities and function as nodal organization.
- Involving and encouraging the target group i.e. the fisherfolk to come forward and avail of government schemes to make their life better.
- Taking stock of existing resources and funds required to attain the objective, and optimizing on them. The resources included human, financial, technical and logistics.
This strategy was evolved and established by the then MD Kanchan Jain and her team. Soon after her joining this assignment, during her visit to the reservoir, she observed the problems faced by fisherfolk living on the islands. She realized that the main reason for their problem was inapproachability. Though stakeholder departments had schemes, funds, and resources for these bonafide potential beneficiaries yet could not deliver benefits because they did not have boats. She offered to deploy the Federations boats to fill this gap. She also sent a concept note to major stakeholders seeking their cooperation. She got surveys conducted of all the islands within the Indira Sagar reservoir and of the fishermen, women and children for their socio-economic, educational and vocational status. Needs and aspirations of the fisherfolk were recorded through a series of discussions with them. She prepared a list of resources needed and also explored their availability.

She felt that there was a rigid vertical compartmentalization between various departments making inter-department coordination impossible. Series of meetings with the stakeholder departments were held both at the field level and the state level to involve them more closely in preparation of the scheme and its implementation in future.

With this homework, a detailed Action Plan was prepared by the then MD, Kanchan Jain. It defined the role and duties of all the stakeholders. At this stage she convened a meeting at the government level, inviting the State heads of all the stakeholder departments, as policy decisions were required. Consequent upon this, she proposed district level committees to ensure implementation of the initiative in field.

This Committee had district level officers of stakeholder departments, chaired by the District Collector & Chief Executive Officer for better coordination and convened by Regional Manager of Indira Sagar reservoir. The Committee had freedom and flexibility to decide upon the frequency and modus-operandi of holding the camps depending upon local situations. Decentralizing this part ensured better and sustainable implementation.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
1. September 2006: Conceptualization :
Responsiveness of Mrs. Kanchan Jain, the then Managing Director of M.P. Fisheries Federation who visited the islands within the reservoir and witnessed the problems being faced, led to its initiation & conceptualization. She was moved by the situation there and decided to do something. She prepared a concept note and sent it to the prospective stakeholders to seek their support & cooperation.
2. September & October 2006: Assessment of situation.
(Through survey, PRA and Feedback.)
- Intensive survey of the fisherfolk and the islands where they lived.
- Several rounds of discussions with the fisherfolk, to understand their problems and possible solutions.
3. October 2006 to Jan 2007: Consultation & motivation of stakeholders.
Through PRA & counseling of the fisherfolk and a series of brainstorming sessions, discussions and meetings with the field officers & state level officers of both the Fisheries Federation and the line departments.
4. December 2006 : Formulation of Action Plan
Extensive and intensive deliberations ultimately led to formulation of Action Plan. It was prepared by the Fisheries Federation led by its MD Kanchan Jain who took extra care to optimize on the resources. In the Plan the objective of the initiative and role of each stakeholder was clearly laid down.
5. September, 2006 to April 2007: Coordination and synergy between departments and gap filling.
This was achieved by making deliberate and vigorous efforts to involve officers of all the line departments through meetings, brainstorming and informal discussions. Interdepartmental communication was maintained both at horizontal and vertical planes.
6. March, April 2007: Delegation and Decentralization for better implementation

At the field level flexibility was needed for effective implementation. Therefore committees were proposed at the district / reservoir level, chaired by the District Collector / Chief Executive Officer (Development) for effective coordination. In case of Indira Sagar three committees were proposed as it encompassed three districts viz. Khandwa, Harda & Dewas. Constitution and role of these committees got sanctioned by the State Government and necessary orders issued to the CEOs and other district level officers of all the stakeholder departments. These committees were empowered to decide the frequency and modus-operandi of holding the camps, depending on the local situation.
7. May 2007: Implementation in field & monitoring
As water level began to recede and islands began emerging and fisherfolk started living there, first camp to deliver healthcare, maternal & prenatal care and supplementary nutrition was organized on the islands within Indira Sagar falling in district Khandwa’s village Jogakalan on 22.05.07.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
(1) Inaccessibility was the major obstacle. Fisher families used to reside on islands and other unapproachable areas where government machinery could not reach. The fishermen themselves did not come to main land during fishing season lest they lost their earning. This made the delivery of services almost impossible.
(2) Inertia and unawareness in the attitude of fisher families. They had resigned to destiny and accepted the situation of being deprived of the basic services as their fate.
(3) Inability and / or insensitivity on the part of government machinery as the fisher families were not only unapproachable but also invisible and nomadic. There was neither any means of transport, nor any budgetary provision in the government schemes to cover the cost of transport to reach this invisible and fluctuating population.
(4) Vertical compartments in the government set-up allowing no coordination or synergy amongst various government departments. The departments therefore could not work together for a common cause i.e. delivery of services in inaccessible pockets.
These obstacles were overcome by initiating and maintaining communication with the fisher families on one hand and government stakeholder departments on the other. Their needs were assessed through participatory approach. Better and permanent coordination between various stakeholder departments was ensured through systemic improvement as well as interpersonal approach. Means of transportation, especially boats and other logistic support were provided to the stakeholder departments so that they could reach the fisherfolk dwelling on islands and other inaccessible areas.
The federation under the leadership of then MD Mrs. Kanchan Jain took initiative to synergize the activities of stakeholder departments and provided means of transport to them. It also motivated fisher families to take advantage of government schemes and made them aware of their rights through counseling and camps and enabled them to get those rights.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The resources used for the initiative were human, technical and logistics only. No financial resources were required. Category-wise details of resources and their mobilization is as follows-
Financial resources:
Interestingly, no financial resources were required as all the stakeholder government department of health, women and child development, school education and tribal development etc. had these fisher families already as their bona-fide beneficiaries. They also had budget allocation for providing services to them as well. Similarly, the M.P. Fisheries Federation already had motorized boats for surveillance and collection of fish. It also did not have to buy additional boats for this initiative.
Human resources –
Doctors, paramedical team, technicians, women and child care staff, teachers, motor boat drivers etc. were used to implement the scheme. They were mobilized though interdepartmental coordination. The government departments of health, the women and child development, school education and tribal development all had trained, experienced, willing and motivated human resources and offered them to implement the initiative who were posted in the area of jurisdiction anyway. The local officials of the M.P. Fisheries Federation worked as nodal officers to coordinate the day to day functioning of the scheme and also to hold awareness camps. No one was paid extra remuneration for the services offered to implement the initiative as it was part of their regular duty.
Technical / material / logistic resources.
Motor boats with drivers were provided by the M.P. Fisheries Federation.
The medicines, vaccines, first aid kits, ORS packets supplementary nutrition etc. as well as various instruments, consumables, water purifying chlorine tablets, mosquito repellants, stationery, books, uniform dresses, food, lodging etc. were used. They were arranged by the stakeholder departments themselves from their regular ongoing schemes.
A referral service to needy patients was provided by the government hospitals.
Cost associated with the initiative
Even though the notional cost associated with this initiative would have run into millions of Rupees by way of salary to the doctors, teachers, paramedics, aanganwadi workers (maternal & pre-natal care workers), managers of M.P. Fisheries Federation etc. as well as cost of consumables (medicines supplementary nutrition etc) and of education, transportation etc. but it is heartening to note that not a single Rupee was required / spent to implement this initiative.
Key benefits
1) Delivery of services was ensured for the unapproachable, invisible and fluctuating population of fishermen, women and children.
2) Mainstreaming of fisherfolk achieved, both at socio-economic and emotional level.
3) A sustainable model of service delivery system could be developed, tested, sustained and transferred to other reservoirs.
4) Hitherto compartmentalized government departments learned to work in co-ordination with each other towards a common goal.
This was made possible by optimizing on the resources available with the stakeholders and using them for the initiative alongside their regular functions / utilization as both were complementary and coterminous in nature. Both aimed to benefit the same target group i.e. the fisherfolk.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
(A) Sustainability
The initiative is being sustained for more than five years now (since May 2007) primarily because it is self sufficient (in terms of all the resources used), beneficiary oriented and has been institutionalized in the very corpus of the delivery system.
Financial human & technical resources are being sustained through co-ordination / amalgamation with the budget of ongoing schemes of the stakeholder departments. Cost of Medicines, supplementary nutrition, books, stationery and food etc is being met by the existing schemes (healthcare, ICDS i.e. Integrated Child Development Schemes, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan i.e. Campaign for universal education and Tribal Sub Plan Schemes etc.) of the departments of Health, Women and Child Development, School Education and Tribal Development respectively. The fisherfolk benefitted by this initiative are already the potential beneficiaries of the ongoing schemes.
No extra funds are being used to engage any additional staff (doctors, teachers etc.) as they are regular employees of government departments and their area of operation includes the reservoirs and the islands. Similarly logistic supports like motor boats etc were not purchased exclusively for this initiative. They were already available with the nodal organization i.e. M.P. Fisheries Federation and were being already used in fish transportation and area surveillance.
The primary beneficiaries i.e. the fisherfolks have been made well aware and they will not allow this initiative to discontinue as it is still the only means of delivery of essential services to them.
A well established system for delivery of services has been evolved and institutionalized where in the initiative does not interfere with the regular functioning of the stakeholder departments and their officials. In fact they can achieve their own targets in a better manner with the help of this initiative.
This institutional support will ensure its sustainability as they are mutually supportive and complementary.
All the above will help ensure sustainability of the initiative in future as well.
(B) Transferability of the initiative
The very next year, the initiative got replicated in two more reservoirs viz. Bansagar and Bargi in the State of Madhya Pradesh. Since then it is being implemented successfully there too, benefitting fisherfolk living in unapproachable areas on the banks of the reservoirs.
It is also suitable for operations of varying and short term durations. The implementation team can be drawn temporarily from existing organizations for the required period. Thereby, causing no permanent burden on relief operations.
The initiative is focused on delivering services to secluded & fluctuating population living in unapproachable pockets by synergizing ongoing schemes of key delivery department. It does not demand extra resources yet sustains on optimizing the available resources - financial, human and technical, therefore, it can be transferred with minor adjustments to other similar areas nationally or internationally, where –
- Multi-organizational activities are required to work in harmony towards achieving a common objective.
- Where delivery of services to isolated target is needed e.g. in areas marooned by flood, tsunami, earthquake, excessive rains, war or other national or manmade calamities.
- It also provides a model to further experiment and mainstream service delivery to migrant and fluctuating population.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
(A) Impact
- Most important and desirable impact was on the lives of fisher folk which showed improvement in the economic, social, educational and attitudinal spheres of life.
- Development of a sustainable model for delivery of services in inapproachable pockets.
- Govt. Departments enjoyed the fruits of working in harmony and coordination with each other.
(B) Lessons learned
Successful implementation of Jaldeep, and melting of the inter-departmental compartments has paved the way to effective synergy of their activities and ensured achievement of their mutual individual and common goals. In the process, a successful model of inter-organizational coordination has been developed, which in the present case, ensured delivery of services to remote and fluctuating population, but can be employed to other suitable circumstances too.
- The initiative teaches us how sensitivity & empathy towards the problems of people can be translated into concrete solutions by the government officers.
- That firm determination & sincerity of objective can win partners & supporters to fulfill it.
- It also tells us how the regular scheme & resources can be used to solve a unique problem in an innovative manner.
- A successful model of inter-organizational synergy & co- ordination was evolved, institutionalized and tested successfully.
- This model of service delivery could be made more effective by including more services (Solar power lighting, making available at their workplace provisions and items of daily needs etc.) and combining the initiative with the UID (Unique Identification Number) system.
Key elements that made this initiative a success:
1) All the stakeholders as well as the beneficiaries, visualized the concept as a sincere effort to solve the long prevailing problems of the fisherfolk .
2) Everyone cooperated in the formulation and implementation of the initiative as it was a win-win situation for all the stakeholder.
3) Not only the stakeholders, but also the political leadership as well as the press and media supported the initiative. Both lateral (by stakeholders) and vertical (from seniors at the government level) support was available as the initiative was seen as a practical solution to the problem of non-delivery of services.
4) It could be sustained successfully because it was a demand driven initiative and the beneficiaries i.e. the fisherfolk would not allow it to discontinue.
5) The initiative got institutionalized in the functioning of stakeholder organizations. They adopted the initiative and amalgamated it with their regular functions. This ensured smooth implementation and sustainability of the initiative.
6) The fact that it was a self sustainable initiative in terms of resources (financial, human, technical & otherwise) also ensured its sustenance and success.
7) Besides the above, an emotional and humanitarian factor was also there. Sincere and genuine efforts of Kanchan Jain , the then MD to make the lives of fisher families better got unconditional and instantaneous recognition acceptance and support from everyone. Her ability to inspire the team of officers in her organization as well as other stakeholders to work for a common cause and also her ability to coordinate and synergize their activities were instrumental in making this initiative a great success.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Deptt.of Cottage and Rural Industries
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Kanchan Jain
Title:   Principal Secretary, Deptt. of Cottage and Rural I  
Telephone/ Fax:   91755-2550084
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   kanchan.jain@mp.gov.in  
Address:   Room No- 312, Vallabh Bhawan, Mantralaya Bhopal
Postal Code:   462004
City:   BHOPAL
State/Province:   MADHYA PRADESH
Country:   India

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