Tata-Dhan Academy: PDM

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Programme in Development Management

Organizing the Community and Challenges Faced

By Rajeev Rajan

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Firstly, organizing community is not as easy a task as it may seem to be. Perhaps if you skip steps that would lead to the sustainability of the groups formed, it may be an easy task, but the process of forming sustainable groups is one that should be taken with a systematic set of processes. To organize the community, I felt a lot of difficulties at the time of inception. However, once I was able to build trust between the community and me, everything went a lot more smoothly. In other words, overcoming these initial problems can make your work more easygoing.

Initially, I felt a bit strange, and people had many questions for me–the stranger in their village. However, staying in the village was helpful for me, especially because it helped the villagers become familiar with me in a short period of time.

On the first day itself, with the help of DHAN staff, I visited all the villages by using motorcycle to get some idea of what the villages were like. For the screening and inception document, I was looking at all the villages in the panchayat, so I needed to explore each village individually, and to do this, I would need to establish good relationships with the local people. One challenge I felt was reaching and gathering people, particularly because all the villages seemed to have their weekly meetings on the same day and at the same time. That, and I had to wait until they suitably familiar with me.

Another challenge was due to the distance I had to travel to meet with people. The villagers all wanted to meet in the morning, and since I didn’t have a motorcycle or any other mans of transport, I had to walk–and the distance was seven kilometres in a jungle area!

In the end, I had a very good time with the community, and by the end of DPS, I really came to appreciate that we can really only understand communities when we are willing to be a part of them.

Here, I would also like to share a short video drafted to illustrate some of the strategies I followed while organizing the community.

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Filed under: DPS 1, PDM 12,

7 Responses

  1. Shanti Gupta says:

    Congratulations Rajeev for your documentation ! It seems you are more closer to grass root realities.

    • Thank you di!

      Yes! you are right, after spending time with them I felt like I was part of that community. At the same time they also have same feeling as me. It was quite surprised when people demand me to be with them in future too even they were aware about purpose of my presence.

  2. Yogesh says:

    Good man; Yar can you share one copy of your report with me. Please.

  3. Ravi Raj says:

    Dear Rajeev, Really You have done good job by organizing the unorganized people. As you told that community and you both have same feeling to become a part of that community. So now your responsibility for them is more than earlier.
    You finished your DPS-I but still there is need to nurture the new born SHGs, I think for that you should be in regular contact with the group members for providing the proper guidance in future and to make them sustainable.

    All the very Best !

  4. Amarendra says:

    Great job…dost… keep this level always with you to work with people.

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