Identity card to the poorest of the poor members of Community Forest User group (CFUG) – Pakarbas Village Development Committee (VDC), Ramechap District
Pakarbas VDC, located 14 km west of Manthali (district headquarter), is one of the 55 VDCs of Ramechhap district. A total of 1173 households inhabit Pakarbas. Of which, 482 are Brahmin, Chhettri, Thakuri and Sanyasi; 267 are Ethnic; 281 are Newar; and 143 are Dalits (so called untouchables).
At present, there are 14 CFUGs in the VDC. They are successfully managing 1162 ha of forest (out of 1502.28 ha in the VDC). Almost all the households (HHs) in the VDC and some HHs from neighboring VDCs are members to these 14 CFUGs. In order to effectively channelize CFUG fund and support to targeted HHs, the CFUGs have carried out well being ranking of their member HHs. Though carried out at individual CFUG level, as almost all the HHs in the VDC are members to CFUGs, such well being ranking covers all HHs in the VDC. The well being ranking has identified 300 HHs as poor HHs.
"Well being ranking and identification of the poor HHs in the VDC by the CFUGs - that actually should have been done by the local government authority like VDC is commendable"- the VDC secretary.
Owing to that, the VDC council held on 7th January 2012 has endorsed the well-being ranking and has recognized and issued identity cards to 118 HHs (28 Brahmin, Chhetri, Thakuri and Sanyasi HHs; 33 Ethnic HHs; 25 Newar HHs and 32 Dalit HHs). In the same event, the VDC has also granted a scholarship worth of NRs. 143,000, which has benefitted children from 110 identified HHs.
The 14 CFUGs have allocated NRs. 179,100 to support the identified HHs. Of which, NRs. 168,000 has been provided to 65 identified HHs for undertaking income generation activities; NRs. 11,100 have been provided as scholarship to children from 39 identified HHs. In addition to providing direct financial support, two CFUGs have assigned portions of forest land to 20 identified HHs for generating income through active forest management. Similarly, the CFUGs are providing fire wood and 10-15 cft of timber per HH for free of cost.
They have realized that this practice not only ensures efficient channelization of VDC and CFUG fund and supports the poorest of the poor HHs but also opens opportunities for additional support from other organizations working in the VDC.
'A milestone in the process of institutionalization of pro-poor program by the local people'