The Rehabilitation & Resettlement programme of Tata Steel in Kalinganagar is marked by a natural and genuine empathy for the project affected families. As such the sets of interventions have gone much beyond conventional policies in an effort to reach out to the people and ensure them a better quality of life, improved infrastructure facilities, economic self-sufficiency and above all, a renewed sense of belief in their own abilities. The chronicles listed below are only a few examples of how relocation has brought about a positive difference to the lives of Tata Steel Parivar members.
Manasi Mahanta redefines rural micro-enterprise
Manasi Mahanta has set a benchmark in micro-enterprise entrepreneurship by establishing the brand ‘Maa Pickles’ in Jajpur. Manasi, a member of Tata Steel Parivar, is the secretary of ‘Dibyajyoti’, an SHG group that has made ‘Maa Pickle’ a household name in the region. Having started as ‘Dibyajyoti Griha Udyog’ in 2008 with a loan of RS 1, 070, 00 from a nationalised bank the enterprise’s annual sales turnover has reached Rs 2, 306, 67 and the bank loan has also been repaid. This success has come through the entrepreneurial skills and initiative shown by 12 members of the SHG, including Manasi Mahanta.
A rural tribal housewife from Kalamatia village, Manasi used to be busy in domestic chores all day with practically no social life. Though literate, she was never encouraged to earn independently though her family was entirely dependent on the meagre yield of paddy that they reaped. With this they could not afford even the basic necessities of life. At this juncture Tata Steel’s R&R package brought a new ray of hope as Manasi and many others like her relocated with the assurance of a better future.
Tata Steel Resettlement & Rehabilitation (R&R) officials motivated the women to start an SHG group and also provided them training for day-to-day management of the SHG. Thus, the 12-member Dibyajyoti SHG was formed as group members showed interest in starting a small business venture independently. Manasi and majority of the others wanted to be trained in modern techniques of pickle making. Today Manasi is not only a secretary of this SHG but she has also become a teacher in Sri Ganesh Siksha Mandir. Her husband Akhila Mahanta too is getting mechanical training at CTDC, Bhubaneswar.
Barely a year ago, Ramchandra Jamuda was just another boy standing on the threshold of an uncertain future from where no good career opportunities were visible. But he was able to turn around the story completely on the strength of his own determination and the help received from Tata Steel ITES. Ramchandra was able to overcome the difficulties posed by his backward tribal background and today he is employed in Hyderabad by topline voice-based BPO TBBS, as a call services assistant. He handles calls for Tata Sky, Tata Indicom and other well-known companies, having learnt well not only Hindi but also English.
Ramchandra Jamuda has become an example for all the young people who come from a similar background. Tata Steel has extended every kind of help possible to create better employment opportunities for the youth in its project-affected areas.
Naguri Jamuda and her family became a part of Tata Steel Parivar after being displaced from Gadpur village and they now live in their own house in Trijanga-2 Colony. Tata Steel provided them with 10 decimals land and Rs. 1.5 lakh for house construction along with a monthly stipend and all other civic facilities necessary for complete well-being.
Naguri has also joined ‘Sarjam Sakam’ SHG started with the help of Tata Steel and is now its Secretary. She and others like her are making a decent living by working in the Group. Under her leaedership, ‘Sarjam Sakam’ SHG has also been honoured by Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik. Naguri Jamuda has also visited various places like Ranchi, Keonjhar, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Berhampur and Baripada for trainings organised by Tata Steel on SHG management, leadership and accounting.
She is also teaching children in ‘Balbari’ opened by Tata Steel. Naguri’s husband Somu had received training under the ‘Prerana’ programme and is now working in Tata Steel Fabrication Yard as a welder. Naguri admits that she had never thought that life had so much to offer and thanks Tata Steel for providing her family a secure future.
Jemamani and her husband were extremely worried about how relocating to a new place would affect them and their livelihood. They are now members of Tata Steel Parivar, living happily in Trijanga -2 Colony in their own house, built on land provided by the Company along with house building assistance of Rs. 1.5 lakh. Jemamani’s husband Gopal and his father have got separate land and all other kinds of assistance. Jemamani is a member of a Self Help Group in Trijanga colony and working as Anganwadi worker. She earns about Rs.1, 300/- per month while Gopal Hembram who works as a community organiser in the colony earns Rs.2, 200/-. They are past all their worries now.
Adhering to Government rules pertaining to displacement, Tata Steel has been providing all kinds of help to Jemamani’s family. Tata steel has been helping them in every sphere of life like healthcare, education, livelihood, provision for safe drinking water, good roads, electricity etc. Jemamani’s two daughters are now studying in KISS, Bhubaneswar; a dream made possible only by Tata steel.
Jemamani often says that her new life still feels like a dream to her. Gopal says Tata Steel has been helping them in every way, so that they can live a life of peace and prosperity.
Pandu Gagarai and Chandu from Sanachandia have two daughters and one son. The family lived in a thatched house on an encroached bit of land. Pandu’s dream of providing education to his children and building a good house for his family could not be realised on the strength of his small income as wage labour.
Leaving his native village was painful for Pandu but he was hopeful of having a better life after relocating for Tata Steel’s project. Pandu is now living in his ‘pucca’ house at Trijanga, with a kitchen and toilet facilities attached to it. Pandu realised the importance of including a proper toilet after he saw the water and sanitation programme of ‘Gram Vikash’ at Mahuda, Ganjam. He started saving money for this purpose and as he is a trained in mason he was able to do it at low cost. His wife Chandu too is happy that they have left the darker days behind. Pandu is working at the Company’s Fabrication Yard at present.
Enterprising by nature, Pandu went to ‘Exposure’ at Jeypore to learn the modern methods of poultry farming. He constructed a poultry farm after taking loan from Self Help Groups and Tata Steel helped both Pandu and his wife to get training on poultry rearing. He has invested 51 thousand in the entire business. So far five batches of poultry has been sold with each batch earning between Rs.2500 to 3500.
Pandu is regular student in adult literacy classes and also motivates others in the region to do the same. He has mobilised the youth Sanachandia to form a male Self Help Group called ‘Deba Shakti Swayam Sahayak Gosthi’, through which he is trying to build a positive attitude in people.
Narendra Mahanta and his wife Sabitri Mahanta had been living in Kalamatia village of Jajpur district with their two young sons Ranjit and Biswajit. They had some cultivable land but there was no one who could plough the field, as Narendra had fallen sick with a perpetual fever that the village doctors could not cure. His children too had stopped going to school. To add to the family’s misery, Sabitri too fell sick and could not get up from bed. Both of them hoped that early death would free them from a life of despair.
In this time of misery Tata Steel’s rehabilitation package for the displaced villagers, which included 10 decimals land for house building purpose, Rs.1.5 lakhs house building assistance, free education and healthcare etc. came as a ray of hope for the Mahanta family. Tata Steel and TSRDS (Tata Steel Rural Development Society) officials assured and convinced them of all kinds of help. After leaving their village, they were provided a one room quarter in Sansailo Transit Camp. TSRDS’ medical team diagnosed Narendra with kidney failure and sent him to Hi-tech hospital Bhubaneswar. Sabitri was diagnosed with stone formation in her uterus and she was also sent to Hi-tech hospital. The total cost of dialysis for Narendra and Sabitri’s operation were borne by Tata Steel.
Both of them recovered and have now started a small beetle shop in their house with the help of TSRDS. Sabitri is also working in Sansailo Camp office and earning Rs. 1500/- per month. In addition, TSRDS had trained Sabitri about how to prepare vermicompost and they have started selling this potent compost to others for Rs. 5/- per kg.
Now Ranjit is studying in standard ten and Biswajit in standard eight at nearby schools. The family has their own house in Sansailo Rehabilitation Colony, health facilities and other amenities like electricity, safe drinking water, concrete roads etc. The Mahantas of Kalamatia have indeed travelled a long way from their days of despair.
Turi Gagrai of Sanachandia is a widow who brought up her three sons through a lot of hardships. With no land of their own, her family mostly depended on wage labour. However, she always nursed hopes of being able to do something on her own someday. This dream came true when after rehabilitation she became an active member of Sagen SHG, promoted for the displaced families of Sanachandia.
She started her own poultry farm with the help of Tata Steel R&R Team after returning from an orientation trip to Jeypore to see the broiler poultry farm taken up by tribal women. She has also taken sincere interest in other group activities like nursery raising and motivated others like her. Turi has managed her farm very systematically and tried to implement the required practices of poultry farming. She has already completed rearing of 12 batches of poultry and earned an average of Rs. 2200 from each batch.
Turi is now the proud owner of her own house and has been repaying the loan she had taken from the poultry cooperative. Turi Gargai is an empowered woman of today in every sense.
Rimsi and Bikram Soren from Kalamatia village were mainly agricultural labourers before shifting to Tata Steel Rehabilitation Colony in Sansailo. They have built a pucca house there.
As a Tata Steel Parivar member, Bikram was sent for technical training and Rimsi became a member of Annapurna SHG and participated in regular savings and credit activity. Also, to start a poultry farming business she took a loan from Annapurna SHG and SBI. Rimsi is now earning about Rs 3,000 from each batch of poultry and has been able to repay the loan herself. Her husband, Bikram after training, works in Tata Steel’s Fabrication Unit as mason at Jajpur Road.
In one of the cluster meetings, the women of Annapurna SHG decided to stop selling of 'handia' (country liquor) in the colony. Though a good source of income, the members were aware of its deadly effects and therefore stood against its sell and use.
The Mahanta family of Kalamatia village in the Jajpur district of Odisha were solely dependent on the meagre yield of paddy from their land. To sustain themselves, they had to look for work as daily labourers in nearby villages. Fulsari’s family did not even have access to the bare necessities of life, not to mention education for the children.
When Kalamatia village came within the acquired area of Tata Steel’s project, Fulsari and her son decided to turn around their life of misery by making most of the opportunity made available to them. They were provided with 20 decimals land and Rs. 1.5 lakhs each to construct their house. The colony where the Mahanta family resettled had all the basic amenities including drinking water, concrete roads, electricity for every household, streetlights etc. TSRDS’ medical van visited them regularly with supply of free medicines and facilities for health check ups. In addition, Fulsari’s family is now economically solvent by selling produce from the kitchen garden they have cultivated on the extra land available and also by manufacturing vermicompost, which they both use and sell. The Mahanta family is happy beyond measure to have found an identity of respect as part of Tata Steel Parivar.
Gopal Hembram, who until recently was unemployed with absolutely no skill in any field is now confident of getting a job and supporting his family for a better tomorrow. He has been a part of the second batch of technical training arranged by Tata Steel for members of Tata Steel Parivar. The first batch of trainees has already been engaged with various construction partners of Tata Steel. Personality development happens to be part of the course.
Salu Hembram and Rajesh Jamuda who are co-trainees of Gopal feel that they can now adapt themselves to every work pattern.
Born to a poor farmer, Bijay Patra of Bandargadia village worked as a cowherd after dropping out of school at an early age. He had tried his hand at odd jobs but nothing seemed to work for him. To add to his misfortune, he had contracted tuberculosis. He had nothing to lose and so, when he relocated, it was with dreams of leading a happy and better life.
In September 2006, after coming into the folds of Tata Steel Parivar, he received the much-needed medical care at Bhubaneswar’s Hi-tech Hospital. Continued medical care and the financial assistance from Tata Steel, helped Bijay get back to his feet in six months and he took up the job of developing a garden in the newly established R&R office at Danagadi. As the senior-most amongst the office help, he supervises the daily cleaning jobs and directs them in ensuring a clean green colourful environment in the R&R office.
“The dark days of my life are over. I am worried about the future of my two sons, but I believe, that if you are a good human being, goodness comes to you naturally. In my case, it was Tata Steel…” said Bijay.
Sanju and Sahadev Mahanta of Kalamatia village had no land of their own and no fixed income as such. They have not only found better living conditions in the rehabilitation colony but have also set up a thriving poultry business with help from Tata Steel.
An enterprising woman, Sanju got herself enlisted in Annapurna SHG as a member with the aim of starting a profit making business to support her family. The Group received a Rs.1.55 lakh loan from SBI Sukinda and Sanju herself got a loan of Rs.30000/- to construct a poultry shed for 350 birds. She sincerely learnt about the rearing techniques of broiler farming from the project and the first batch of birds brought in a profit of five thousand rupees. She expanded her farm subsequently and together with her mother-in-law is now managing 1050 birds in a cycle, making steady profits with every batch.
Sanju and her husband were taken to Jeypore to see the poultry co-operative managed by Harsha trust. Motivated, Sanju has joined Adult Literacy classes run by the Company and hopes to manage her own business accounts in the near future.
Bhima and Trilochan are two friends from Salsailo who supported industrialisation and community centred growth opportunities. They stood by their people and Tata Steel throughout the relocation process and proactively undertook several responsibilities. Identifying leadership traits in these two friends, Tata Steel helped them establish ‘Maa Tarini Constructions’ under the Company’s vendor development programme. They have turned the endeavour into a highly profitable business and hope to expand operations soon and also counsel local youth on developing entrepreneurial skills.
Sabita Jamuda of Sanchandia has been part of Tata Steel Parivar since nearly a year and she is already heading a group of women in the quest for new livelihood. Sabita Jamuda, with the help of Tata Steel officials has become self-sufficient running a sewing unit at Danagadi in Jajpur district where she is helping other displaced tribal women to become empowered. Many other tribal women have taken training in tailoring and earning a handsome amount from the orders placed to the unit.
Sabita Jamuda’s elder son Ramchandra Jamuda is now working in TBSS, a voice based BPO at Hyderabad after being trained in ITES at Bangalore through Tata Steel. Sabita’s younger son Laxman Jamuda has been employed in a Tata Group Company at Jamshedpur.
Sambari Tapan of Gadapur village has seen a new way of life after shifting to her new house in Trijanga Rehabilitation Colony. In the last one year, as part of Tata Steel Parivar her family income has gone up to Rs 132000 per annum from a paltry Rs 37400.
Widowed early, Sambari lived in a thatched house and could not afford to provide education to her children. Her sons Jaypal and Dillip have only studied till the 5th standard. They were mostly living on wage labour in the village and if Tata Steel’s project had not happened, her family would have continued in that sorry state for generations to come. Sambari believes that displacement has actually ushered in a new life for them, with a new house and better employment opportunities.
Samabri Tapan’s two sons have also got displacement benefits like separate plots, money for making houses and jobs. Samabri has built a big house with a proper toilet with the house building assistance and the compensation received for her thatched house in the village. Jaypal and Dillip have also got plots in Trijanga and house building assistance of Rs.1.5 lakhs each. Jaypal is currently working in Jamshedpur after being trained in welding technology while Dillip has completed masonry as well as fireman training with help from Tata Steel.
Samabari is a member of ‘Sarjam Sakam’ SHG and received training in phenyl making herself. She has now started her business in a very small way, but looking forward to establishing it with help of other women in the colony. Sambari has now overcome the difficulties of her past life and living happily with her two sons and her daughter-in-law.
Note: Asset Value for Sambari Tapan was calculated considering her pre and post displacement land value, house value, livelihood and other durables, and receivable amount such cash in lieu, HBA of her son etc.