Kutch Navnirman Abhiyan
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Kutch Navnirman Abhiyan Updates
A network of 14 grassroots NGOs doing relief-rehabiliation works in Kutch
Janpath Citizen's Initiative - Earthquake Relief Action-Plan
Janpath Citizen's Initiative - Update

Kutch Navnirman Abhiyan
  • A network of 14 grassroots NGO's
  • Eighty trained social workers
  • Works in 400 villages of Kutch district
  • Works with Janpath Citizen's Initiative

    Earth Quake Relief Work:
  • Conducted preliminary survey of 160 villages effected by earth quake
  • Setup main depots for relief supply collection and routing at Bhujodi and Samkhiali and sub-depots in 16 centres including Khavda, Kodki, Habay and Baladiya
  • Set up an NGO desk at the district collectorate and the Bhuj airport
  • ham radio units are operational at Ahmedabad, Samkhiali and Bhuj, along with cellphone connectivity

    Cyclon Relief Work
  • During 1998: Surveyed 197 cyclone affected villages of Kutch
    Also Read Working without the state  Published in Economic Times, April 30, 2000

    Development initiatives including:
  • - Training of rural youth for social work
    - Policy advocacy on drinking water
    - Primary education
    - Disaster management, natural resources and industrialization

    Other Related Material:
  • Aftermath of the cyclone in Kutch, 15 min. Video, English. 1999, Presented by KNA

    A cyclone hit Kutch district of Gujarat in May 1999, for the second time in 2 years. Contrary to popular perception, the overall loss is massive - 50,000 cattle and 9,000 houses. This film is a tool to draw attention and mobilize funds for rehabilitation, without which there are chances that some of the affected communities living on the margins would become destitute.
    Available from Dristi Media Collective.

The Kutch Nav Nirman Abhiyan is a network of 14 grassroots NGO's that was founded as a response to the devastating cyclone that hit Kutch in May 1998. The Abhiyan galvanized highly effective disaster relief operations by close coordination between NGOs, the district administration, health services, donor agencies and the disaster-affected. Eighty trained social workers of the Abhiyan conducted a detailed survey of 197 villages of Kutch, which was later legitimized by the government for their rehabilitation and compensation schemes. Through its 14 grassroots NGO members, the Abhiyan works in 400 villages of Kutch district.

Subsequently the Abhiyan emerged as a network of voluntary organizations in Kutch undertaking coordinated planning, lobbying and training activities to strengthen the voluntary movement in the district. It has undertaken a range of development initiatives including training of rural youth for social work and policy advocacy on drinking water, primary education, disaster management, natural resources and industrialization. Recently the Abhiyan had mounted drought-proofing activities in 200 villages of 5 talukas of Kutch district in partnership with the district government with financial support from the United Nations Development Programme.

Among the members of Abhiyan is the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, one of the first NGOs to start work with rural women's collectives 1989. Today they work intensively in 150 villages of 5 talukas of Kutch on a range of development issues such as handicrafts, health, literacy, savings and credit and eco-restoration. Member NGOs of the Abhiyan are:

  1. Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan
  2. Sahjeevan
  3. Vivekanand Research and Training Institute
  4. Kutch Yuvak Sangh
  5. Bhimani Khadi Mandal
  6. Ashapura Foundation
  7. Kutch Ecology Foundation
  8. Gram Swaraj Sangh
  9. Anarde Foundation, Kutch
  10. Ecology and Environment Cell
  11. Patidar Yuvak Sangh
  12. Saraswatam Trust and
  13. Shree Sangh
  14. Shrujan Trust

Following the devastating earthquake of January 26, 2001, the Abhiyan network has commenced a monumental relief operation in Kutch-probably the greatest-ever trial of their physical, moral and emotional strength. Relief work has begun in close coordination with the district administration, donor agencies and the Janpath Citizens' Initiative support centreestablished in Ahmedabad.

Already a preliminary survey of 160 villages has been completed, two main depots for collecting and routing relief supplies have been set up at Bhujodi and Samkhiali, and sub-depots have been set up in 16 centres including Khavda, Kodki, Habay and Baladiya. An NGO desk has been set up at the district collectorate and the Bhuj airport. Presently, ham radio units are operational at Ahmedabad, Samkhiali and Bhuj, along with celphone connectivity.

The problems that bog the government-led and managed relief operations are well-known - a susceptibility to pressures from vested interests leading to inequitable relief distribution, siphoning off of relief funds due to corruption with their ranks, total lack of involvement of local people and lack of trained personnel to manage relief works. It is in this context that the Abhiyan's greatest strength lies in their approach to disaster relief works - which is marked by a fundamental belief in self-help, confidence-building and enabling local villagers to meet, organize and carry out their own needs assessment and handing over the relief operations to the hands of the "beneficiaries" with minimum supervision by the Abhiyan network. This approach is in sharp distinction to the largesse approach of a paternalistic "sarkar" which doles out charity to victims who queue up. While the former is an empowering process that builds self-confidence and enables people to take control of their lives, the latter feeds post-disaster depression and has long-term debilitating effects.

The main Control Room is at the following address:

105-106 C, Royal Chinmay
Besides Simandhar Towers
Off Judges Bungalows Road
Bodakdev, Vastrapur
Ahmedabad 380015

Contact No.: (91)-79-6854248
(91)-79- 6856685(91)-79-6857745 Fax: (91)-79-6857443
Email: socjust@icenet.net