Guwahati, Jul 4 (IANS): Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (BRLF), under the Union Rural Development Ministry and Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) signed a MoU to implement a high-impact project aiming to transform the socio-economic condition of 40,000 households belonging to tribals in western Assam, officials said on Monday.
Officials said that the "Transforming the Lives of Bodoland Tribes" project in four years period aimed at increasing the income levels through livelihood development initiatives (Land and water development with an increase in agriculture and off-farm activities) of Scheduled Tribes and Adivasis of Bodoland.
The officials said that BRLF and BTC aimed to bring about accelerated progress in one of the most backward regions in Assam with a special focus on the development of the Bodo, tribal and Adivasi people in the field of livelihoods, natural resource management, education, and aims to create capacity through nurturing of robust people's institutions at the grassroots.
BTC Chief Executive Member, Pramod Boro, on Monday said that the project would improve the lives and livelihoods of the local tribal and other communities of Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) by increasing the income levels through agricultural productivity, creation of water resources, and irrigation infrastructure, livestock productivity and other off-farm activities such as promotion of handlooms.
BRLF CEO, Pramathesh Ambasta, said the implementation strategy of this project envisages that Civil Society Organisations would provide facilitation support to the Gram Panchayats and front-line government functionaries for participatory planning and provide on-site technical support for better implementation of the planned interventions.
The BTC was constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in 2003 after the signing of the Memorandum of Settlement on February 10, 2003 between the Central and state governments and the Bodo Liberation Tigers outfit, to fulfil economic, educational and linguistic aspiration and the preservation of land rights, socio-cultural and ethnic identity of the Bodos and to speed up the infrastructure in BTR areas.
According to the official, the MoU between BTC and BRLF was signed on June 30 by Anurag Goel, Principal Secretary, BTR Government, and Pramathesh Ambasta, CEO, BRLF.
The BTR in western Assam comprises five western Assam districts of Tamulpur, Chirang, Baksa, Udalguri and Kokrajhar, bordering Bhutan and West Bengal.