The Government of Bihar (GoB), through the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS), an autonomous body under the Department of Rural Development, is spearheading the World Bank aided Bihar Rural Livelihoods Project (BRLP), locally known as JEEViKA with the objective of social & economic empowerment of the rural poor. Subsequently, the Livelihoods Restoration and Enhancement component of Bihar Kosi Flood Recovery Project (BKFRP) was also taken into the fold of JEEViKA.
Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India (GoI) has restructured the Central Scheme Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) into National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). The cornerstone of the SGSY strategy that was implemented since 1999 was that the poor need to be organized and their capacities built up systematically so that they can access self-employment opportunities. SGSY has been more successful wherever mobilization of the poor into SHGs and their capacity building and skill development was taken up in a systematic manner. It was in this background that GoI has launched NRLM, to be implemented in a mission mode across the country. It builds on the core strengths of the SGSY and incorporates the important lessons from large scale experiences in the country.
As a first step in the implementation of NRLM in the state, GoB has designated BRLPS as the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) for implementation of NRLM in the state. This has been done in view of the successful experience of BRLPS in implementing a similar approach in the state over the last few years under the project - JEEViKA. The next important step undertaken has been the preparation of the State Perspective and Implementation Plan (SPIP), a long term strategic plan that would guide the implementation of NRLM in the state.
A participatory methodology has been adopted in preparation of the SPIP and it has gone through several intensive consultations. Apart from participatory processes at district, state and national levels with input from team and expert consultants, the SPIP has been shared with different departments in the government, the DRDAs, the Civil Societies and NGOs, the bankers and the educational & research institutions for getting the feedback of different stakeholders and the same has been incorporated in the document. Guidance of senior government functionaries were sought in a consultation chaired by the Chief Secretary, Bihar. The SPIP was examined and cleared by the Empowered Committee. Subsequently, it has been approved by the State Cabinet.
The SPIP aims at reducing poverty by enabling the poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, resulting in appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots institutions of the poor. It stands on the four pillars of NRLM, the social mobilization, the financial inclusion, vulnerability reduction combined with the livelihoods enhancement and the sensitive and dedicated support structure to be put in place. It also provides detailed strategic guidelines and operational procedures.
The GoB is committed for poverty alleviation through building, supporting and sustaining institutions of the poor and enhancing their livelihoods. It has a strong belief in the innate capabilities of the poor and would like to complement them with capacities (information, knowledge, skills, tools, finance and collectivisation) to deal with the rapidly changing external world. It is a pleasure to share the SPIP of Bihar towards implementation of NRLM in the state.