Nagarkurnool: In a new development in Nallamala forest (Amrabad Tiger Reserve), Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) is helping tribals from remote Chenchu Pentas to address transportation issue.
People still don’t have access to public transportation deep inside the tiger reserve for obvious reasons (except the safari service of the Forest Department for tourists visiting the forest).
There are hardly any four wheelers connecting many Chenchu Pentas such as Rampur, Medimenakala and Appapur (which is now a gram panchayat) and the near by towns such as Mannanuru and Achampet.
Venkataiah, PO, ITDA, found an innovative way to help Chenchus find self-employment. Recently, Bayyanna from Medimenakala Chenchu Penta managed to buy a seven-seater auto through consistent effort. He bought the seven-seater for Rs 2.5 Lakh. The entire amount was funded by Women’s Self-help Group from the Appapur Gram Panchayat.
Bayyanna will have to pay 0.25 per cent as interest apart from paying the principal amount. This little workaround has not only helped Bayyanna create a better livelihood for himself, but also prevented exploitation of tribals by money lenders who charge large sums of money as interest on hand loans.
Money lending by SHGs has not only strengthened the women’s groups, but also for the first time in the history of Medimenakala Chenchu Penta, a seven-seater auto has been made available for transportation to Chenchus, who go to the nearby towns on a regular basis.