LAKHIMPUR: A half-day long Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) in 9/6 Koilamari, Joyhing Tea Estate fringe villages under Lakhimpur district was initiated by a team of learning professionals, comprising 25 third-year students of Lakhimpur College of Veterinary Science (LCVSc).
The programme was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Biju Borah along with teachers from various departments of the academic institution, including Dr. A. Saikia, Dr. S. Borah and Dr. Siddhartha S Pathak.
As key village informants, Binod Limbu, Nirmal Das, Ronujoy Tossa and Keshab Gorh helped the team in reaching the nook and corners of the fringe villages. The team was divided into three different directions, east, north and west direction of 9/6 Koilamari area. Each team did a transect walk along with their respective key informants through the area of interest observing, asking, looking and seeking problems and solutions of the study areas. The learning team basically gained knowledge about the socio-economic and cultural eminence of the fringe villagers. Subsequently, a SWOT analysis of their present situations, trends analysis and constraints were considered using other PRA methodologies for future prospects and to make development projects in those areas.
After the transect walk, the team prepared a social and resource mapping at the village primary school playground and made the people understand about the importance of the PRA. It was concluded that in those rural tea garden areas, most of the youth were literate unemployed and were migrating to urban areas for employment. But this trend is gradually abridged due to participation of those youths towards livestock-poultry rearing and by utilizing local resources available for earning. There was a drastic change in the trend of alcoholism in the last few years due to anti-drug and anti-alcoholism awareness programmes by the active local committees.
At the end of the practical course programme, the team leaders of each group informed the gathering that they could take up agriculture and allied sector as an additional income source and should approach the local government authority to provide a platform to develop the local youths and adults to attain sustainable livelihood in those areas.