January 03, 2017

Government of Maharashtra and Tata Trusts to launch twin initiatives to develop the Chandrapur region of Maharashtra

Collaboration to include holistic development with special focus on data driven governance, skills training & natural resource management

Mumbai: The Government of Maharashtra and Tata Trusts are set to launch two initiatives on January 5, 2017, one each under the verticals of Natural Resources Management and Data Driven Governance, in an effort to work towards the holistic development of the state. The two initiatives, distinct in their approach, will focus on the Chandrapur region of Maharashtra and will seek to create a progressive and prosperous district.

The first initiative is the launch of the Chandrapur data dashboard on January 5, 2017, which will make Chandrapur one of the first districts in the country to adopt data driven governance to ensure equitable distribution of benefits. The dashboard captures crucial data from households at a beneficiary level in the three blocks of Mul, Pombhurna and Jivti. The microplanning exercise is a part of Tata Trusts' Data Driven Governance initiative to address planning issues with the help of technology-based solutions for more inclusive governance practices. The initiative aims at developing a systematic structure of participatory micro-planning based primarily on data intensive model village goals. As a proof of concept, the program has covered 115 gram panchayats, 290 revenue villages and 1.65 lakh population so far.

The second initiative focuses on leveraging the potential of bamboo within the communities in the region. Inhabited by thousands or tribal and rural communities, the Chandrapur region is rich in bamboo, a widely growing natural resource. Recognizing this, the Government of Maharashtra and Tata Trusts will also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the 5th of January, 2017 to develop the existing Bamboo Research and Training Centre (BRTC) and creating a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Bamboo. The intended outcome of the Bamboo Research and Training Center is to help create positive impact on the income of the local tribal population through skills training. 

The Centre of Excellence for Bamboo, set up by Tata Trusts, in partnership with the Bamboo Research Training Institute, under the Maharashtra Forest Department- Government of Maharashtra, will be established in Chichpalli, Maharashtra and is expected to be a knowledge platform for tribal people to learn about bamboo-related science and technology. Tata Trusts will play the role of design and development partner and will be responsible for the advancement of the overall vision for BRTC that will be supported and implemented by the government machinery.

The goal of the CoE is to promote bamboo-based micro, small and medium enterprises in the state by mobilising the local bamboo resource and skill base to enable sustainable growth in the sector as a result of strong institution building and market linkage. This will pave the way for micro and small-scale industry development within and around the Chandrapur region setting an example for other such developments in the state.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sudhir Mugantiwar, Cabinet Minister of Finance, Planning, and Forest Departments, Government of Maharashtra, said, "This collaboration has a high focus on the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra and this will help us achieve our objective towards making a prosperous Chandrapur. Creating technology-based solutions for inclusive governance practices and the Centre of Excellence for Bamboo will help the communities benefit at a larger level. We thank Mr. Ratan Tata and Tata Trusts for lending crucial support that would accelerate the progress on the path to a progressive state."

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts, said, "The Government of Maharashtra and Tata Trusts share a common goal of working towards uplifting the marginalized communities in the state. We hope our work towards poverty alleviation, job creation, increasing income, education and health will empower the local populace. We are privileged to work with the Government of Maharashtra that is so progressive in its approach to development. We thank the Finance Minister, Shri Sudhir Mugantiwar, for giving us this opportunity to serve the community better."

This MoU is a successor to the larger agreement signed by Tata Trusts and the Government of Maharashtra on March 31st, 2016. The aforementioned partnership deployed a multi-thematic approach for community development in the state. The partnership aims to achieve convergence and improve efficiencies across initiatives and programmes with Tata Trusts providing strategic and technical advisory support.

About Tata Trusts
Tata Trusts is amongst India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organizations that work in several areas of community development.  Since its inception, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in transforming traditional ideas of philanthropy to make impactful sustainable change in the lives of the communities served. Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant making, the Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; healthcare and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance and media, arts, crafts and culture. Tata Trusts continue to be guided by the principles of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata and through his vision of proactive philanthropy, the Trusts catalyse societal development while ensuring that initiatives and interventions have a contemporary relevance to the nation.  For more information please visit http://tatatrusts.org/

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Nikita Crasta
Rediffusion / Edelman, Mumbai
Email: Nikita.Crasta@edelman.com
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