Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, has always been a frontrunner in empowering and uplifting the communities in-and-around its operational areas. Taking this philosophy forward, Tata Power through Tata Power Community Development Trust (TPCDT) has launched its unique integrated fishery project in partnership with Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra (BGVK) at its Khandke and Supa wind farm sites, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.
Commenting on the integrated fishery project, Ashok Sethi, COO and ED, Tata Power, stated, “At Tata Power, our efforts at nation building are not just limited to lighting up lives by providing energy to the nation, but also includes caring for the community near our areas of operations. The integrated fishery project aims to bring about a transformation in the lives of the tribal communities from Ranjani, Agadgaon and Shahajapur villages by educating the villagers on advanced fish breeding and farming practices. This will enable them to boost their livelihood and generate income which could be used for accessing education and health care facilities.”The overall aim of the project is to promote self-employment and will provide livelihood to the tribals of Bhil and Thakkar origin. The project has been initiated at locations in the villages where TPCDT had constructed watersheds. The project’s main components include identification of suitable households, provision of the lakes for fishing in collaboration with the gram panchayat, and training of household members in fishing and marketing.
Fishing is the traditional occupation of Bhil and Thakkar tribes that live around Tata Power’s wind farms at Ahmednagar. Due to the lack of capital, this occupation has been side-lined by the tribals who are steadily migrating to the cities in search of jobs. In order to address the same, TPCDT and local partner BGVK carried out a baseline study and a survey to identify the problems and address the needs of these tribes.
On the basis of findings, Tata Power realised that fishing has been the traditional occupation of these tribes. Therefore, Tata Power felt a need to make these people aware of their ancestral skill that would enable them to augment their income. TPCDT has gone a step further by introducing these villagers to advanced fish breeding and farming techniques to meet their needs and create a surplus by using the available resources in the village. This initiative will fetch its beneficiaries a good income and help them improve their quality of health and standard of living.