The ‘Pudhu Vazhvu’ project, an empowerment and poverty alleviation initiative implemented by the rural development and panchayat raj department of Tamil Nadu with World Bank assistance, is likely to become a role model for Indonesia in alleviating poverty in the Southeast Asian country.
Speaking to Express, Pamuji Lestari, secretary of the National Oversight Team for the Community Empowerment programme, Coordinating Ministry for People’s welfare, Indonesia, said that the country is looking for a sustainable model for poverty alleviation, especially in the livelihood programme under the National Program for Community Empowerment (NPCE).
“We have also visited Nepal, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. But we are impressed by the ‘Pudhu Vazhvu’ project and would like to borrow the best practices from it and incorporate them in our programme,” says Lestari.
Aqus Manshur, head of sub directorate for poverty alleviation of the Ministry of Development Planning Agency, Indonesia, said that the country has a total of 30 million people who earn less than $60 a month. He said Pudhu Vazhvu is a woman-centric project and is a better model for women empowerment. “We could use this as pilot project for women in Indonesia,” he said.
C S Renjit, community development consultant of the World Bank, said that the project which was launched by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2005 had been a success. It is a model for the world, Renjit feels adding that Indonesia is likely to borrow the model of Tamil Nadu for their poverty alleviation programme.
The `1,667 crore project, which is implemented in 26 districts covering 4,174 villages in 120 blocks, reaches out to one million people. Currently, the project is in the final year. A senior government official of Pudhu Vazhvu Project said that it is in the final stages of funding. “This year, the outlay is `350 crore and the government might plan to extend the project,” she said.
She also added that the Puthu Vazhvu programme has already been replicated in other parts of Tamil Nadu.
Renjit says that project has been a success in the village and block level. “The challenge is to take it to the district level and make it sustainable,” he says. He also hailed the State government for including all the lessons learnt from the project into the policy framework.