CHEKAWN VILLAGE PROFILE
Cluster Co-Ordinator, NRLM
East Lungdar R.D Block
ABOUT CHEKAWN VILLAGE:
a).LOCATION: It is 150 kms. away from Aizawl, Chekawn is located between the boundaries of both Khawlailung and Lungchhuan village.
b). ORIGIN: Chekawn had already existed long before, prior to the time when people started living in and considered it as a village. It was the name of a forest where people loved to hunt birds with nets, as many birds were found in this area. Around the year 1910, the British constructed an Inspection Bungalow which was looked after by one chowkider and one helper which were both appointed by the Government. Along with the Inspection Bungalow, both the appointed workers were in charge of other Government buildings as well. Even though the workers in these places were changed from time to time, people gradually started living in the nearby places of these bungalows. In the year 1973, Chekawn was considered as an official village.
c). TIMELINE OF THE VILLAGE:
1910 - The British constructed an Inspection Bungalow at Chekawn
1973 - Chekawn was named a village
1974 - First church (Presbyterian) was established, this church was also used as a school.
1974 - First teacher in the village.
1974 - YMA was formed.
1975 - First Primary school was opened in private.
1985 - MUP (Mizo Upa Pawl) was formed.
1976 - Chekawn road pavement was constructed.
1977 - First Middle School was opened in private.
1998 - Community Hall was established.
Changes have taken place in Chekawn village since the day it was formed. The village started with about three households and it continued to grow till today where presently there are about 50 households residing in the village. The two mentioned school i.e. Primary and Middle school which were established in private is also now under the Government.
d). DEMOGRAPHIC FEATURES:
Chekawn village consists of about 50 households with a population of about 400. 100% of the people living in the village are Christians and two denominations i.e. Presbyterian and UPC (United Penticostal Church) are present in Chekawn village. About 80% of the population depends on agriculture as their main livelihood activity with only a few percentage practicing fishery, poultry farming, dairy farming, shopkeeping and gardening.
A majority of the population above the age of 18 years (adults) are under matric in their educational background. Since only upto Middle school is present in Chekawn village, students who want higher education and who want to continue their studies have to study outside their village. As this is the situation, there are a large number of youths working and studying in Aizawl city and also in their neighbouring villages. In Chekawn village, 28 students are reading in Primary section with two teachers and 22 students reading in middle section with eight teachers.
Sub- Centre has not been placed still in Chekawn, therefore, people in times of illness and health related problems consult ASHA( Accredited Social Heath Activist) and FTD(Fever Treatment Depot) and in more serious health matters, people visit their nearest PHC (Primary Health Centre) which is located in Khawlailung which is 7 kilometres away from Chekawn village.
Pic : BNRGSK Building Constructed by R.D Deptt. E.Lungdar R.D Block
Mostly assam type houses are found in the village with about three semi - pucca houses. Chekawn village also has a Community Hall, BNRGSK, Post Office, Anganwadi, Public Distribution Shops and YMA Library.
The leaders and the people living in Chekawn village are very much aware in promoting sanitation. Different NGOs like YMA, MHIP and MUP take active part in the promotion of sanitation. To take more proper step towards sanitation, a separate committee called VHSC (Village Health and Sanitation Committee) is set up which is supervised by the Village Council.
The village has large uncultivated land which people utilize it for paddy fields. They lend these uncultivated lands for a period of one year by submiting an application to the Village Council. Apart from their consumption of their paddy products they also trade vegetables like beans, mustard, tomatoes, etc to their neighbouring villages. Crop production is highest during monsoon and lowest during summer.
Chekawn village is no alien to the development programs which are introduced by the Government. Programs like NLUP (New Land Use Policy), MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), IWMP(Integrated Watershed Management Programme) and SHG(Self Help Group) are being exercised by the people.
POOR IN THE VILLAGE:
Respondents from the village consider about 20% of the people in Chekawn as 'Not - so - poor', 50 - 60% as ' Poor' and about 10% as 'Poorest'. People consider the poorest in terms of their household and material belongings and also those people who don't have regular and stable source of income.
To uplift the condition of the poor in the village, people do take up the programs implemented by the Government which aimed at the development of these groups.
People in Chekawn village consider the old and the aged as vulnerable groups, they are viewed as vulnerable in terms of them being more prone to health related issues and also in terms of them being more dependent on others both in social and psychological aspects. To improve their health, they receive nutrition and vitamins from Anganwadi. This vulnerable groups are mostly members of MUP,an association of senior citizens
In Chekawn village foreigners or migrants are not found. Mostly the residents are considered as all Mizos. Besides, a strict rule is adopted by the people in the village regarding the migration of people other than Mizo in the village.
DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PROGRAMS IN THE VILLAGE:
Various steps have been taken through development programs for the control and alleviation of poverty in different parts of the State so as also in Chekawn village. These Developmental programs do not function in isolation; they are accompanied by the existing NGOs in the village for their smooth functioning.
a). VILLAGE COUNCIL :
The Village council at Chekawn consists of three members who are mainly in charge of carrying out and implementing development projects and schemes of Government in the village. The smooth practicing and working of development programs rest to a great extend in the hands of the Village Council leaders. Places where there are strong VC leaders, development is bound to take place in a more reliable manner. In Chekawn village committees such as VHSC(Village Health and Sanitation),VEC ( Village employment committee under MGNREGS), VEC(Village Education Committee, DMC(Disaster Management Committee) and FRC(Forest Rights Committee) function under the Village Council.
Pic : Public Tanky and Toilet const. under IWMP Serchhip III/2011-2012, E.Lungdar R.D Block
b). YMA (Young Mizo Association) :
YMA is established in Chekawn in the year 1974. In Mizo society, YMA plays a crucial role in the preservation of Mizo culture and in the socialization of Mizo youth. The Association also works to promote unity and integrity in the community by establishing a set of rules and regulations to be followed by all people living in the community which in turn helps in breaching the gap between the rich and the poor. Presently, there are 180 members enrolled in YMA in Chekawn village with 6 Office Bearers and 11 Executive Committee members. The Association also takes an active role in the preservation of natural resources, environment and wildlife.
c). MHIP (Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl) :
MHIP is an association of Mizo women. This association is present in every Mizo community. Presently, in Chekawn village, there are 67 MHIP members with 6 Office Bearers and 12 Executive Committee members. The women in Chekawn village explained that they have the same voice and equal chance as men in their community and that they exercise their rights to a great extent. Through this Organization, women in Chekawn are empowered both socially and psychologically.
d). MUP (Mizoram Upa Pawl):
MUP, an association of senior citizens of Mizo is established in the year 1985 in Chekawn village. MUP is an association where senior citizens and the elderly people participate together to promote their welfare and their rights in the community, as in most societies, senior citizens are very very much neglected. In Chekawn village, there are 26 MUP members with 6 Office Bearers and 4 Executive Committee members.
As mentioned, development programs have been accessed by the people in Chekawn. For a few some, these programs have shifted their economic status to a higher level but for a larger number of the beneficiaries, it still does not seem to change their economic condition. The root cause behind these poor progresses in development according to the respondents is that beneficiaries of certain development programs do not put much effort in trying to succeed
All the NGOs mentioned above work by their own carefully framed rules. They all work to generate unity and welfare of the community in their respective fields.
The different stakeholders existing and functioning in Chekawn village are –
a) VC (Village Council)
The Village Council plays a crucial role in the implementation of Government development projects in the village. The village council in Chekawn also take active role in generating development activities. The Village Council is also in charge of the different committees it has set up which are aimed at securing development in the community. The Village Council is currently making efforts to locate their own Sub - Centre in their village itself.
b). VEC (Village Education Committee)
Village Education Committee has been set up to improve the educational status of students in Chekawn village. In this Committee a committee member from each NGOs like YMA, MHIP and MUP take part in the decision making process.
c). VHSC (Village Health and Sanitation Committee):
Village Health and Sanitation Committee, as the name itself says, is formed to promote health and sanitation in the village. Every family in the community contributes a lot in the maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene. To perform activities better, the Committee makes proposals at times to the Rural Development Department at East Lungdar where they get assistance by a sanction of money.
d). DMC (Disaster Management Committee):
Disaster Management Committee is established to meet the demands and needs in times of emergencies occurring due to natural calamities and disasters like landslide, floods, earthquake, wildfire, etc. in the village. They are also formed to assist victims of such emergencies in any ways possible.
e). FRC (Forest Rights Committee) :
For the protection and preservation of forest, environment, wildlife and forest products, FRC is set up. People in Chekawn village cooperate with the rules conducted by the Committee and penalties are given to those violating these rules. It is through these Committee that natural resources of the village are preserved to a great extend.
f). ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) :
Since there is no Sub- Centre in Chekawn, people make much use of ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist). Pregnant women are provided assistance by the ASHA in the village in cooperation with Sub - Centre at Khawlailung. They are also consulted by people in minor health problems and illnesses.
g). VLAA (Village Level Administration Assistant):
Village level Administration Assistants play an intermediary role between the Government and the people. They aware and give information about Government programs and schemes which could be benefitted by the people. Chekawn village has one VLAA.
h). FTD (Fever Treatment Depot) :
People in Chekawn visit Fever Treatment Depot in cases of sickness like fever and flus spreading in the village.ASHA and FTD are mostly visited by people in the village in relation to their health status. In FTD, free blood testin is done and medicines for treating malaria are also provided. It is an important step towards the control of malaria.
From all the area of land that Chekawn village possess, people utilize about 600 tin for their cultivation. They have a good source of water and among the villages under East lungdar block, they are considered to be one of the most water sufficient villages. Besides, people also obtain edible and inedible products from the forest like vegetables and woods, bamboo and timber. There is a river called 'Chek Lui' in the village where they protect fish when they breed which is done by YMA and this is called 'Nghafuan ven' which helps in the increase of fish in the river. People in the village utilize the natural resources equally. To protect their natural resources from degradation, community leaders maintain a strict rule that prohibits poisoning of rivers, cutting of woods without the will of the community, hunting, etc.
PUBLIC, FORMAL AND INFORMAL INSTITUTIONS; THEIR SERVICES:
a). VC (Village Council):
Village Council is the foremost organization in working towards the development of the community. Different development programs are carried out in the village under the supervison and guidance of the Village Council.
b). PDS (Public Distribution System) :
There is one Public Distribution Shop in Chekawn village. Through the PDS people in the village can get daily needs like rice, sugar, kerosene, etc. at cheaper prices. A majority of the card holders in the PDS are Below Poverty Line.
c). Dak In (Post Office):
Post Office serves a useful purpose for families in Chekawn village. Since there is no bank in the village, people not only use the post office for sending and receiving letters and bills, people also use it for saving money.
d). Anganwadi :
Chekawn village has one Anganwadi where about 12 children below the age of 5 years are enrolled. From the anganwadi centre, children receive nutritional supplements like, milk, health biscuits, dal, vitamins, etc. The senior citizens of the village also receive nutritional supplements from the anganwadi centre.
SELF HELP GROUPS:
Self HelpGroups have been started in Chekawn village around the year 2006. Presently there are three Self Help Groups existing in the village, these SHGs are formed under SGSY. These groups comprise of both male and female members. Given under is the information of one of the SHGs mentioned -
Name of SHG - Che Group
No. of members - 10 (6 male & 4 female)
Main Activity of SHG - Making Tumeric farm
Che Self Help Group is formed by the end of the year 2008. The group makes a turmeric farm. The group had already receive revolving fund and also took loan of Rs. 20,0000. The group also collaborates with Reiek turmeric powder makers which will help them in selling their turmeric.
Pic : Construction of Terrace under IWMP Serchhip III/2011-2012, R.D Block E.Lungdar
Almost all the families in Chekawn depend on agriculture farming. They mainly depend on products from their jhum. They also trade their jhum products to their neighbouring villages as well.
Less than ten households take up fishery as their livelihood activity. They sell their fish inside the village. The families taking up fishery do not depend on fishery alone, they also have their own paddy fields. Most of the families doing fishery started from the NLUP they receive.
A number of familes have lemon gardens. For Neembu plant to mature, it takes one to two years till the fruit is ready for consumption. They sell in the form of fruit and also in the form of lemonade.
Most villages under East Lungdar block have orange orchards. In chekawn village, families also make orange orchards. They sell these oranges out of their village.
There are a few families who open shops for their livelihood. People obtain their daily needs from these shops.
FINANCIAL SERVICES AND INSTITUTIONS:
Chekawn village does not have a bank, so people save their money in the Post Office and this is called 'postal banking'. In times of emergencies, when there is no time for checking in in the post office, people lend and borrow money from their neighbours which are again repayed by the users. If people want to take loans, they visit the nearby State Banks and Rural Banks located near their village. People mainly take loans from banks for constructing houses.
The people interacted with in Chekawn village viewed 'development' as 'a condition where individuals and families secure an improved and sustained means of livelihood, improved health status, improvement in educational sphere and also that in development, economic income increases.
By achieving 'development' people can get chances of being economically sufficient and independent not only through agricultural farming but also through other practices. Development mainly means sustainability and economic growth according to the respondents.
Household no. 1
Name of Respondent: C. Vanlalhruaia
Mr. C. Vanlalhruaia's family consists of seven members, his wife, four children and his mother. The respondent's family has a jhum and also Neembu garden. The two elder children live in Aizawl, one continues her studies and the other works as JCB operator. Presently, five members are living in the household. Their two younger children are reading in Primary School in Chekawn. The couple spend most of their time in their Jhum. They normally spend Rs. 3000 - 4000 per month and take in Rs. 3000 - 4000 per month. They consider their family as progressing.
Household no. 2
Name of Respondent: H. Hrangzela
Mr. Hrangzela's family consist of eight members, but due to the studies of his grandchildren, his wife along with their four grandchildren live in Aizawl while mr. Hrangzela, his son and his son's wife are presently living in their house. The family has a jhum and also a fish pond. They normally take in about Rs. 5000 and spend Rs. 5000 per month. Yhey mainly make money from their fishery. Mr. Hrangzela considers that their family does not progress but instead gets poorer.
Household no. 3
Name of Respondent: Hriatzuali
Mrs. Hriatzuali has two daughters who are living in Aizawl since 2009, continuing their stidies. Mrs. Hriatzuali has been living alone without a husband. She owns a tea - stall in Chekawn and earns about Rs. 1500 - Rs. 2000 per month. She lives in her shop. She also sends money to her two daughters whenever possible. She considers that her family is doing fine and is progressing.
Household no. 4 Name of Respondent: Salim
Salim is originally from Silchar, he married his wife at Chekawn in the year 2009 and is continuing to live in Chekawn since then. He and his wife have one son and one daughter, both the two children have not joined school yet. His family owns a small petty shop. Salim also does labour work whenever available and he also drives vehicle sometimes. Salim's family spends more than Rs.2500 and earns about Rs. 3000 a month. The respondent feels that their family still has not move out of poverty
Household no. 5
Name of Respondent: K thanthuami
Pi. K thanthuami is the MHIP president at Chekawn village. Their family consists of five members and the head of the family is Mr. H. Lianngenga, husband of the respondent. The couples have two daughters and one son and are all adults. Their eldest daughter is married and lives in Khawlailung. Their youngest daughter works as a primary school teacher under SSA. They own a shop, a paddy field and an orange orchard. Their family's monthly expenditure is about Rs. 8000 and earns about Rs. 20,000. Their family has moved out of poverty.
Household no. 6
Name of Respondent: Lawmkimi
Miss Lawmkimi is from Lunglei, Lunglawn. She has been living at Chekawn from 2010 and works as a hindi teacher in Government Middle school, Chekawn. She lives alone in a rented house and spends about Rs. 4000 per month and earns about Rs. 20,000 a month. She is an active member of the Church and YMA and is one of the persons who maintain the YMA Library.
Name of Respondent: Lalrema Sailo
Mr. Lalrema Sailo's family consists of eight members, He has three sons and two daughters. The eldest son of Mr.Lalrema is married and his wife works in Government Middle school, Chekawn and has one child. Mr.Lalrema's one son and one daughter stay in Aizawl continuing their studies. The main activity of their family is jhuming and fishery. Every month, they spend about Rs. 10,000 and earn more than Rs. 20,000. Their family has moved out of poverty.
House no. 8
Name of Respondent: Lalnithangi
Mrs. Lalnithangi lives in Chekawn with her two sons. One of her sons drives Mualcheng sumo, a village which is just next to Chekawn and he spends most of his time in Mualcheng. Mrs. Nithangi's family has a paddy field and also raises pigs. The family spends about Rs. 4000 and earns about Rs. 4000 - 5000 a month. She expresses that her family is gradually developing but to a great extend still remain in poverty.
House no. 9
Name of Respondent: Lalramthara
Mr. Lalramthara family consists of six members, with his wife, three kids and his wife's mother. Two of his children read in primary school and his eldest son is studying in Middle school, Chekawn. Besides having a jhum they also do dairy farming. They consume vegetables from their jhum while their main source of income is from their dairy farming. Sell milk not only inside their village but also sell them outside their village sometimes. Their monthly expenditure is Rs. 6000 and their income is about Rs. 9000 - 10,0000. Their family has been progressing and developing gradually.
House no. 10
Name of Respondent: Lalremruata
Mr. Lalremruata lives with his wife and their daughter in a rented house in Chekawn. Their family owns a small petty shop and which is their main source of income. Mr. Lalremruata also at times does labour work whenever possible. Their family spends about Rs. 2000 and earns about Rs.3000 per month. The respondent said that his family still remains in poverty.
TOP PROBLEMS, GAPS AND OPPORTUNITIES:
With reference to the interaction had with the leaders of different NGOs and people living in Chekawn village, people as a whole are very much aware of the programs and schemes of development of the Government, there are also a number of beneficiaries of these programs who have their economic conditions changed to a better stage. However, people in Chekawn village believe that still a great step needs to be taken to achieve development for all.
The absence of Sub - Centre, higher educational institutions, banks and other important government institutions also hinders the people living in Chekawn village to attain development at a faster pace. The expenditure that goes out from each family to access these services is much. It has also been mentioned as one of the top problems faced by the residents of Chekawn village.