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Ukia, which translates to "a new ray of hope" for the indigenous communities in Western Odisha, was conceived in 2016 as a sustainable livelihood initiative. This program places tribal community members at its core, empowering them to lead and curate a variety of livelihood opportunities rooted in their traditional way of life. These opportunities are carefully designed to align with the local context and the unique realities of the tribal communities. Ukia's key focus areas encompass the Forest Rights Act, Community Rights, Ecological Farming, MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), facilitating linkages with government schemes, addressing land title issues, and strengthening local governance.
The Ukia initiative extends its benefits to a diverse group of individuals and families in Jujumora, Sambalpur. This includes displaced households affected by the Rengali and Hirakud dam projects, migrant populations hailing from Jharkhand. The initiative works closely with local farmers, daily wage laborers, tribal youth aged between 18 and 35, single women, and members of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Self-Help Groups (SHGs). Ukia aims to bring positive change and progress to these communities by focusing on sustainable livelihoods and social development.
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