Resource detail

Title: Tribals develop fisheries in Dimbhe Dam

Background: The Dimbhe dam was constructed in Ambegaon block, Pune district, Maharashtra and completed in the year 2000. It is built across 2202 hectares of land and caused the displacement of 1253 families. 11 villages were submerged fully and 13 others were partly affected. Today 19 villages are located at the fringes of the reservoir that irrigates almost 14,000 hectares of land.

Initiative: The Dimbhe Reservoir Area Poverty Alleviation Program was launched with the aim of achieving holistic and sustainable development in the region by utilizing natural resources and optimizing the skills and traditional knowledge of local tribals. The initiative was taken up by Budhaji Damse of Shashwat (non-governmental, non-profit organization) who believed that something positive had to be done with the full involvement of the displaced tribal people who paid the cost of development.

People from approximately 19 villages were engaged in the discussion and deliberations regarding the issue. Members of the ‘Bargi Dam Displaced and Affected People’s Association’ guided the voluntary organizations throughout. The local people formed an association deciding on a token membership fee. The tribal women organized themselves into 32 self-help groups across the various villages in the area.

Outcome/Benefits: Today the 273 members of ‘Dimbhe Jalashay Shramik Adivasi Machhimar Sahakari Society Maryadit, Digad’ own over 147 boats, more than 2000 kg of fishing nets and have harvested up to 31.17 tonnes of fish annually with gross sales Rs 19.94 lakh and wages paid to fishers Rs 8.50 lakh in 2012-13. A mini hatchery is in operation since 2013, with the first fish seed breeding completed unassisted by the tribal fishers in August 2014, and a small ice plant is also working now; both gifts from the Central Institute of Fisheries Education.
Due to the combined efforts of tribal fisherfolk women and men, the voluntary organization Shashwat and various government departments and scientists of a national level research institute; the local people have now overcome their problem and have managed to achieve a sustainable livelihood for themselves.

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