Social development in plantations through mobilization
Continued from October 29
If the community is mobilized to some extent and knowledgeable about
the housing development activity, the regional office staff would be
able to handle the issues through meetings and discussions.
A supportive middle level estate staff is also a pre-requisite for
the second approach.
* The time period of the feasibility and mobilization phases has to
* Feasibility of a project depends on two important parties ; the
community and the estate management - both parties to work together from
the inception of the project.
* Advantages and disadvantages of top-down and bottom-up approaches
in plantations should be given due consideration.
* There is a need for the understanding of the difference between
general mobilization and specific development-oriented mobilization.
* The benefits of improved social determinants, the details of
packages available through the PHSWT and other agencies, loans and
repayments are some of the key issues that need to be discussed in
detail with the community.
* The selection of mobilization approach for a specific project has
to be in accordance with the environment in which the worker community
and the management operate.
* Visits to the line-rooms for informal one to one meetings with
worker families would be very effective in the mobilization process.
* If the workers are backward and do not show an interest on the
specific social development determinant, the animated model would be
better suited. But for the implementation of such a strategy the stating
point has to be the management both at estate and the corporate office
level. As a result it becomes a top-down approach to a certain extent.
* On the other hand to work with the people directly without
intermediate animators, has to fulfill some prerequisites. The worker
community has to be knowledgeable and mobilized to some extent. The
middle level estate staff (Welfare supervisor and / or Field officers)
should be willing to take certain responsibility. The Regional Trust
staff needs a counterpart at least to coordinate activities on the
* Small meetings in the compound of line-rooms are very effective in
mobilizing people to improve their living conditions as against the
* Approaching workers through animators has been recognized as the
key vehicle to carry out the mobilization activity.
* Training educated but raw estate youth on mobilization methods
should be made mandatory, before sending them to the field. Given the
required skill, they are capable of handling the task expected from
* Mobilization through group meetings of the worker families is
usually a common approach followed in social development activities in
* The Estate Social Mobilization Group (ESMG) may comprise of (1) An
assistant superintendent (2) Regional social mobilizer, (3) Welfare
supervisor (4) Estate medical officer (5) Mid-wife (6) Field officers
(7) A representative of PHSWT (8) Every line-room or cluster of houses
to nominate one representative, each. A group with about 25 members
would be well represented unit.
* Initially, monthly meetings of the ESMG would be useful and the
worker representatives should be provided with opportunities and
encouragement to speak freely at these meetings, although decision-
making is the responsibility of the committee.
* Communication gap between the committee members and other workers
should be eliminated.
* The management should be aware of the importance of using the
emerging social development proposals as an efficient tool in human