Naveen Molsom has played an integral role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the Self-help groups in Uttar Baramura. Uttar Baramura, a Gram Panchayat located at a distance of 10 km from Killa Block, is one of the places that has Molsom community in majority and significant pockets of Khalai community as well. Geographically, it is located in a difficult terrain where villages are on top of steep hills and are far apart from each other. TRLM (Tripura Rural Livelihood Mission) in the initial phase found it extremely difficult to work in such places where not only the geographical conditions are difficult, but the language was also different from rest of the areas in which they were working. The Molsom community speaks molsom whereas the officials or the cluster co-ordinators speak Khokborok, the native language of several tribal groups in Tripura. However, the SHG women understood very little Khokborok and found it difficult to converse in the same language. To develop the community cadres from within the SHG women was one of the most important aim the TRLM had set for itself. However, in places like Uttar Baramura, it was difficult to find women who were literate enough to become book keepers and community service providers. Here is where Naveen came to picture.
When TRLM started forming self-help groups here, Naveen encouraged his wife to join one of the groups as he had seen such groups function in Ompi Block of South Tripura District. He had accompanied his wife for one of the meetings and witnessed how the women were struggling to maintain the necessary books of records. He then helped the group and one another in maintaining their books. This happened for quite some time. He later on received trainings just like any other book keeper. However, he was not eligible for payment as a cadre of TRLM since he was not an SHG member. “I did not have any issue with the payment part because I really want women to come together as a group and continue their thrift and credit activities as I found it really essential. Even if I was not paid, I felt good whenever the SHG members tried to involve me in discussions and take my opinion into consideration. For me this is what really matters”, says Naveen.
He was actively involved in all SHG related tasks and that is when he happened to attend the Village Organisation (V.O) meeting where the V.O members were to be oriented about the PRI-CBO project. The Mentors from Kudumbashree NRO found it extremely difficult to convey the essence of the project to the community and that is when Naveen offered to be a translator for them. As he is not an LRG he can’t be an official cadre. But, he along with three other LRG members have been actively working in Uttar Baramura under the PRI-CBO project.
He helped in conducting the participatory planning exercises within the SHGs. Since then, he has been an active member especially with respect to the mobilisation of women. TRLM has now changed its policy of developing cadre only from among the SHG women. He is soon set out to become a Master book keeper.
“I will keep helping Mentors with the project as it is extremely important for the women to be aware about their entitlements.
I will do whatever possible to the best of my ability”, says Naveen.