Sri. Hari Sankar Rout
Recipient, Shambhavi Puraskar 2017
Sri. Hari Sankar Rout, an Engineer by profession, has been working in the most inaccessible pockets of Kandhamal district of Odisha, on Natural Resource Management (NRM) and livelihood promotion of marginalized communities. With technical assistance from Practical Action Group of Sri. Lanka, Sri. Rout has installed a 7.5 KW micro hydro-electric project, diverting water from Bhim Jharan stream through pipeline to Dangarpadar village of Tumudibandha block. This provides 24 hours power supply for lighting of 77 households, street lights, community halls and schools in the village. Gravity fed water supply provides water for drinking and other domestic usage. What makes it a unique project, is community participation and ownership of villagers, who have contributed over 15% of the project cost and continue to manage operation & maintenance. Sri. Rout has worked diligently to add a range of other activities like health, water, sanitation and awareness building in the area.
Sri. Rout is the Founder Secretary of Social Welfare Agency & Training Institute (SWATI). Since its inception (1998-99), SWATI has undertaken programs like plantation based livelihood under WADI; management of land, water, forest and biological resources for sustained agricultural productivity; management of microwatersheds; installation of Diversion Based Irrigation (DBI); providing assistance and training in bamboo craft, carpentry, black smithy, goat rearing, poultry farming, sewing etc. to ensure livelihood of primitive tribal groups like Kutia Kandha residing in Belghar area of Tumudibandha block of Kandhamal.
Sri. Rout’s vision and innovative thinking has inspired his team and paved the way for systematic implementation of holistic solutions in tribal villages. His ability to communicate and convince the beneficiaries to take ownership has resulted in a successful & sustainable impact.
The Bansidhar & Ila Panda Foundation has the privilege of recognizing Sri. Hari Shankar Rout as an excellent and innovative social catalyst, for enabling thousands of tribal villagers of Kandhamal district to improve their quality of life, and confers upon him the Shambhavi Puraskar.
We wish him all the best for his journey ahead.