Fellowship: N.Mutyalappa

Project Brief:
Project Type: Fellowships (description)
Primary Focus: other (description)

Secondary Focus: other

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Bangalore
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Sanjeev Ranganathan
Project Partner(s): Sanjeev Ranganathan
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Sarpanch Office,Mushtikovela Village,C.K.Palli Mandal,
Tel: 09440798541
Stewarding Chapter: Bangalore
Dec 2010BangaloreUSD 1382
Sep 2010BangaloreUSD 1667
Nov 2009BangaloreUSD 3200
Jul 2009BangaloreUSD 3200
Aug 2008BangaloreUSD 1875
Oct 2007BangaloreUSD 950
Aug 2007BangaloreUSD 940

Total = $13214

It is with shock and sadness that Asha notes the death of N. Mutyalappa, Asha fellow.

He passed away on the night of 4th April/early hours of 5th. He was 33 years old. He had a road accident and suffered severe head injuries while driving his motorcycle on the Bangalore/Hyderabad National Highway near his residence in Chennekothapalle village of Anantapur district.

Mutyalappa was nominated as a Asha fellow in mid-2007 to support his work as a Sarpanch of Mushtikovela panchayat in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. His extensive previous work with the NGO Timbaktu Collective laid a solid grounding for him to undertake village development work as Sarpanch. He made Mushtikovela panchayat an outstanding example of NREGA implementation, with more than 1 crore rupees in cumulative disbursements to labourers. His most recent project which was just reaching completion at the time of his demise was the optimal utilization of Mushtikovela's tank through a process of consensus and dialoguing, so that a crop of paddy could be taken even in a drought year, creating significant income for the village.

Mutyalappa was a highly dynamic individual who understood the system and decided to work within it, by entering the political arena at the village level. Despite tremendous pressure and continuing difficulties he worked for proper implementation of government schemes for the benefit of the village. In interactions with him, his tremendous capacity to mobilize people, put pressure on the government to make the will of the people prevail came through clearly. He had an amazing talent in negotiating the delicate terrain of caste, political, personal and other divides in a village to get people together to achieve something of value. It is tragic that a person like him met an untimely demise while he had much more to contribute. The circumstances of his death were also unfortunate as he was shuttled between hospitals and places in a desperate attempt to find appropriate emergency treatment.

He is survived by his wife, a young son and an elder brother. Asha volunteers would like to convey their profound condolences to his relatives in this time of grief.

Please visit Remembering Mutyalu

N.Mutyalappa was elected Sarpanch of Mushtikovela village of Anantapur District in Andhra Pradesh in September 2006. He has been working for the past 7 years (1999 to 2006) in positions of increasing responsibility with an NGO called Timbaktu Collective.

Timbaktu Collective is a long standing partner of Asha since 1995. Mutyalappa has had varied experience in all aspects of village development during his work with Timbaktu Collective. He Started off by working in Natural Resource Management program in Kambalapalli of Roddam mandal. The work was to strengthen the Forest Committes (Vana Samrakshana Samitis), and support their activities. After that, he worked for the Anantashakti Mutually Aided Thrift Co-operative Society promoted by the Collective as a thrift worker. His work involved collection of thrift payments and organising and strengthening womens' groups. In April 2000, he joined the Panchayati Raj program. This work involved training and awareness building of Panchayati Raj functionaries (Sarpanches, Secretaries, ward members and CBO leaders) on the powers and responsibilities of Panchayati Raj institutions. He then worked in Yuvatha, (youth program) and Militha (work with the disabled). From 2002 to 2004, he was in charge of the Collective's Watershed program in Roddam mandal. The work involved organising user groups and women's groups, strengthening the groups and providing training inputs. After that he continued to work in leadership roles as program co-ordinator and Mandal leader, and spent some time in the central co-ordination group too. Besides, he was contributor for 2 years and editor for 8 months of "Mungari", the internal newsletter of Timbaktu Collective.

As sarpanch of Mushtikovela village, Mutyalappa has a strong vision to set a model of how a Panchayat can and should work. The Panchayat functioning in Mushtikovela has been dysfunctional, something that is true across Anantapur and other parts of the country. The programmes of the Panchayat have not been implemented properly and the development of the village is therefore low. As Sarpanch Mutyalappa intends to implement his vision in the following ways:

1) to hold the Panchayat and Gram Sabha meetings regularly, maintain proper office, records and books of accounts, implement all available government schemes and run the Panchyat in a transparent fashion
2) to pay special attention to NREGA works which if implemented properly are a significant source of income to the very poor and landless, and develop the village assets at the same time.
3) Participate in the meetings of Community Based Organisations: SHGs (Self Help Groups), VO (Village Officers) , PTA (Parent Teacher Association) etc. The better is the co-ordination between these groups amongst themselves and between them and the Panchayat, the better chance there is for development programs to reach their full potential.
4) To base his long-term plan for the development of the village (Sarpanch post is for 5 years) on progress in the following key areas: Education, Sanitation, Agriculture, NRM, Women and Child Development, Livelihood Promotion, Transparency in governance

Since the Sarpanch post is a honorary one with a honorarium of Rs 600/- p.m., it would not possible for Mutyalappa (or any Sarpanch who is not independently wealthy) to devote his full attention to the job without taking up another job for livelihood. Therefore he applied for, and was approved for a fellowship which would enable him to focus his full attention to his Sarpanch role.
There is no specific organization involved. Timbaktu Collective's chief functionary Mary Vattamattam has recommended Mutyalappa for this fellowship and the Collective will continue to be involved. Timbaktu's website is www.timbaktu.org.