Odisha Adivasi Manch (OAM), a forum of tribal voices was initiated by Dr. B.D. Sharma in 1994 at Paburia in Kondhamal. With initial representation from 15 districts Orissa Adivasi Manch has become active in 78 blocks spread over 22 districts of Odisha. As a first step towards initiative approach Odisha Adivasi Manch lobbied for the implementation of Bhuria Committee Recommendations. The initiatives taken by OAM became successful when the bill safeguarding the interests of the tribals was passed in 1996 as PESA Act. The State Government made a policy statement for allowing only tribals to be elected as heads of Panchayati Raj Institutions in the tribal areas.
OAM has been campaigning in the state for implementation of PESA in letter and spirit to incorporate necessary rules and regulations so that Palli Sabha can become Gram Sabha in tribal areas. With regard to the Forest Rights Act, OAM has been able to influence state and central government to pass pro tribal Government Orders and policy papers. OAM also influenced state and judiciary to vacate the stay of FRA implementation in the state.
Keeping in view the situation of Early Childhood Education in the state especially in the tribal zones OAM has been working in 10 tribal dominant districts of Odisha i.e. Koraput, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Gajapati ,Ganjam, Mayurbhaj, Kendujhar, Sundargarh, Deogarh and Malkangiri to promote Early Childhood Education in mother tongue.
- Making resolution in every Palli Sabha, Gram sabha/ Panchayat & Block Samiti for proper functioning of existing ICDS and implementations of mother tongue based early childhood education.
- Organizing orientation programs at GP, Block, district and state levels for the PRI members, community leaders [Village level Social Watch Monitors] and representatives from different CBOs, bureaucrats, NGO, ICDS and other related government functionaries on importance of mother tongue based early childhood education and proper management of existing ICDS centers.
- Post card campaign to influence the Governor and Chief minister for inclusion of mother tongue based ECE in tribal areas of Odisha.
Lobby by elected PRI representatives who are of tribal origin and OAM leaders to ruling political party, opposition leaders and bureaucrats/decision makers for implementation of mother tongue based early childhood education in the existing ICDS centers of tribal area.
- Submission of memorandum to concerned minister, Chief Minister and policy makers of the state.
- District level workshop to sensitization to all stake holders from governments and non -governmental organizations who are directly and indirectly involved in the early childhood education program.
- District level Media advocacy on ECE related issues in tribal area