On a tranquil morning during this year's spring in the Dooars of West Bengal, a meeting of women belonging to three Self-Help Groups supported by DAY-NRLM was going on at the Division Line of Kanthalguri Tea Estate.
It is well known that large water bodies such as oceans and rivers affect the climate. Although to a smaller extent, ponds also impact the surrounding climate; the ‘local climate’. The opportunity here lies in the fact that, unlike large oceans and lakes, ponds are easier to create and to manage. With good management and design choices, ponds can be significant assets in creating conducive local climates in (agro)ecosystems.
Using the label ‘Adivasi’ (and not ‘tribe’ or ‘ST’), meaning ‘original inhabitant’, for themselves was the Adivasis’ proclamation of their right to ownership of the land in which they lived for centuries as well as a signal, to all those who passed by, to back off!
Conducting a study on the status of Adivasis has brought to the fore several ground realities, opening up the scope for discussion, dialogue and analyses among those who aspire for inclusive development on matters concerning the Adivasis
Having realised that they deserve to claim their space as farmers and that they are equally capable as men of taking sound decisions on agriculture, the women of Samnapur find strength in the organisation they formed, experiencing the power of the collectives intent and action
Rather than depending on mega projects that will bring water to the villages, it is far more beneficial is it to have multiple, small water-conservation structures dotting the villages, ensuring not just its perennial source but also generating alternative crop and livelihood options, as experienced in the villages of Chhattisgarh
The Sustainable Food Systems project aims to address food and nutrition security alongside gender equality in the poorest regions of India and seeks to increase dialogue around diet and health and share knowledge. One way to enable communities to reclaim traditional knowledge about diet and health is through curriculum development.
Persuading the women farmers to set aside some land for creating water harvesting structures seemed a Herculean challenge initially; however, when they saw the numerous benefits and ways to increase their household income, they became crusaders espousing the project and encouraging others to follow suit!
Considering the implications of pathological altruism in social work, this article is based on the assumption that some people may, sometimes, act ‘social’ as a way of living vicariously through their developmental beneficiaries. If true, this has negative personal and professional consequences. The author alerts us to our practices and provokes development professionals to introspect about the subtle psychological dynamics of their work