Combining the resources of the government, the expertise of the CSO and implementation by the community is the way forward, with each contributing its strength and providing what the others cannot while recognising the value of interdependence
Working on finding scientific ways to increase the availability of water in villages through most of the year led to collaboration between various stakeholders, including the community, the forest department, the MGNREGA cell and PRADAN. The secret lay in inclusion, building trust and collaboration while working for a common goal.
Having the knowledge and the tools to carry out an intervention is not enough for a development professional; understanding the perspective and challenges at the grass roots, motivating women farmers and demonstrating the advantages is vital for the implementation and sustainability of backyard poultry farming
#Jeetenge Hum! PRADAN professionals approached the challenges that the pandemic brought with it by ensuring food for those who had none, motivating villagers to access government schemes, finding innovative solutions for all, including the landless, is a testimony to the buoyancy of the human spirit
Decentralised participatory planning through MGNREGA to create durable livelihood assets like farm ponds, orchards, etc, has helped the farmers to increase their livelihood baskets and stopped distressed migration
Turning a global crisis into an opportunity to attract and retain the youth of the villages, who had been migrating to cities in search of work so far, the PRADAN team in Bastar district is motivating villagers to look at different options such as growing vegetables in their homesteads and animal husbandry as well as creating forward market linkages as viable options to sustain themselves
Recognizing the importance of having a perennial source of water when planning any agricultural activity and change, the SHG women of Kelaur, supported by PRADAN and government departments, installed solar energy-powered water pumps, leading them to cultivating vegetables and fruit in their homesteads, which brought about a sea change in their economic status and self-sufficiency
Using the provisions under MGNREGA to gainfully engage the thousands of migrant labour, who are fleeing big cities and returning to their villages, is a productive way to turn the global crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity for creating assets that support rural livelihoods and lead to self-sufficiency.