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
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!
With a little bit of support and encouragement, the women of the community prove to be natural leaders, stepping into the unknown, being capable of taking decisions, and carrying forward the work of improving the standard of their lives, physically and economically. The women of Majhidi-Gokulnagar exemplify this in no uncertain terms.
Identifying the aspirations of the rural youth, helping them look at the world of possibilities and providing training and guidance in their preferred choices is one way of ensuring the optimum use of the human potential, leading to nation building
Collaborating with PRADAN and organizing virtual field visits is a creative way to bridge the gap, in current times for students, between theory and practice; this may well-nigh be a complementary methodology that can be continued even after the crisis brought about by the pandemic has abated
Imposing developmental solutions in a language foreign to the villagers is a pitfall that Development Practitioners must avoid. True transformation happens when practitioners communicate their knowledge and wisdom in the local language and with deep understanding of the traditional culture and practices of the tribals they are engaged with
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