VILLAGE NAME: KUNNATHUR
The team had started off with basic social campaigns. The village people were made aware of the ill effects of certain social hazards by our continued interactions, which also enabled us to build a relationship with them. The basic aim was to make the villagers aware of their responsibilities.
A drama was performed for the villagers about the ill effects of smoking and drinking. This was further elucidated through the cotton bottle experiments. The villagers associated their lungs with the cotton that got tarred.
Frequent events like rangoli competitions for women, cricket and volleyball competitions for the youth were conducted in order to establish and maintain the unity amongst the villagers.
Education related activities
The team was actively involved in helping the children improve their basics concepts in various subjects. Present in the village, is Mr. Janaki Raman and his team, who believe that education can make a lot of difference to the future of the village. They are a motivated lot and we chose to support them in all their activities pertaining to education. We focused on reducing the gap in education between the children in the village who had received an average matriculation education and those who had a normal education (government education) through regular teaching.
We started teaching the children building a strong relationship with them. The most important thing was that the children were highly motivated to change their lives through education and were enthusiastic to receive instruction from the team.
The village youth lacked basic software skills and were losing out on better job opportunities for this reason. We as a team decided to teach them the basics of Microsoft Excel and Word to start with and constantly nurturing them on this front so that they can leverage this skill to acquire better jobs in the future.
Employment generation activities
Our team has recognized specific individuals from the youth who were jobless and on the lookout for jobs and categorized them on the basis of their specializations and interests. We are continually up-skilling them by providing them with trainings related to their specializations. We helped them to communicate better in English and boosted their confidence levels. On a regular basis we motivated them in this regard and we are continuously moulding them still.
Upliftment of the NGOs
An NGO – The PLF Society headed by Ms Uma Maheshwari and Ramani proved to be a boon for the village. The government had started many sets of activities to promote of non-profit organizations. It had recently announced that it would refund 7% of a loan amount taken by any NGO or a non-profit organization for a cause, if the organization pays the bank (from where the loan is taken) all the due instalments at regular intervals till the end. An additional 3% of the loan sanctioned by the bank will be given to the bank for encouraging such activities. Thus we have created awareness among the villagers regarding all these opportunities and were instrumental in encouraging the NGO’s to start new ventures and sustain the old ones.
SLRM (Solid and Liquid Resource Management Project)
It is the brainchild of Mr Srinivasan, an active environmentalist, who is very enthusiastic in spreading this across to the various places in India and in many places outside India as well. He made a model of a waste management system, which could extract profits through the timely and proper segregation of the waste. We are in the initial phase of this long-term project and as of now we are going to execute this in Kunnathur. The NGO workers were provided with a basic presentation about this project and the villagers who were initially hesitant, later become more enthusiastic with our support and motivation. They find more meaning in these activities and understand the sustainability of the project. The project has proved fruitful in many ways – in building a healthier environment for the village and being sustainable wherever it was introduced until now, always making profits.
Empowering the Farmers
Farmers were motivated about the best practices in organic farming through videos and pictures of the tried and tested methods in organic farming. We also made them realize how much benefit they could create for themselves during non-harvest seasons by creating a sustainable organic farming practice that would depend less on the seasons and at the same time produce better yield.
We wanted the villagers to take up Organic farming on a large scale and hence continuously educated them about it. We have motivated farmers like Mr. Balakrishnan and Mr. Jayaraman, who take this new trend in farming – Organic Farming- more seriously because of its immense potential to boost the country’s economy. We motivated the farmers and created awareness about the government schemes for farmers who are certificated as practicing organic farming in their farms. We also spoke to them about the sustainability achieved by employing the best practices of organic farming and made them aware of the various methods of producing bio-nutrients and organic products from their farms. The products discussed were:-
- Panchakavyam - Used as an effective nutrient and pesticide
- Jeevamrutham- Boosts the plant growth and gives good yield.
- Gunabajalam – Made from the remains of dead animals
- Biopesticide – Pesticides produced using Organic methods devoid of any chemical content. Doesn’t pose any health hazard to humans unlike chemical pesticides and also very efficient in killing the pests.
- CPP - Cow Pad Pit Manure
- KombhuSaanavaram – Manure produced from the broken horns of the cattle.
We hope to make a difference during our existence and are very much alive to the concept of Karma Yoga - to help achieve the villagers achieve their goals. Our team is very grateful to all the people who have helped in administering this project and helped us realise our potential to cause change in the world for the better