Category Archives: Partnership

Women come together under Community Practitioners Platform (CPP)

Purpose:  Build a common platform for communities to come together to transfer practices and advocate with government.

Community practitioners, government officials, and civil society organizations came to??????????????????????gether at PUSA Agriculture University, Samastipur, Bihar on May 7, 2013 to discuss the challenges and achievements in local partnership in addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and the role of grassroots women community.

More than 50 women leaders representing 13 NGOs and CBOS across Bihar, Orissa, Tamilnadu and Maharashtra have demonstrated different initiatives by community in addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Women leaders from different states shared their problems in their area and how they have address to reduce the impact.

After introduction of the participants Naseem Shaikh from SSP has given a brief picture about Community Practitioner Platform and how SSP is going to present the recommendation from forthcoming session of Global Platform for DRR in Geneva from May 19-23.  She narrated how SSP is facilitating grassroots resilience initiatives across Asia, working with Huairou Commission and GROOTS International.

To make women more powerful and strengthen the grassroots community to access more resources and take lead in creating safety community, she explained the launch of CPP in Delhi in 2010. The strategy to develop leadership we promoted CRF fund, local planning, identify priorities and partner with local government. Mapping learning and resilience funds are the community design for resilience.

Women leaders from Bihar shared how they did vulnerability mapping in??????????????????????????????? the villages, identified risk and initial challenges in working with local panchayat, block officials and district authority. NGO partners who facilitated grassroots resilience initiatives explained the importance of learning and organizing dialogue with govt authorities and community women.

Godavari Dange from Sakhi Federation, Tuljapur articulated how women federation facilitated community in mapping agriculture resources, addressing water scarcity and drought in Maharashtra, mobilizing landless women to hire land on lease to start organic initiatives thru collective action and the role of Women Federation in linking Krishi Mahila Mandals (Agriculture Women Groups) to Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Agriculture Universities and District agriculture departments in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra.

Grassroots leaders from Bihar, Orissa, Tamilnadu and Maharashtra shared their challenges in working with local government and how they overcome and bringing the change locally.

???????????????????????????????Anil Sinha, Vice Chairman, Bihar State Disaster Management Authority expressed his confidence in women leaders skills and capacity in addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. He also recommended that HFA should be named as CFA (Community Framework for Action).

At the end of the programme recommendation was made to present to Global Platform for DRR in Geneva from May 19-23, 2013.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

After HFA there should be COMMUNITY FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION (CFA): Develop community framework for action in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation for the next 10 years

CPP – SIMPLIFY THE LANGUAGE INTO LOCAL: Change the Community Practitioners Platform (CPP) into regional languages in a simple way that communicates to local people to understand grassroots practice. Encourage their communities to come up in their local language

PARTNERS AND (LOCAL) LEADERS: To strengthen partnership, leaders should develop from both sides. Partnership at local level is important

PUBLIC INFORMATION AND EDUCATION to reduce disaster: Work with govt on education and awareness on safety through songs, drama etc

UNDERSTAND RISK AND CONDUCT ASSESSMENT: Give vulnerability mapping and education a priority

COLLECT THE EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN LEADERS IN DRR

GLOBAL VISION for LOCAL ACTION: Focus on local action. Learning exchanges should be promoted globally. Leadership, organizational power, vision of women leaders is more important to take it forward.

–          Swayam Shikshan Prayog, 2013

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Partnership with local government: The Case of Paardi village, Nanded, Maharashtra

Pardi village has a good learning in local development due to strong partnership within the  women’s group and local Panchayat. The Panchayat President Mr. Tikle is one of the main supporters for women’s initiatives; he understands and respects their skills and knowledge.

Mr.Tikle has been the President for the last 10 years showed other villages that major involvement of women groups in development activities makes  a difference. He respects women community and involves them in decision-making in local development.

Mapping and follow-up actions

When women groups conducted hazard and vulnerability mapping in May 2011, they identified several problems and issues that can be solved by local Panchayat. During the mapping local Panchayat members were also present. The groups listed their priorities with local Panchayat to solve the issues. The Panchayat and women’s groups discussed the problem one by one and found solutions for most of them.

The village has improved in toilet construction activity leading to a 30% increase in the number of toilets in the last one year thanks to SHGs which created awareness  on the issue in the community and mobilised BPL families to access the government subsidy for the purpose. Now 80% households have a toilet attached to their homes and they use it. They are working towards transforming their village into a cent percent free of open defecation in the coming year.

Women’s group also identified the risks students face because of the roads that are running on both sides of the school causing accidents. They solved this problem by shifting the students to one side of the road. They also constructed humps to slow down the vehicles.

Electricity: They have identified 37 houses which do not have electricity connection in one pocket. The groups discussed with Panchayat.  Their plan to get connection for the all households  is under progress.

Wells: By accessing Government programmes the community got 43 wells for the village. 17 wells are already constructed and 25 wells are waiting.

Cremation ground: There was no cremation ground to bury the dead. In MREGA programme ground has been sanctioned.

Meeting hall: A Meeting hall had been sanctioned by the Zilla Parishad (district level elected body) but the budget was low. So the Panchayat has re-submitted the plan with revised budget and the people are waiting for approval.

Non formal education: Women’s group noted that the 20 odd boys are working in hotels in Loha do not attend schools and decided to provide them non-formal education in the evening time with support from local educated youths.

Social Marriage: The Panchayat organise collective marriages to reduce the costs and time significantly. They hire a marriage hall in same day for marriages that happens on the same or consecutive days.  People cooperate without any caste barriers.  Since the participants for the marriages are mostly the same people, it is a good example set by local Panchayat.

Old houses: They also identified four dilapidated houses which are threat to villagers as they may collapse at any time. They asked the owners to demolish them and they agreed.

Tree plantation: The number of trees was decreasing day by day in the village. To find a solution to this problem, women’s groups in partnership with the local Panchayat planted 2500 saplings using the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) under which job seekers  are paid irrespective of gender Rs.100/-  per day’s work. Thus this group is making an effective contribution towards mitigating climate improvement using available resources.

Water conservation: They did not get enough water for 12 months for farming and so the yield of Kharif  (monsoon) crops was less  were affected. Now they are planning conservation of ponds and other water bodies by improving and maintaining by community.

Organic initiatives: Due to high usage of chemical fertilisers the agricultural productivity has declined and the fertility level of the land is low. Now the community is planning to start organic agriculture after getting training from Krishi Vigyan Kendra. Twenty five women are ready to use this method to cultivate jowar, thur and vegetables in one acre each.

Since the year 2008 itself there have been a few SHGs who doing organic farming for vegetables. They want to expand their acreage after obtaining further training and accessing more resources. Taking advantage of a Government scheme, they also want to purchase cows, goat and ox for income generation which will also give dung to generate compost for the agriculture.

In Paardi village, 43 women are engaged in vegetable cultivation and marketing including  10 landless women. Earlier these landless women used to purchase vegetables from Loha market and sell in neighbouring villages. After becoming members of the agriculture group, these women  purchase vegetables from 33 women who grow vegetables organically and take a share in the profit the next day. They do not travel to or buy from the market.

Ring Road: The unique success of this Panchayat is the construction of a ring road that connects all 8 villages in the Gram Panchayat using MGNREGS. You will never find a ring road in other rural areas. But due to community cooperation and will power of the Panchayat President, with manual labour contributed by women’s groups, this road became a reality and many people are admiring it. It helps to speed up the development of the village.

Bund and drainage: The Panchayat constructed a nine kms. bund to prevent water flowing out of village and use for agricultural  purpose.  So the water can be used for agriculture purpose. For this, a 70 hectare drainage was straightened to allow free flow of water to their agriculture fields.

Teaching other villages and community: Many people including Gram Panchayat members from within the district and from several other districts (Hizoli, Parbani, Washim, Osmanabad, Yevatmal),   and Government officials visit this village to see the working of Paardi Gram Panchayat and community cooperation for development.  The President of Paardi Panchayat, Mr.Tikle  has also given training to Panchayat Presidents at Collectorate.

– Swayam Shikshan Prayog, February 2012

Partnership with Krishi Vigyan Kendra,Tuljapur – a success story

 The leading force of Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Tuljapur Dr. V.G. Takankhar was amazed to see the work done by women’s groups.  He said “Usually the centre gets enquiry and assistance from male farmers. This is the first time women farmers through Tuljapur Women’s Federation approached us for innovative learning on organic farming.

Godavari and Leela were and are the leading force of Women’s Federation to have dialogue with KVK and facilitate training with women community.

KVK provided training for selected women groups in six villages on organic seed processing, land preparation, compost from agricultural waste, marketing. This training led women leaders to start organic vegetable cultivation in selected areas of their land. Slowly they are introducing more varieties and expanding the areas as well. The women members who do the activities are increasing in all the villages. After a good start and response from women groups, KVK is planning to do more advanced training on organic farming  and to reach to more villages.

KVK is a government institution doing research on local crops and cropping patterns. As part of their extension service to the farmers, they provide information on government schemes, new agricultural practices, new varieties of seeds and skill building needed to achieve higher productivity. When they met the women’s group, KVK was surprised by the interest and involvement of women in agriculture.

Women’s Federation has also provided the Innovation Fund obtained from SSP to implement their plan. Women who generate new ideas for reducing vulnerabilities of their communities are given this Fund for them to translate their notions into practical projects and implement it with full control over the Fund given to them to use it as they see appropriate and in the process learn accounting etc.

Training and capacity building

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra provided training to women’s groups on preparation of the land, soil testing and preparation, selection and timing for sowing of seeds, the benefits of organic farming, production of organic compost and pest control.

Land preparation is important before sowing the seeds. In the training conducted by KVK, 25 women farmers from 10 villages took part to learn the importance of internal mulching, use of water and selection of seeds according to the land quality.

In the training module on soil testing, women learnt how to prepare the soil, which soil is good for various type of vegetables and how to take the soil sample to send to KVK for testing. KVK would analyze the content of the soil and indicate which nutrient is high or low and based on the findings, it will advise the community to use specific organic fertilizer to increase the fertility.

The farmers were sowing seeds two to three times without any plan. Due to erratic rain pattern these seeds did not often germinate.  Through the training women have learnt how to prepare organic seeds, which are the appropriate bio-fertilisers, how to preserve the seeds till the time of sowing and when and how to sow the seeds.  This way, they are saving seeds, labour and money.  They are now aware of effective nutrition supplements like Cruz, acetobacter and PSB to obtain good result. They themselves are preparing  seeds for their own cultivation which saves cost, reduces dependency on the market and increases the production.  They have prepared seeds of green gram, millet, black gram, Bengal gram, wheat, chilly, onion, coriander and garlic.

The community has a large number of cattle and so plenty of dung was available. Besides,  agricultural waste was not put to any use and was merely dumped around the village. KVK advised KMK women to prepare organic compost, using the agricultural waste mixed with appropriate quantity of cow dung. Now they are using this compost for cultivating vegetables in own lands.

Pest control workshop was organized by Agricultural University for 40 farmers.  The participants learnt that if the pests are in early stage they should do some treatment with help of organic pest control.  If farmers are not able to identify the pest, they should contact the University.

With this set of comprehensive farm management training inputs, the KMM launched their farming. One of the members, Mahananda Bhosle, has undergone various training programmes on organic farming organized for the group; started vegetable cultivation in organic manner in one acre of her own land. She prepares her own seeds, uses organic fertilizer and bio-pesticides. Bhosle took a loan for starting farming, took to inter-cropping, makes three crops a year; and makes a profit of Rs.10,000 to 15,000 per harvest.  She was a key motivator and with the other members of KMM to start this eco-friendly approach. Ms.Bhosle led from the front and encouraged women to contribute labour and seeds together in the group. KMM was active in bringing new knowledge and partnership with specialized organizations. This paved the way of to get recognition among male farmers who have concentrated on single cash crops. Since Ms. Bhosle was successful in preparing seeds for her own farm according to the methods taught by the KVK, the latter has made her an offer  to buy seeds from her and promote it if her seeds are good and yield more. Ms. Bhosle was interviewed by All India Radio and by describing her experience, requested the listeners to adopt her way of farming and marketing.

– Swayam Shikshan Prayog, February 2012