Ambika and Murugesan from Thottipalyam village in the Namakkal District of Tamil Nadu were struggling to generate adequate income from the tapioca crop they were cultivating on their three-acre farm land. They had to wait for over ten months to harvest the crop and income from the land could vary between Rs 60,000 (£600) to over Rs 1 lakh (£1,000) per acre. However the monthly cost of pesticides, fertilisers and labour ate into their profits and there was little or no guarantee that the amount received after the ten months would be sufficient to meet their family’s household needs.
Melissa HicksProject SEED : Reaping the benefits of organic farming in Tamil Nadu
“Beekeeping and Toilets change the status of Tribal women in Udada.”
Udada is a remote Tribal village located in the hilly forest area of Daspalla Block in the Nayagarh District of Odisha. There are 45 Tribal families living here, all belonging to the Parija Tribe. Government officials rarely visit the village. There is no school, no electricity, no toilets and a lack of safe drinking water. All the villagers, including children, are illiterate.
adminProject PANI : Changing lives in the remote village of Udada
“Thanks to Project SNAPS I now know the importance of menstrual health and hygiene.”
As part of its Project SNAPS activities, JRP and Jeevika have worked closely with two local high schools to raise awareness of reproductive health and hygiene, and how sanitary napkins (SNAPS) provide a viable and healthy alternative to traditional methods of dealing with menstruation.
adminProject SNAPS : Raising Awareness of reproductive health and hygiene
“Thanks to Project Mithra, my children and I have enough to feed ourselves.”
Dhanalakshmi has been on Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART) for 12 years and still finds it difficult to accept the fact that both her children are HIV positive and are on ART. After her husband’s death, her mother-in-law introduced Dhanalakshmi to Mithra’s staff when Dhanalakshmi was finding it difficult to make ends meet.
adminDhanalakshmi’s Story: Project Mithra helping families living with HIV
Jani lives in Badakuradangi village in the Chandaka Tribal Forest area with her husband, Sudam, and their son and daughter. The family lives below the poverty line on less than £1.50 per day and they own no property or agricultural land. To survive and to help send their small children to school, both Jani and her husband have traditionally gone to the forest to collect wood, fruit and wild honey to sell at the local market. The annual income of the family was less than £84 per year which amounts to just £1.60 per week.
adminJani’s Story: Changing lives through beekeeping
“In January, when the crop was harvested, for the first time ever, the yield was high”
52-year-old Kamalam works alongside her husband in the hot South Indian sun, toiling for long hours to eke out a meagre existence. Though the one and half acre of land that they own is in her husband Arunachalam’s name, Kamalam – a Dalit – has worked the land since she was a young bride who came to live in Kolaram 25 years ago. Both she and her husband also work on other farms as agricultural labourers to supplement the income they earn. Her children – two daughters and a son – are now grown up and married and live some distance away.
Women’s Organisation for Rural Development (WORD) identified 50 beneficiaries in the Namakkal District of Tamil Nadu and conducted a workshop on organic farming. Kamalam and her husband were selected to take part in Project SEED, a joint initiative between Tamil Nadu-based WORD and Jeevika Trust, and provided with sorghum seeds for cultivation.
adminKamalam’s Story: Growing millets to buy a cow
“My husband died of a heart attack two years ago and my only assets are the two acres of land that he left behind. I receive very little support from my in-laws and the extended family. I now live with my father in Thottipalyam village,” says Shanti, 32, who is a mother to two young daughters and is from the Thottinayakar clan (Most Backward Caste), a conservative community where women are rarely allowed to voice their opinion or make independent decisions.