Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Employment Generation

Livelihood generation need to be worked out in a  situation of declining agricultural work. The drought has made things critical. Village people are looking only for honourable ways to earn.

Processing forest amla and making quality products has been an activity of many years. Processing and selling of tamarind and groundnut are also going on. Some linkages with organic shops have been established. But in the drought all this took a step back as there was neither amla nor tamarind nor groundnut.

Pickles are being made and marketed. Annapurna and Roopa make these maintaining excellent quality. They have been enthused by the appreciation of customers to whom the tase of homemade pickles has appealed very much.  They have directly connected to the supporters in different cities  who take and help sll further. Wider markets are needed.

Some women have come together and have taken on stitching of quality bags. This is proving a sustainable income for them. Markets again need to be widened.

We tried bee keeping as an option. A friend suggested bamboo furniture as our area is rich in bamboo. We need to widen the range of products and expand markets, as so far it is limited. 

We are also focusing especially on a few young women like Annapurna and Varalu whose husbands have abandoned them. They are having to build up their lives. Some of these women have young children and are housed in their parent's or relatives homes, but not able to maintain even the basic necessities. Various ways of helping them stand on their own feet are very necessary. 

All this needs investments – training, working capital, some machinary for procesing and packing, apart from the activity of building the markets.

Through all this one basic thing that is always in our minds, is to enable people to manufacture their own needs. And to focus on local markets whenever and wherever possible. 

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