Thursday, 1 May 2014

They only want livlihoods.


In our village, as in many villages, agriculture has almost stopped with failing rains (climate change), groundwater exhaustion (a highly imppropriate borewell technology was introduced there two decades ago), labour scarcity (because a schooling which only teaches children that traditional occupations are inferior).

People survived by grazing a cow or two, till even fodder became an issue. Before borewells came in,  the soil used to retain a certain moisture even in low rainfall years. After borewells, and the overextraction, poor rains mean complete dryness of soil, and trees die and cows have no grass.

Value addition based on their own agricultural produce and skills is most  viable. Amla powder was being sold for a few years in orgaqnic shops and in the ayurvedic clinic, but then the forest department tightened controls, and people could not collect the amla they used to. Tamarind was similarly supplied to the organic shops, but in drought the tamarind also did not yeild. We set up  bee keeping, but the bees are barely surviving the drought. Pickles were getting streamlined, and then every item for the pickle had to be bought from outside due to drought, and the input costs rose. But we have continued that and the bottleneck is our marketing skills. They suggested learning tailoring, when we asked the women for possibilities. 


Any and every suggestion the village people are taking on with full sincerity and commitment ... they are not looking for sympathy or charity ... only for avenues to earn an honest living.

And it is purely our failure to design a country where everyone can aspire to an honest livlihood. We 'the educated' make the policies, in the corridors of power ... and these are the results of these policies.

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