Saturday, 12 July 2014

We moved to the village

The village became our home in 1995. We came here as we wanted to live and work in a village.We have been staying here for 15 years and have been engaged in social issues like teaching children, ayurveda, employment generation, afforestation, water conservation, organic farming, swadeshi efforts  etc.

Palaguttapalle (Paala-Gutta-Palle) is a small panchayat of 7 hamlets in Pakala Mandalam, Chittoor Distt., A.P. (45km from Tirupathi) …with about 400 households. Palaguttapalle (Dalitwada), one of the hamlets, is a habitation of largely landless labourers, with about sixty households. 
We moved to the village in 1995, in our twenties, after resigning our jobs. Naren and Uma had moved here earlier and were involved in their own farming as well as in district wide farmer issues. Their concerns ranged from dalit issues and human rights to organic farming and swadeshi efforts. They did not wish to become an NGO, but wished to live and work as individuals, and help in local needs and processes.

Our own concerns and thinking were similar. We came to stay with them. We built our home in the Dalitwada, and over time became part of the village, relating as neighbours, teachers, farmers. We have been doing organic farming on our lands, and been involved in local needs of health, teaching and some income generating activities.
We have been working on afforestation with the local people. We have been helping people process forest amla (gooseberry), tamarind and helping  reach an organic market outside.

We have been teaching the children, working with the village schools, giving ayurvedic medicines to people and learning from the very vast medical knowledge of the people – including herbal, and the esoteric. 
We have also been documenting treatments and health expenses of the people. We have also been exploring various employment avenues for people.

The last two years we have been more in Chennai, but we are in the village frequently and for long spells. Our home keys are with our neighbor Chinapaapakka and she maintains it. As the house is of mud and thatch it needs some caretaking. Chinapaapakka does it very responsibly for us. Once of a village, one is always of the village … When we are there, we are back home …

1 comment:

  1. keep up the good work...We are ready to help you in whatever ways we can.........

    ReplyDelete