Wednesday, 4 May 2016

 Paalaguttapalli (Dalitwada) , Pakala Mandalam, Chittoor Dt, AP 517152.
(Bags, Pickles and other livlihoods)

This 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. Local concerns here ranged from dalit issues   to organic farming and swadeshi efforts. We have engaged in personal capacity as one of the community and have not been an NGO. Various interventions from ayurveda to afforestation to livlihoods have been collectively done.

The village has faced recurrent droughts over the last years, and agriculture has slowed down and there is large scale underemployment.  People survive by grazing a cow or two, and last year distress sale of cattle also began. We have been working together on addressing the water situation through various rainwater harvesting processes, and discussing cropping patterns that need less water - but other livelihood options need to be worked out. The women make excellent pickles, and some of them stitch well. We are looking at these initially.

Livlihood Creation
Pickles – the tomato pickles are made by a   process of sun drying the tomatoes, grinding on the stone with tamarind and then pickling with oil without using any preservatives. The result is a very tasty pickle, unique to this area.  The pickles are lip smacking. They are costed at 350/- per kg.

Bags – Four women tailor and have machines  These nice sized shopping bags - 17" by 14" - would cost 30/- to 40/- depending on the volumes.

When  Annapurna made the first batch of 100 bags. Rani came up and asked, "May I also stitch bags". The village people only seek honest work, and we need to work out orders.  
People can give these as gifts, or distribute so that these cloth bags may be used instead of plastic covers. If there could be orders from bigger supermarkets or chains it would be a sustained employment.

No comments:

Post a Comment