January 2009: 5 Week PDC, Auroville, India: Sadhana Forest

DSC_0475

Sadhana Forest 5 week PDC-Tamil Nadu, Auroville, India, January 2009

Kaila’s research in ecovillages had brought her to the 70 acres reforestation project of Sadhana Forest in 2008.  Because of resonance with the visoinaries of the project Aviram and Yorit and the project itself, Kaila decided to teach a PDC there in 2009.  While at a teachers training course in late 2008 at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Ca,USA, Doug and Kaila met and decided to travel to India together to teach this newly learned style.  Viewed as training opportunity in teaching a PDC, Kaila and Doug left in mid January from the states.  Gautier appeared just days later saying to them one evening ” I heard there’s some people here with an idea of teaching a Permaculture Course”.  And the trio was born.

While wanting to keep the class size small, many volunteers at the project showed a keen interest in taking the course.  So just before the course started 30 people had signed up and we had to cap it at that or it would have been more.  The course itself was unique in that there was very little money transfered other than money that the students donated for Kaila and Doug’s registration through Tagari as certified teachers and the cost of the certificates that certification enables you to hand out.

Evening Meal under the Full moonlight
Evening Meal under the Full moonlight

This meant a rigorous five weeks to accomplsih essentailly a two week course.  Volunteers worked for four hours each morning and had other roles within the community as well.  In the afternoons class was held in one of the causarina frame, keet thatch roof huts.  Additionally some evenings had movie screenings and power point presentations for the whole community.  Twice a week we would have hands on during the morning to help reinforce the topics we were discussing.  It was a very intense course with the schedule, the heat of India , and the constant flux of people that is Sadhana Forest.  At one time the volunteer numbers were up to 120 and finding space was a challenge but just another design opportunity.

Sadhana Village Center
Sadhana Village Center

The 30 volunteers who signed up came from 13 different countries and five different continents.  This was accompanied with the fact that over half the group was comprised of English as a second language.  This presented some challenges for the newly formed teaching team but they were viewed as learning opportuities.  Construction of many garden beds, overhauling the greywater system, and plastering the rammed earth bag house known as the eco-dome were all hands on projects that the group focused on.  This really helped to transform Sadhana forever as embarks on its goals of more self sufficiency.  Sadhana is a remarkable story of how through water harvesting, water conservation, and tree planting you can turn a desert into a forest that grows people.  The water table had been raised six meters and 20,000 trees had been planted.

DSC02720
Two students who lead the continual process of plastering the dome

The course empowered many of the students to take on lead roles during the morning worktimes to accomplish longer term permaculture projects.  An example of this is the picture above as Fatima and Hila were extremely dedicated to seeing the plastering of the eco-dome be accomplsihed.  Others went wild with mulching and creating garden beds and focused on food production in this harsh climate.

Keyhole Garden bed and constructed shade shelter
Keyhole Garden bed and constructed shade shelter

11 Comments on “January 2009: 5 Week PDC, Auroville, India: Sadhana Forest

  1. Hello!!
    Heard some beautiful things about this movement! well done!

    Can i ask – are you running any Permaculture Courses in Oct / Nov / Dec 2009?

    I mayb visiting your area late October …

    Blessings – THANK YOU for your time!! x

    • SUBRAMANIAN
      October 9, 2010 at 1:32 am
      RURAL DEVELOPMENT AFFORESTATION SOCIETY
      MELKACHIRAPPATTU,VILLAGE,MEYYUR.POST,TIRUVANNAMALAI,TK.DT,PIN .606753

      TO
      THE DIRECTOR,
      VOLUNTEERS

      GREETINGS FROM RDAS,TIRUVANNAMALAI ,INDIA .

      RDAS PLANTING WORK LAST YEAR PROJECT AREAS NALLAVANPALAYAM ERIKARAI 1500 AND COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LAND SEEDLINGS PLANTING AND THAN THANIMALAI HILL 1000 SEEDLINGS AND THAN SOLAIAMMAN TEMPLE LAND 1000 PLANTATION PROGRESS TWO VILLAGE SCHOOL CHILDREN PLANTING MEYYUR SCHOOL 250 SEEDLINGS AND NALLAVANPALAYAM SCHOOL 150 SEEDLINGS ,NALLAVANPALAYAM FARMERS BANK SOCIETY 300 SEEDLINGS PLANATING AND THAN THIS YEAR 2009 -2010 PROJECT ALSO STARTING PLANTING WORK SAME AREA ALSO PLANTING WORK STARTING LAST WEEK 1500 SEEDLINGS PLANTING WORK COMPLETING .REPORT FOR

      THE AUGUST 2008- – AUGUST 2009 project work reporting :

      reforestation 3 village PLANTATION WORK REPORT 2008-2009 completing work and this year project starting 5000 seedlings planting work starting 2009-2010 project starting same village follow-up programme :

      INTRODUCTION:

      Rural Development Afforestation Society is one of the Non-Governmental volunteer organization working for the up liftment of rural poorest, socio economic development, farmers association promoting, Re-Forestation, plantation, reforest, Environmental Development programme, it is non-profitable organization, registered under the Tamil Nadu Society Act RDAS Registration in the year 1995, registration Number is 56/1995. This organization also organized the various programmed and activities for the Welfare of the poorest. During the year we have organized the following activities in co-ordination /DONOR with Mr. John Seed/ RIC Australia and other Non-Governmental organization successfully.

      RDAS Progress report of the project of preventing soil erosion an promoting greenery around THANIMALAI,NALLAVANPALAYAM ,MEYYUR Villages catchments pond are plantation work, 4500 seedlings the project was to prevent soil erosion on the slopes of Erikarai 2 1/2km, Both side catchments pond, Erikarai plantation work , August 2008 to 2009 , the catchments pond area planting work is don, maintain One year this project getting tree products the benefits Ares the agriculturists, surrounding the tank area 280 farmers family benefit nallavanpalayam,meyyur,thanimalai Villages and 280 workers work planting, Bonding, fencing pruning work, catchments pond area 90 days working. The work completed 4500 Tree planting, Bunding, fencing, watering work and maintained one year nallavanpalayam,thanimalai,meyyur area planting working Erikarai. Thanimalai,hill and temple land and nallavanpalayam cooperative society land planting .

      RDAS is committed to rural work based on an appreciation of many positive features of rural life and society. It sees a big challenge in revitalization of the rural economy whilst strengthening its ecological base. It draws inspiration from the rich and diverse indigenous cultures and knowledge systems.

      RDAS is actively involved in wide range of rural development activities aimed at addressing problems faced by local communities in rural regions of Tiruvannamalai Districts. The thrust areas of RDAS Traditional medicine and primary health care; Ecological agriculture and conservation of plant genetic resources; Nutrition and food security; Employment generation; Education; Natural resource management; Community video; and Women’s empowerment.

      To the Report on RDAS activities it would be useful to gain a better understanding of the region and the people with whom RDAS works. This will be followed by the report.

      2. About the area and people

      2.1. Area and Location
      RDAS is located in the Tiruvannamalai, Block & District, Tamil Nadu, West of Chennai RDAS works in over 10 Villages of Tiruvannamalai Block.

      2008-2009 project work villages
      ——————————————–

      1)NALLAVANPALAYAM, 1500 -300 TOTAL 1800 SEEDLINGS PLANTING
      2)MEYYUR VILLAGE TMPLE LAND 1000 –SCHOOL LAND ALSO SEEDLINGS PLANTING
      3)THANIMALAI HILL AREA 1000 SEEDLINGS PLANTING
      4 )NALLAVANPALAYAM COOPERATIVE SOCIET LAND 300 SEEDLINGS PLANTING
      5)NALLAVANPALAYAM, VILLAGE SCHOOL LAND PLANTING 400 SEEDLINGS PLANTING WITH CHILDRENS .AND FARMERS ALSO PLANTTING .

      2.3 Socio – Economic and development Status of Rural Dhalith.

      Most Dhalith And irulas community land less labars are small & marginal farmers or landless labourers. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood but the single rainfed crop of cereals is uable to feed most families for more than 4 to 6 months. There is no employment in the region apart from felling trees for forest area cut trees or working as labors in fields or on government jobs. This kind of employment benefits a minority of the population for a short period of time.

      Cash in a scarce commodity in the face of widespread unemployment and quite often Dhalith do not have cash even for requirements like purchase of food grains or other house construction or repairs, illness or death in the family, etc., are even more difficult lenders at exhorbitant intrest rates. Dhalith often find it difficult to repay the money lender’s loan. In the past, forests used to provide various subsistence needs of a majority of people during the lean months but these days people are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet on account of widespread deforestation. Deforestation has also resulted in decreased employment to those engaged in tree felling. The health and nutrition status of Dhalith is poor. Local health traditions of Dhalith are in a weak shape and the Government health delivery system fails to meet the health needs of people. Literacy is high and Government efforts to promote education amongst Dhalith children are counter productive on account of the difficult sysllabous and teaching methods. Most elders. They end up as misfits in the Dhalith context. Facilities like housing drinking water, electricity are primitive, to say the least.
      Land and Water:

      Most of the land in the region is hilly and undulating. Agriculture is confined to low lands in plains / valleys and gentle slopes. The laterite soils are shallow, with poor fertility and low water holding capacity. Soil fertility is dependent on the organic matter provided by trees growing on slopes and hill sides. The quality of soils is deteriorating becauses of the dwindling forest cover and increasing use of chemical fertilisers for boosting agricultural productivity. The region receives very poor rainfall (upto 68mm) during June- September. Most of the water runs off to the Thenpannai River due to the fractured basalt rock geology and poor water holding capacity of soils. The 8 month dry period is hence characterized by severe water stress and dinking water scarcity. The contrasting situation of very poor rainfall for 3-4 months followed by water stress imposes restrictions on cropping seasons and crops grown. There is an acute drinking water scarcity during summer months and villagers often have to walk long distances to fetch drinking water. This generally translates into increased work load for women. Water scarcity in turn results in unhygenic conditions in villages leading to the contamination of drinking water sources. These conditions provide fertile ground for spread of various water borne diseases. Specially Leprosy.

      Climate:
      The climate of the region is characterised by three distinct season, viz. Summer (February – May), Monsoon (June to September-October November ,December ) and Winter (November to January-February). The temperatures range from a maximum during summers to a minimum of OC during winters.

      Agriculture:
      Over 40% people are landless while the remaining people are small & marginal farmers with average land holdings of 1-9 acres (0.5 to 19/2 acre paddy fields and 1 to 1.5 acres upland) without water. Agriculture in the region is subsistence based and consists of a single rain fed crop of paddy on low lands and millets (finger millet and proso millet) on gentle slopes during the (monsoon) season. Some pulses are also grown as intercrop in the millets. Of the total land area, only 55% is cultivable land. The land under rice is a meager 9-10 % The soils of the region are not fertile and hence agriculture is not an economically viable proposition. On an average, agricultural produce supports partial food needs of families for not more than 5-6 months in a year. The lands are left fallow during the dry period (October-November to May – June) Pulses oilseeds and vegetables are not cultivated in the region. Dhalith have to depend on the market (local markets or traders) for their requirement of pulses. The quality of these commodities sold in the market is poor. Lack of adequate pulses. Oilseeds and vegetables in diets has an adverse effect on the health of Dhalith.

      Forests:
      The region is Rural Hill areas,lake and temple land and community land West hill continue forests. The common plant species found are Tectona grandis (Teak), Medhuca indica (Moha), Butea monosperma (Palash), Terminalia crenulaa (Aien), Bridelia retusa (Asana), Legerstroemia parviflora (Bondara), Acacia catechu (Khair), Carissa carandas (Karvanda), Calycopteris floribunda (Ukshi), Woodfordia fruiticosa (Dhayati), Pungan, Navel, Nelli, Tambrent, Bamboo, Localtrees, 49 verities planting every year RDAS /RIC PLANTING TREES ALL Growing very well all trees and school Studies show that forests meet between 30-40% of the food needs of Dhalith community (especially poor families) apart from many direct and indirect contributions to the subsistence economy of local people. Forests are a source of diverse, uncultivated foods during the lean months, Tubers/ rhizomes, vegetables, fruits & Nuts, Oil seeds, gum, crabs, game, honey, lemon trees etc. are some of the important uncultivated foods. Forests also provide a manure, wood for construction, tools & crafts, implements, dyes, etc. Forests thus plays an important role in meeting the subsistence needs of local communities. The valuable timber species found in the region (Neem, Tamberiend, lemon, Gova, mango, Bombu, Eluppai, Dhandri, Alan, Arasan Athi, Vilva) are a curse on the forests. Legal tree felling for timber has depleted the forest cover to a large extent. thanimalai Hill area. Large scale deforestation in the region has destabilized the subsistence economy of Dhalith Availability of foods from the forests has decreased and food security has become a major issue. People are becoming increasingly dependent on agriculture of their food needs. Loss of forests and trees from slopes and hill side is resulting in severe soil erosion, decreasing soil fertility and water shortages.

      A Brief report on RDAS/RIC activities
      Traditional Medicine and Primary Health Care
      Local health traditions (also termed traditional medicine or folk medicine) were once common in the tribal region. Every village had atleast one sueen (Traditional Birth attendant) and more than one vaidu (folk practitioner). There was also a large body of knowledge of simple home remedies. These Local Health AND Environmental Developments Dhalith community-supported, autonomous, oral in nature, self-reliant and based on the use of local resources, mainly plants. For instance, there are reports of 450 medicinal plant species being used by Dhalith in 3 VILLAGES ,MEYYUR,NALLAVANPALAYAM ,KILANNIKARAI VILLAGES Tiruvannamalai. Promotion of Allopathic medicine and utter neglect of traditional medicine by the Government and mainstream medical institutions has literally wiped out local health traditions prevalent in Villages regions. Academy’s efforts are aimed at revitalizing local health traditions without disturbing their autonomy. Regular training programmes are conducted for Local Health Workers, housewives and Village women’s interested in learning about herbal medicine. Village level aushadhikaran (medicine preparation) camps are organized to train women in simple processing techniques for the treatment of common ailments. RDAS also organizes training programmes on herbal medicine for NGOs, Community Groups, Schools, etc., 10 Villages. Over the past year RDAS has been concentrating on the treatment of gynecological problems using traditional medicine. A team of women health workers has been working in 10 villages to address the health issues of women and children. The results are encouraging. RDAS has been able to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of traditional medicine in addressing basis health care issues in a Dhalith Context. Medicinal plants constitute the main resource base of traditional medicine. Unavailability of medicinal planst to people for health care needs is an issue of concern. RDAS has hence undertaken work on conservation and sustainable utilization of medicinal plants. A medicinal plants garden and nursery has been established on 120 cents of land. Most than 450 medicinal plant species are growing in the garden. An ethno-medicinal herbarium, raw drug and seed have been established. Saplings of over 100 different medicinal plant species were raised and distributed. RDAS in engaged in building capacities of NGOs from other regions through training programmes on traditional medicine. A number of such NGOs are now involved in meaningful work on traditional medicine and primary health care. The concept is thus gradually spreading to our work areas.

      Ecological Agriculture and Conservation Village Resources:

      RDAS is engaged in promoting ecological agricultural practices amongst farmers in the Dhalith region of Tiruvannamalai Indiscriminate and widespread use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides by Dhalith farmers is a cause of concern, Efforts are being made to demonstrate the benefits of ecological agriculture. The importance of compost, vermin compost, green manures, etc, is being communicated to farmers. Demonstration and field trials are being organized.

      Natural Resource Management

      DHALITH regions of Raigad and Thane have witnessed severe degradation of natural resources over the past 25-30 years. Alienation of DHALITH from forests and illegal tree felling by vested interests are perhaps the major reasons. A degraded environmental offers little potential for livelihood opportunities.

      RADS is implementing a Watershed Development Programme in our locations. RADS is concerned about restoring the ecological balance of the area for improved livelihood opportunities to local people. Village Watershed Committees are responsible for palnning, implantation and monitoring of the programme. The programme involves awareness generation, capacity building, community mobilization followed by soil/ water conservation work, tree plantation, social development employment generation, etc.

      RADS is also trying to address issues of forest conservation. Efforts are being made to create awareness about the importance of forests. Saplings of native tree species are raised in nurseries and distributed to farmers. The distress sale of private forests by local tribal to forest contractors is prevented through the creation of a forest conservation project. Cash loans are given to framers who are considering sale of their private forests for meeting emergency cash needs. Farmers are expected to repay the money over a period of 2-5 years and , in return, undertake to protect their forests.

      Awareness and networking programmes on village Forest Management (VFM) are being organised by RADS.

      Horticulture

      Promotes growing of fruit trees on barren/sloping lands of small & marginal farmers. About 3950 fruit trees and 3950 other trees are planted on one-acre of land. The choice of species is such that they serve diverse day-to-day needs for fuel wood, fodder, small timber, etc. Fruits make an important contribution to the nutrition of poor families apart from providing income to farmers. Fruit tree orchards have so far been set up on over 300 acres of barren land.

      A major constraint in promoting growing of fruit trees in tribal regions of Ranged and Thane Districts is unavailability of authentic planting material ( saplings and grafts) of different fruit tree varieties. Academy is trying to address this problem by setting up a Community Gene park and Nursery of fruit trees and bamboos suited to region. Different varieties of Mango, Jackfruit, Cashew, Jamun, Amla, Guava, Chikoo, Karvanda and Bamboo species have been planted in the Gene park and these are being used to raise grafts and saplings for distribution to farmers in tribal regions.

      Academy also promotes decentralized village-level nurseries owned and managed by local farmers, mainly women. The nurseries serve as a source of saplings/grafts for various plantation programmes undertaken in the region. The nurseries are a source of employment to tribal families.

      VILLAGE SHG GROUP were considered as one of the possibilities to address food security concerns in tribal regions. Grain Banks are village-level institutions which ensure availability of food grains to members during the lean period. RDAS initiated the Programme in 5 DHALITH hamlets during 2008-2009 By 2010, RADS has established 15 grain banks in 10 villages of Raged and Thane Districts. Grain Banks have promoted food security amongst small & marginal farmers and have reduced their dependence on Saucers.

      RADS provides the initial grain loan and entrusts management of the grain bank to a Village Panchyath Committee consisting of village elders. Each grain bank achieves self-reliance by repaying the grain loan to RDAS over a period of four years. The grain bank is fully self-reliant from the fifth year onwards. Details about the implementation of the Grain Bank programme and its impact in villages have been given in a small booklet published by RDAS. Copy of the booklet is being sent by post.

      The Government of India- Tamilnadu was highly impressed by the success of the RDAS programme and it has taken up replication of the programme in all DHALITH regions of Tamil Nadu through the Tiruvannamalai which is aimed at reducing malnutrition and starvation in tribal regions. However, the Programme has turned out to be a failure due to faulty design and poor implementation. RADS has repeatedly pointed out the weaknesses of the programme to concerned Government officials but so far there is no political will to bring about fundamental, pro-people changes in the programme.

      RADS has now presented the mater to officials in the DHALITH Affairs in efforts to bring about improvements in the Government programme. RADS has also facilitated a network of NGOs in Tamilnadu for setting up grain banks in different regions. RDAS has organised several training and capacity building programmes for these NGOs. A large number of Grain Banks are now slowly taking shape in different parts of TAMIL NADU.

      RADS efforts to set up Grain Banks, to facilitate replication through other NGOs and to influence Government’s policy on food security are thus paying rich dividends. The RDAS Grain Bank programme is today acknowledged as one of the most innovative food security intervention in India.

      RADS is engaged in addressing issues of women’s empowerment in village of Karjat and Murbad Takuka. Efforts are being made to establish Self-Help Groups (SHG)s of women to collectively address problems faced by tribal families and to seek active participation of women in village development activities. Awareness programme are organised on for increased participation of women in Gram Sabhas.

      10 Villages SHGs have been set up so far. Tribal women have enrolled as members and are involved in savings & credit programmes through which they can seek assistance to meet emergency cash needs. Women have sorted out issues of drinking water, electricity connections, roads, etc. and are taking active part in cleanliness drives in villages. Sanitation, clean drinking water and nutrition are slowly brining about positive changes in the lives of tribal families. Women are seen taking a lead in village and social development.

      Earth work all cotchments pond are completed

      To plant trees 3950seedlings Earth work
      Nallavanpalayam,meyyu,kilannaikarai, Erikarai all work completed this 15th septermber 2009

      Purchase of the seedlings total planting = 4500
      RDAS Nursery seedlings = 1000

      Total Plantation nallavanpalayam,meyyur,kilannaikarai erikarai areas : = 49Species,

      TREE PLANTING PROGRAMME:

      In the Village of nallavanpalayam,meyyur Erikarai Both side Tree plantation 3500, Erikarai area road side 1000 Tree plantation, temple land 1000 and school land proper soil conservation water harvestation work past 9 months. So we did soil conservation on work. The Erikarai top soil fertility improved in a year

      1. Soil conservation work nallavanpalayam,meyyu,kilannaikarai, Erikarai Both side 21/2km tree planting wedded
      2. Water harvestation work nallavanpalayam,meyyur,kilannaikarai.
      3. nallavanpalayam Big bunds have been raised to harvest the rain water and top soil in the Erikarai. New the beneficiaries are farmers, animals, buts,

      We have promoted agro forestry work in the EriKarai both side, to provide fuel, fodder ad timber.

      We plants, fodder plants and some of the timber plants, through this programme one Village forest promoting project.

      The Greening of Village forest project:nallavanpalayam Erikarai the Village forest committee is made up of rural persons with a particular interest in reforestation. Including some forestation project past 9 years. RDAS Project on going programme.

      Village Erikarai plantation project Development work:-

      We did Erikarai plantation reclamation work in 1km, 150 acres of Erikarai Village Land, nallavanpalayam,meyyur Village formers 650 family totally small and marginal farmers have been benefited out of the work. We did soil conservation, bund raising, pebbles and bushes clearing work in all the lands. Now the farmers are planting 3950 seeding 49 family crops in a year, their old age group benefit, all trees seed collecting and sale, Neem, Tamperiend, Pungam, seeds sales, and Herbal plants in the nallavanpalayam,meyyur Erikarai area plantation, benefit Village children.

      Earth Work completed
      1. Tree planting nallavanpalayam,meyyur ,Erikarai area 21/2km –total 4500
      2. Bunding work 4500 Plants – 4500
      3. Mulching work 4500 Plants – 4500
      4. 2Km Melkachirappattu Erikarai fencing work both side – 4500
      5. 4500 plants watering week once, monthly 12 day watering – 4500
      6. Maintaining 4500 Trees One year –
      7. Old Trees 3450 avounzea afforestation Activities – 3450
      8. solaiammanTemple 4 ,50 cents -1/2 x 11 -1/2 ft bund up Temples in the project area.

      Kindly request to you 2009-2010 project work starting sir ,RDAS/RIC Project work starting sir RDAS already sending proposal sending to you sir ,this year RDAS/RIC planting 5000 seedlings this time sir .this year your funds sending to me soon sir ,after rain no growing trees sir last year no good rain planting trees more less growing sir.it is good time planting sir ,first rain planting trees all growing 95 % trees very well growing sir.

      RDAS project this year starting sir ,when your support to me assistance supporting sir.
      Thanking you
      Yours sincerely
      p.subramanian

      Source Link: http://www.fundsforngos.org/scholarships-2/tony-blair-faith-foundation-accepting-applications-faiths-act-fellowship-201112#ixzz1BgLnCBtN
      Copyright©FUNDSFORNGOS.ORG. Do not remove this link.
      Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

  2. How often do these projects occur?
    She sounds amazing and well organized and creative.

  3. dear sir,madam, i am subramanian,RDAS organization work in tiruvannamalai ,past 21 years tree planting work ,rainforest information center project working ,i want contact you ,py phone or email.

      • dear sir/mam,
        myself Rajavelu and aim 31 yr old.frm the state tamilnadu,India.ibeen searching for a job in the afforestaion sector.iam very fond of growing trees,which iam well awared of that trees are the only thing to consereve the world tomorrow and ever.
        so please join me to in your team so that i can get satisfied on doing good thing.pls mail me and give me a job.my mail Id is velu_kshatrian@yahoo.co.in.

  4. i am doing planting work in our areas lake bund ,mountan side planting and farmers land in our village side yearly 50,000 seedlings and seeds planting 100,000 and than mother bed sablings in our areas work .i need your guide and support

  5. SUBRAMANIAN
    RURAL DEVELOPMENT AFFORESTATION SOCIETY
    MELKACHIRAPPATTU,VILLAGE,MEYYUR.POST,TIRUVANNAMALAI,TK.DT,PIN .606753

    TO
    THE DIRECTOR,
    VOLUNTEERS

    GREETINGS FROM RDAS,TIRUVANNAMALAI ,INDIA .

    RDAS PLANTING WORK LAST YEAR PROJECT AREAS NALLAVANPALAYAM ERIKARAI 1500 AND COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LAND SEEDLINGS PLANTING AND THAN THANIMALAI HILL 1000 SEEDLINGS AND THAN SOLAIAMMAN TEMPLE LAND 1000 PLANTATION PROGRESS TWO VILLAGE SCHOOL CHILDREN PLANTING MEYYUR SCHOOL 250 SEEDLINGS AND NALLAVANPALAYAM SCHOOL 150 SEEDLINGS ,NALLAVANPALAYAM FARMERS BANK SOCIETY 300 SEEDLINGS PLANATING AND THAN THIS YEAR 2009 -2010 PROJECT ALSO STARTING PLANTING WORK SAME AREA ALSO PLANTING WORK STARTING LAST WEEK 1500 SEEDLINGS PLANTING WORK COMPLETING .REPORT FOR

    THE AUGUST 2008- – AUGUST 2009 project work reporting :

    reforestation 3 village PLANTATION WORK REPORT 2008-2009 completing work and this year project starting 5000 seedlings planting work starting 2009-2010 project starting same village follow-up programme :

    INTRODUCTION:

    Rural Development Afforestation Society is one of the Non-Governmental volunteer organization working for the up liftment of rural poorest, socio economic development, farmers association promoting, Re-Forestation, plantation, reforest, Environmental Development programme, it is non-profitable organization, registered under the Tamil Nadu Society Act RDAS Registration in the year 1995, registration Number is 56/1995. This organization also organized the various programmed and activities for the Welfare of the poorest. During the year we have organized the following activities in co-ordination /DONOR with Mr. John Seed/ RIC Australia and other Non-Governmental organization successfully.

    RDAS Progress report of the project of preventing soil erosion an promoting greenery around THANIMALAI,NALLAVANPALAYAM ,MEYYUR Villages catchments pond are plantation work, 4500 seedlings the project was to prevent soil erosion on the slopes of Erikarai 2 1/2km, Both side catchments pond, Erikarai plantation work , August 2008 to 2009 , the catchments pond area planting work is don, maintain One year this project getting tree products the benefits Ares the agriculturists, surrounding the tank area 280 farmers family benefit nallavanpalayam,meyyur,thanimalai Villages and 280 workers work planting, Bonding, fencing pruning work, catchments pond area 90 days working. The work completed 4500 Tree planting, Bunding, fencing, watering work and maintained one year nallavanpalayam,thanimalai,meyyur area planting working Erikarai. Thanimalai,hill and temple land and nallavanpalayam cooperative society land planting .

    RDAS is committed to rural work based on an appreciation of many positive features of rural life and society. It sees a big challenge in revitalization of the rural economy whilst strengthening its ecological base. It draws inspiration from the rich and diverse indigenous cultures and knowledge systems.

    RDAS is actively involved in wide range of rural development activities aimed at addressing problems faced by local communities in rural regions of Tiruvannamalai Districts. The thrust areas of RDAS Traditional medicine and primary health care; Ecological agriculture and conservation of plant genetic resources; Nutrition and food security; Employment generation; Education; Natural resource management; Community video; and Women’s empowerment.

    To the Report on RDAS activities it would be useful to gain a better understanding of the region and the people with whom RDAS works. This will be followed by the report.

    2. About the area and people

    2.1. Area and Location
    RDAS is located in the Tiruvannamalai, Block & District, Tamil Nadu, West of Chennai RDAS works in over 10 Villages of Tiruvannamalai Block.

    2008-2009 project work villages
    ——————————————–

    1)NALLAVANPALAYAM, 1500 -300 TOTAL 1800 SEEDLINGS PLANTING
    2)MEYYUR VILLAGE TMPLE LAND 1000 –SCHOOL LAND ALSO SEEDLINGS PLANTING
    3)THANIMALAI HILL AREA 1000 SEEDLINGS PLANTING
    4 )NALLAVANPALAYAM COOPERATIVE SOCIET LAND 300 SEEDLINGS PLANTING
    5)NALLAVANPALAYAM, VILLAGE SCHOOL LAND PLANTING 400 SEEDLINGS PLANTING WITH CHILDRENS .AND FARMERS ALSO PLANTTING .

    2.3 Socio – Economic and development Status of Rural Dhalith.

    Most Dhalith And irulas community land less labars are small & marginal farmers or landless labourers. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood but the single rainfed crop of cereals is uable to feed most families for more than 4 to 6 months. There is no employment in the region apart from felling trees for forest area cut trees or working as labors in fields or on government jobs. This kind of employment benefits a minority of the population for a short period of time.

    Cash in a scarce commodity in the face of widespread unemployment and quite often Dhalith do not have cash even for requirements like purchase of food grains or other house construction or repairs, illness or death in the family, etc., are even more difficult lenders at exhorbitant intrest rates. Dhalith often find it difficult to repay the money lender’s loan. In the past, forests used to provide various subsistence needs of a majority of people during the lean months but these days people are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet on account of widespread deforestation. Deforestation has also resulted in decreased employment to those engaged in tree felling. The health and nutrition status of Dhalith is poor. Local health traditions of Dhalith are in a weak shape and the Government health delivery system fails to meet the health needs of people. Literacy is high and Government efforts to promote education amongst Dhalith children are counter productive on account of the difficult sysllabous and teaching methods. Most elders. They end up as misfits in the Dhalith context. Facilities like housing drinking water, electricity are primitive, to say the least.
    Land and Water:

    Most of the land in the region is hilly and undulating. Agriculture is confined to low lands in plains / valleys and gentle slopes. The laterite soils are shallow, with poor fertility and low water holding capacity. Soil fertility is dependent on the organic matter provided by trees growing on slopes and hill sides. The quality of soils is deteriorating becauses of the dwindling forest cover and increasing use of chemical fertilisers for boosting agricultural productivity. The region receives very poor rainfall (upto 68mm) during June- September. Most of the water runs off to the Thenpannai River due to the fractured basalt rock geology and poor water holding capacity of soils. The 8 month dry period is hence characterized by severe water stress and dinking water scarcity. The contrasting situation of very poor rainfall for 3-4 months followed by water stress imposes restrictions on cropping seasons and crops grown. There is an acute drinking water scarcity during summer months and villagers often have to walk long distances to fetch drinking water. This generally translates into increased work load for women. Water scarcity in turn results in unhygenic conditions in villages leading to the contamination of drinking water sources. These conditions provide fertile ground for spread of various water borne diseases. Specially Leprosy.

    Climate:
    The climate of the region is characterised by three distinct season, viz. Summer (February – May), Monsoon (June to September-October November ,December ) and Winter (November to January-February). The temperatures range from a maximum during summers to a minimum of OC during winters.

    Agriculture:
    Over 40% people are landless while the remaining people are small & marginal farmers with average land holdings of 1-9 acres (0.5 to 19/2 acre paddy fields and 1 to 1.5 acres upland) without water. Agriculture in the region is subsistence based and consists of a single rain fed crop of paddy on low lands and millets (finger millet and proso millet) on gentle slopes during the (monsoon) season. Some pulses are also grown as intercrop in the millets. Of the total land area, only 55% is cultivable land. The land under rice is a meager 9-10 % The soils of the region are not fertile and hence agriculture is not an economically viable proposition. On an average, agricultural produce supports partial food needs of families for not more than 5-6 months in a year. The lands are left fallow during the dry period (October-November to May – June) Pulses oilseeds and vegetables are not cultivated in the region. Dhalith have to depend on the market (local markets or traders) for their requirement of pulses. The quality of these commodities sold in the market is poor. Lack of adequate pulses. Oilseeds and vegetables in diets has an adverse effect on the health of Dhalith.

    Forests:
    The region is Rural Hill areas,lake and temple land and community land West hill continue forests. The common plant species found are Tectona grandis (Teak), Medhuca indica (Moha), Butea monosperma (Palash), Terminalia crenulaa (Aien), Bridelia retusa (Asana), Legerstroemia parviflora (Bondara), Acacia catechu (Khair), Carissa carandas (Karvanda), Calycopteris floribunda (Ukshi), Woodfordia fruiticosa (Dhayati), Pungan, Navel, Nelli, Tambrent, Bamboo, Localtrees, 49 verities planting every year RDAS /RIC PLANTING TREES ALL Growing very well all trees and school Studies show that forests meet between 30-40% of the food needs of Dhalith community (especially poor families) apart from many direct and indirect contributions to the subsistence economy of local people. Forests are a source of diverse, uncultivated foods during the lean months, Tubers/ rhizomes, vegetables, fruits & Nuts, Oil seeds, gum, crabs, game, honey, lemon trees etc. are some of the important uncultivated foods. Forests also provide a manure, wood for construction, tools & crafts, implements, dyes, etc. Forests thus plays an important role in meeting the subsistence needs of local communities. The valuable timber species found in the region (Neem, Tamberiend, lemon, Gova, mango, Bombu, Eluppai, Dhandri, Alan, Arasan Athi, Vilva) are a curse on the forests. Legal tree felling for timber has depleted the forest cover to a large extent. thanimalai Hill area. Large scale deforestation in the region has destabilized the subsistence economy of Dhalith Availability of foods from the forests has decreased and food security has become a major issue. People are becoming increasingly dependent on agriculture of their food needs. Loss of forests and trees from slopes and hill side is resulting in severe soil erosion, decreasing soil fertility and water shortages.

    A Brief report on RDAS/RIC activities
    Traditional Medicine and Primary Health Care
    Local health traditions (also termed traditional medicine or folk medicine) were once common in the tribal region. Every village had atleast one sueen (Traditional Birth attendant) and more than one vaidu (folk practitioner). There was also a large body of knowledge of simple home remedies. These Local Health AND Environmental Developments Dhalith community-supported, autonomous, oral in nature, self-reliant and based on the use of local resources, mainly plants. For instance, there are reports of 450 medicinal plant species being used by Dhalith in 3 VILLAGES ,MEYYUR,NALLAVANPALAYAM ,KILANNIKARAI VILLAGES Tiruvannamalai. Promotion of Allopathic medicine and utter neglect of traditional medicine by the Government and mainstream medical institutions has literally wiped out local health traditions prevalent in Villages regions. Academy’s efforts are aimed at revitalizing local health traditions without disturbing their autonomy. Regular training programmes are conducted for Local Health Workers, housewives and Village women’s interested in learning about herbal medicine. Village level aushadhikaran (medicine preparation) camps are organized to train women in simple processing techniques for the treatment of common ailments. RDAS also organizes training programmes on herbal medicine for NGOs, Community Groups, Schools, etc., 10 Villages. Over the past year RDAS has been concentrating on the treatment of gynecological problems using traditional medicine. A team of women health workers has been working in 10 villages to address the health issues of women and children. The results are encouraging. RDAS has been able to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of traditional medicine in addressing basis health care issues in a Dhalith Context. Medicinal plants constitute the main resource base of traditional medicine. Unavailability of medicinal planst to people for health care needs is an issue of concern. RDAS has hence undertaken work on conservation and sustainable utilization of medicinal plants. A medicinal plants garden and nursery has been established on 120 cents of land. Most than 450 medicinal plant species are growing in the garden. An ethno-medicinal herbarium, raw drug and seed have been established. Saplings of over 100 different medicinal plant species were raised and distributed. RDAS in engaged in building capacities of NGOs from other regions through training programmes on traditional medicine. A number of such NGOs are now involved in meaningful work on traditional medicine and primary health care. The concept is thus gradually spreading to our work areas.

    Ecological Agriculture and Conservation Village Resources:

    RDAS is engaged in promoting ecological agricultural practices amongst farmers in the Dhalith region of Tiruvannamalai Indiscriminate and widespread use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides by Dhalith farmers is a cause of concern, Efforts are being made to demonstrate the benefits of ecological agriculture. The importance of compost, vermin compost, green manures, etc, is being communicated to farmers. Demonstration and field trials are being organized.

    Natural Resource Management

    DHALITH regions of Raigad and Thane have witnessed severe degradation of natural resources over the past 25-30 years. Alienation of DHALITH from forests and illegal tree felling by vested interests are perhaps the major reasons. A degraded environmental offers little potential for livelihood opportunities.

    RADS is implementing a Watershed Development Programme in our locations. RADS is concerned about restoring the ecological balance of the area for improved livelihood opportunities to local people. Village Watershed Committees are responsible for palnning, implantation and monitoring of the programme. The programme involves awareness generation, capacity building, community mobilization followed by soil/ water conservation work, tree plantation, social development employment generation, etc.

    RADS is also trying to address issues of forest conservation. Efforts are being made to create awareness about the importance of forests. Saplings of native tree species are raised in nurseries and distributed to farmers. The distress sale of private forests by local tribal to forest contractors is prevented through the creation of a forest conservation project. Cash loans are given to framers who are considering sale of their private forests for meeting emergency cash needs. Farmers are expected to repay the money over a period of 2-5 years and , in return, undertake to protect their forests.

    Awareness and networking programmes on village Forest Management (VFM) are being organised by RADS.

    Horticulture

    Promotes growing of fruit trees on barren/sloping lands of small & marginal farmers. About 3950 fruit trees and 3950 other trees are planted on one-acre of land. The choice of species is such that they serve diverse day-to-day needs for fuel wood, fodder, small timber, etc. Fruits make an important contribution to the nutrition of poor families apart from providing income to farmers. Fruit tree orchards have so far been set up on over 300 acres of barren land.

    A major constraint in promoting growing of fruit trees in tribal regions of Ranged and Thane Districts is unavailability of authentic planting material ( saplings and grafts) of different fruit tree varieties. Academy is trying to address this problem by setting up a Community Gene park and Nursery of fruit trees and bamboos suited to region. Different varieties of Mango, Jackfruit, Cashew, Jamun, Amla, Guava, Chikoo, Karvanda and Bamboo species have been planted in the Gene park and these are being used to raise grafts and saplings for distribution to farmers in tribal regions.

    Academy also promotes decentralized village-level nurseries owned and managed by local farmers, mainly women. The nurseries serve as a source of saplings/grafts for various plantation programmes undertaken in the region. The nurseries are a source of employment to tribal families.

    VILLAGE SHG GROUP were considered as one of the possibilities to address food security concerns in tribal regions. Grain Banks are village-level institutions which ensure availability of food grains to members during the lean period. RDAS initiated the Programme in 5 DHALITH hamlets during 2008-2009 By 2010, RADS has established 15 grain banks in 10 villages of Raged and Thane Districts. Grain Banks have promoted food security amongst small & marginal farmers and have reduced their dependence on Saucers.

    RADS provides the initial grain loan and entrusts management of the grain bank to a Village Panchyath Committee consisting of village elders. Each grain bank achieves self-reliance by repaying the grain loan to RDAS over a period of four years. The grain bank is fully self-reliant from the fifth year onwards. Details about the implementation of the Grain Bank programme and its impact in villages have been given in a small booklet published by RDAS. Copy of the booklet is being sent by post.

    The Government of India- Tamilnadu was highly impressed by the success of the RDAS programme and it has taken up replication of the programme in all DHALITH regions of Tamil Nadu through the Tiruvannamalai which is aimed at reducing malnutrition and starvation in tribal regions. However, the Programme has turned out to be a failure due to faulty design and poor implementation. RADS has repeatedly pointed out the weaknesses of the programme to concerned Government officials but so far there is no political will to bring about fundamental, pro-people changes in the programme.

    RADS has now presented the mater to officials in the DHALITH Affairs in efforts to bring about improvements in the Government programme. RADS has also facilitated a network of NGOs in Tamilnadu for setting up grain banks in different regions. RDAS has organised several training and capacity building programmes for these NGOs. A large number of Grain Banks are now slowly taking shape in different parts of TAMIL NADU.

    RADS efforts to set up Grain Banks, to facilitate replication through other NGOs and to influence Government’s policy on food security are thus paying rich dividends. The RDAS Grain Bank programme is today acknowledged as one of the most innovative food security intervention in India.

    RADS is engaged in addressing issues of women’s empowerment in village of Karjat and Murbad Takuka. Efforts are being made to establish Self-Help Groups (SHG)s of women to collectively address problems faced by tribal families and to seek active participation of women in village development activities. Awareness programme are organised on for increased participation of women in Gram Sabhas.

    10 Villages SHGs have been set up so far. Tribal women have enrolled as members and are involved in savings & credit programmes through which they can seek assistance to meet emergency cash needs. Women have sorted out issues of drinking water, electricity connections, roads, etc. and are taking active part in cleanliness drives in villages. Sanitation, clean drinking water and nutrition are slowly brining about positive changes in the lives of tribal families. Women are seen taking a lead in village and social development.

    Earth work all cotchments pond are completed

    To plant trees 3950seedlings Earth work
    Nallavanpalayam,meyyu,kilannaikarai, Erikarai all work completed this 15th septermber 2009

    Purchase of the seedlings total planting = 4500
    RDAS Nursery seedlings = 1000

    Total Plantation nallavanpalayam,meyyur,kilannaikarai erikarai areas : = 49Species,

    TREE PLANTING PROGRAMME:

    In the Village of nallavanpalayam,meyyur Erikarai Both side Tree plantation 3500, Erikarai area road side 1000 Tree plantation, temple land 1000 and school land proper soil conservation water harvestation work past 9 months. So we did soil conservation on work. The Erikarai top soil fertility improved in a year

    1. Soil conservation work nallavanpalayam,meyyu,kilannaikarai, Erikarai Both side 21/2km tree planting wedded
    2. Water harvestation work nallavanpalayam,meyyur,kilannaikarai.
    3. nallavanpalayam Big bunds have been raised to harvest the rain water and top soil in the Erikarai. New the beneficiaries are farmers, animals, buts,

    We have promoted agro forestry work in the EriKarai both side, to provide fuel, fodder ad timber.

    We plants, fodder plants and some of the timber plants, through this programme one Village forest promoting project.

    The Greening of Village forest project:nallavanpalayam Erikarai the Village forest committee is made up of rural persons with a particular interest in reforestation. Including some forestation project past 9 years. RDAS Project on going programme.

    Village Erikarai plantation project Development work:-

    We did Erikarai plantation reclamation work in 1km, 150 acres of Erikarai Village Land, nallavanpalayam,meyyur Village formers 650 family totally small and marginal farmers have been benefited out of the work. We did soil conservation, bund raising, pebbles and bushes clearing work in all the lands. Now the farmers are planting 3950 seeding 49 family crops in a year, their old age group benefit, all trees seed collecting and sale, Neem, Tamperiend, Pungam, seeds sales, and Herbal plants in the nallavanpalayam,meyyur Erikarai area plantation, benefit Village children.

    Earth Work completed
    1. Tree planting nallavanpalayam,meyyur ,Erikarai area 21/2km –total 4500
    2. Bunding work 4500 Plants – 4500
    3. Mulching work 4500 Plants – 4500
    4. 2Km Melkachirappattu Erikarai fencing work both side – 4500
    5. 4500 plants watering week once, monthly 12 day watering – 4500
    6. Maintaining 4500 Trees One year –
    7. Old Trees 3450 avounzea afforestation Activities – 3450
    8. solaiammanTemple 4 ,50 cents -1/2 x 11 -1/2 ft bund up Temples in the project area.

    Kindly request to you 2009-2010 project work starting sir ,RDAS/RIC Project work starting sir RDAS already sending proposal sending to you sir ,this year RDAS/RIC planting 5000 seedlings this time sir .this year your funds sending to me soon sir ,after rain no growing trees sir last year no good rain planting trees more less growing sir.it is good time planting sir ,first rain planting trees all growing 95 % trees very well growing sir.

    RDAS project this year starting sir ,when your support to me assistance supporting sir.
    Thanking you
    Yours sincerely
    p.subramanian

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: