INDIA, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Mobile Solar Water Pump Project (using solar panels). Funds for: solar powered pumps, 3 wheeler auto rickshaw and trailer unit.
The area is very remote and suffers from drought. The people who live in these areas are Tsunami survivors and tribal people.They have only received help from Vegfam and our project partner Interlock.
In other areas, multinational companies are moving in and installing electricity in the remote villages (to run water pumps etc), also providing the tribal people with televisions and luring family members to work in the cities, to pay for these commodities. Also, the companies are building roads and convincing these poverty stricken people to sell their sacred cows (which are never usually killed and live for over 40 years). The cows are then trucked abroad on the new roads and eventually processed into beef burgers.
Beneficiaries: poor and marginalised villagers, Tsunami survivors and tribal people. This project will ensure that villagers have the means to access clean, safe water. The solar powered mobile unit will pump water into storage tanks. It will then be moved on to the next village; returning in time to refill the storage tanks. It can work on 5 sites (villages) in a 7 day period. Local water supplies will be safeguarded. The villagers will not need an electricity supply - which will in turn keep village traditions intact and safeguard the natural environment.
Financed through Interlock Charitable Trust (Devon, UK).
INDIA, Nuzvid Mandal District, Andhra Pradesh.
Small Kitchen Gardens Programme and School Residential Project. Funds for: a food distribution and food production centre, school residential home/hostel and small kitchen gardens.
Staff - a cook, teacher, caretaker and helper (all staff will also be engaged in horticultural training and crop production work);
Emergency food and water - drinks and 3 nutritious meals per day, per child (including meals for staff and their families);
Utilities - electricity, fuel (and water); Hardware - plates, glasses etc;
Vegetable Gardens - land and building rental, organic seeds and tools.
Nuzvid Mandal is a drought prone area, consisting of 20 villages and 80 hamlets (116,613 people).
70% of the population are agricultural workers belonging to scheduled castes, tribes and backward communities. The Tsunami in 2004 destroyed much of their traditional work.
These people are oppressed, depressed and marginalised - forced to live on low wages as seasonal labourers, for 4 to 5 months of the year. For the remainder of the year, many family members leave in search of work elsewhere - often working in terrible conditions in stone quarries or cleaning drains and gutters (for less than 45p per day).
There are many orphans, disabled people and widows in the area. Thousands of dalit children (untouchables) are starving. These illiterate children have a shabby appearance and they are classed as 'drop outs' by the State. They are in constant pain because of hunger and are unable to study, so they are not able to attend school. Many have to take up child labour or scavenge for food.
Girls are often forced into the sex trade, to provide food for themselves and sometimes a small wage for their families. The children earn very little; being exploited into taking low wages. Many of them are destitute orphans or surviving in broken down huts with their widowed mothers. They also have to cope with disease and disabilities (especially polio).
Beneficiaries: 50 dalit children and staff at the food production centre/school residential home. Also benefiting up to 116,000 villagers and hut dwellers. Some of the most needy, destitute children (mainly widow's children under 6 years of age) will be allocated places at the centre. This project will provide emergency food (for 1 year), a residential home and education to the children. During the first year, a small kitchen garden will be set up on land in the grounds of the centre. It will also serve as an horticultural training centre (providing year long employment to local people).
Seeds and tools will be distributed to hut dwellers, to enable small kitchen gardens to be established in compounds around the huts and on other permissible land(s).The growing of surplus crops will be encouraged, to enable income generation and to offset additional costs of feeding the children and running the training centre.
Composting schemes will be set up and waste water will be utilised to irrigate the crops (fresh water has to be brought in).
Crops grown will be: aubergine (8 types), bajari (millet-like grain), cauliflower, corei (leaf greens), gourd (3 types), jawar (grain), okra, onions, methi (spinach-like greens), marrow, potatoes, rice (many types, but only in some areas), spinach (5 types), tendli (bean), wheat.
It has been assured that once the children have received a basic education, they will be accepted in to the State schooling system, as they will no longer be classed as 'drop outs' by the Government. The building will then be used as a home for the children (until they leave State school) as well as a food production/distribution centre. When these children leave the centre, it is hoped that a further 50 children will helped in the same way and that the building will continue to be used to benefit people in the area - by food being grown at the kitchen garden complex and by horticultural training being provided.
It is anticipated that a seed bank shall be set up and that the project will be replicated in future years - sharing seeds and produce with others who are not yet benefiting from the project.
The small kitchen gardens will provide food and employment to the local population. The feeding centre/food production centre and school residential hostel will remove the need for the children to scavenge or to be employed as child labourers and it will provide them with food, water, care, education and a safe home.
After the initial 1 year set up funding, the project should be ongoing and self-supporting. This project was devised by Interlock Charitable Trust (Devon, UK), in-country partner LEADS (Legal, Education and Development Society) and Vegfam.
Financed through Interlock Charitable Trust (Devon, UK)