Project Initiation Meet
A one day meet of Project Initiation of ERM projects for Swadhina was held at Ghatsila on May 7, 2018. Ghatsila is a little rural town near Jamshedpur in East Singbhum District in the Jharkhand State. ERM staff, Swadhina Staff and key village leaders from the Swadhina working area of the project were present for the event. The participants gathered sang together a Tagore Song “Aguner Parashmoni” (let light shine on our ways) to begin the meet. Thereafter the participants self introduced themselves. On behalf of ERM Ms. Sreemoyee Bhattacharya, Ms. Sonia Bhattacharya and Ms. Soumy Ghose were presented. Swadhina was represented by Ms. Smriti Sarkar and Ms. Saswati Roy. Swadhina project workers present were Papia Sharma, Madhumita Sarkar,
Ms. Saswati welcomed the participants. The village participants interacted on the activities and impact of Swadhina Activities taken up so far in the area.
Following pointers emerged while discussing the issues –
1. There was a Animal Rearing Training. As a follow-up of the training many started rearing goats and pigs with matching grant from Swadhina. This gave them specific income generation support for the family.
2. Participants also could get hands on training on animal health and treatment. This helped them in reducing the death rate of animals through vaccination programme. It has also helped them avoiding financial loss, because of loss of animal resources.
3. Organic Farming training could give them knowledge about environment and health hazards due to over use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
4. Organic Farming training could give them hands on know-how on making of natural organic fertilizers – like rotten fruits, stale cooked rice, jaggery etc
5. Many have already started Kitchen Garden which helped the families financial savings on vegetables purchase, as they do not buy vegetables from outside market. Also it helped in nutritional support in the family.
A very lively discussion followed upon the talk by ERM staff members present . Here are gists:
The issues that the ERM-Swadhina project wish to address should have a commercial implication for the villagers – they must be able to accrue some financial benefits out of the activitiy.
- how to market the kitchen garden produce in a commercial viable manner
- how to make the sale of compost and other organic fertilizers and pesticides
- how to raise plant nurseries in the kitchen garden and sale the plants.
There was a good discussion on Measuring the Success of the Project. The pointers came to the fore were:
- By the end of the project, around March 2019 , an impact study need to be conducted, to measure and monitor overall progress of the project components.
- Among the respondents at least 75% should the direct beneficiaries .
- The progress should be monitored in terms of percentage of usage, for instance at least 85% should use the smoke-less chullah, to term it a fully successful initiative.
- For selection of beneficiaries, at least 75% of the women members should agree on the need assessment
- Similarly for training, at least 75% of the trained persons should be able reap the follow-up benefits i.e. kitchen garden for those who already received organic farming training.
There was a very free and detailed discussion with the ERM staff on the entire project and future project perspective with the village leaders and Swadhina local staff and volunteers present on issues like Reporting, Quarterly Financial Returns, Time Table, E-Mail updates etc.
The programme ended with the Swadhina theme Song “Manush To Ek Din Jagbei “ (People with arise and awake, there will be all round development if we work hand in hand)