Armed with technology, this man revolutionised farming practices in his village
This is the story of Gomeshri Munda, a seemingly ordinary farmer. His village, Ulatu, is a remote village in Namkum block of Ranchi district in Jharkhand. It is picturesque, far from the crowd and nestled in a verdant and mountainous setting. Most of the villagers are low-literate smallholder farmers. Nothing is taken for granted in Ulatu. Electricity, rain, water, life. People carry on with the humdrum of their daily lives, unaffected by the digital revolution of urban cities. A smart phone is a rarity here. And so is a well-informed farmer. With no weather forecasts, it is difficult to know when it will rain. A look up at the sky, with a hand to the forehead and making an intelligent guess is as close as it gets. If you are right, your crop survives. If not, it's fate. But Gomeshri is brewing change here.
Triggering change, one video at a time
In 2007, Gomeshri was struck by the desire to help the women in Ulatu, by forming self-help groups for women. He was the bookkeeper for these groups, a role he continues to play. Today, he is associated with the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS).
JSLPS collaborates with Digital Green to produce videos about best practices for agriculture, livelihood and health using small, inexpensive video screen equipment.
Digital Green partners with revolutionaries like Gomeshri to make information the weapon of choice for thousands of villages across the country.
Gomeshri was trained to disseminate best practices through videos to self-help groups. Today, Gomeshri screens videos to several women's self-help groups in Ulatu. Through these videos, he tells them stories of how they can grow the best crops, improve their health, use organic manure, and everything else they need to know about farming. Many of these practices get adopted, in a testament to the impact of the video-enabled behavioural change.
Gomeshri’s dream is to see his community move out of poverty and for his village to be as developed as an urban area, in terms of infrastructure and education. As proponents of information technology, we should help Gomeshri increase his reach to more and more villages in Jharkhand
How You Can Help
This project aims to make these informational videos accessible to 4,500 farmers from 100 villages. The farmers will have access to timely and accurate information on locally relevant best practices to improve their yield. Every donation made by you, is matched by Mahindra and Mahindra, creating double the impact.
A donation of Rs 500 will help 1 community level extension agent to screen videos for self-help groups for 6 months
A donation of Rs 2,500 will help 2 community level extension agents to extend this information reach for an year
A donation of Rs 12,500 will help in procuring one set of video screening equipment, which will be used for dissemination of best practices in a village, covering 50 farmers;
A donation of Rs 50,000 will help in procuring four sets of video screening equipment, which will be used for dissemination of best practices in 4 village, covering 400 farmers;
In today's age of a digital revolution, anything and everything we need is available at our fingertips. But what about those people who need it the most and don't have access to it? There are some exceptional individuals like Gomeshri Munda who are bringing about a revolution in parts of rural India. It is necessary that we maintain this spark and bring out a change in the lives of our farmers.