Sustainable lifestyles begin when we get creative with our environments and strive to form a relationship within its ecosystem.
The district is home to an indigenous tribe called Kondha. Until a few decades ago, the community used to largely depend on produce foraged from the forests, as well as subsistence agriculture. However, years of industrialisation and modernisation have jeopardised their socio-cultural relationship with this land. Rainfall variability, resource depletion and restrictions on traditional resource use have led to marginalisation and increased vulnerability.
As the environment collapses, so does their socio-economic and mental wellbeing. Over the last few years, the tribals have slowly been pushed to move out of their homes and take on urban menial jobs to survive the system.
I want to now show the community that they can go back to their roots while continuing to live in a contemporary world. I want to use the insights I’ve gained from my experience in agriculture and community development to show them how making a few changes on the land on which they live will reap them great rewards, monetary and otherwise.
I believe that the most effective way to reach out and inspire the community is through visual training. To that end, I am currently building a model farm in the village where I live, using the principles of permaculture. Through this, I hope to be able to get the youth in the neighbourhood excited about starting their own farms on their lands, which currently lie abandoned. I will be training them along every step of the way using my knowledge of sustainable agriculture to ensure they can all lead self-sufficient lives.
WHAT IS OUR IDEA?
Building a model permaculture farm and workspace.
This is a five-fold process:
1. Enthusiastic youth and women who have been identified in the community will be
provided with a workspace and mentorship to train in entrepreneurship skills, design, and permaculture.
2. Provide a support group and think tank for the community to create innovative
relationships with their environment. The community will also be taught how to create their own seed bank.
3. Lantana Camara, an invasive weed that currently occupies a lot of abandoned land in the region, can be processed into a hardy and free raw material to create beautiful furniture, thus providing the tribals with a viable entrepreneurship opportunity.
4. To restore the arable and forest lands, where the weed has been removed, through
5. Form a workspace that is sustainable and can continue to absorb the skills of those
trained within to create outreach programmes across the region.
We believe this could be a crucial first step towards forging a holistic relationship with the environment. The Sikiri tribal community will work alongside environmentalists, artists, designers, entrepreneurs, and you. A local NGO from Odisha, Swati, has already come forward to help us by allocating a piece of land for this workspace. This dream is not far from becoming reality.
And now, YOU can be a part of the dream of reviving the Kandhamal forests and helping the Sikiri tribal community flourish. Your contributions will help me initially to:
1. Create a small house with locally available material, and a rainwater storage tank.
2. Procure equipment to cut, craft and process Lantana Camara.
3. Provide salaries for 35 people to keep the project running for a minimum of two years to
graph a profit.
4. Invite and host experts in our workshop to provide world-class training in design,
permaculture, and entrepreneurship skills.
What will you get by helping us achieve our fundraising goal?
1. An ongoing relationship with the Sikiri family and the Kandhamal farms and forests.
2. A piece of furniture created with heart and gratitude.
3. An opportunity to be more involved in the restoration and afforestation of this region.
THE CONSEQUENCES YOU WILL CREATE
You will enable these poor farmers to climb out of poverty and increase in their incomes. It will generate a steady flow of employment for youth in remote rural areas. Further, it will also strengthen and breathe new life into the rich biodiversity of the region.
I look forward to providing a new space for community growth.
If you’re inspired by my work and would like to help, I heartily welcome your contributions. Please know that any amount contributed by you is greatly appreciated.
Here the amount I would need.
A Sustainable thatched house
Stonemason and labour
Fee's total 6 people - 90,000
Bamboo lining for roof - 23,000
Total -- 2,59,000.00
Total -- 5,33,000. 00
(Five lakh thirty three thousand)