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Going sustainable with community farming

Going sustainable with community farming

In an attempt to address the problems associated with forced migration and to create livelihood opportunities, Goonj along with its partner organization, developed a sustainable and profitable model of Community Farming to help the local communities of Beed (Maharashtra) under Goonj’s ‘Vaapsi’ (Livelihood) initiative to support around 160 individuals with seeds and farming materials apart from backing them in procuring 15 acres of land on lease and in contributing towards the first year’s rent.

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A tale from Sundarbans…re-building lives after a cyclone

A tale from Sundarbans…re-building lives after a cyclone

The villagers of Kachuberia,on Sagar Island in the Sundarbans delta of West Bengal, have to face frequent cyclones as a part of their lives, living as they do so close to nature. The recent Yaas cyclone in  Kachuberia completely destroyed their small village community hall, washing away everything with it.

When Team Goonj started to mobilize the community we found that this hall was very important for holding community events,

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Bringing back hope…

Bringing back hope…

Mahavir’s small makeshift hairdresser shop got swept away in the Kosi floods. Tired of living in relief camps for weeks, with no source of sustenance he didn’t know how to rebuild his life. After the Kosi floods, Goonj identified people who either had low investment occupations like Mahavir or were interested in starting one. Goonj contributed basic occupational kits to them. In return, people would need to do some shramdaan (voluntary labor) for their own community.

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A journey of dignified livelihood

A journey of dignified livelihood

When we met a young group of women in Rayate in Kalyan block, Thane district, Maharashtra, we could immediately sense that they were rearing to start something of their own. All they needed was a little nudge. We connected with our local partner Yuva Sanskar Bahuuddeshiya Samajik Sanstha, to mobilise these 34 women, organise 5 sewing machines for them to start learning tailoring.“Earlier, if we wanted to take sewing instructions,

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Into oblivion…and back

Into oblivion…and back

Can a village pond, which was once used for daily activities – bathing, fishing, washing, irrigation – be a matter of oblivion for its community for over a decade? For the people of Pallassena in Palakkad district of Kerala, it has been.

The recurrent sightings of poisonous snakes clubbed with the contamination of water by people bathing cattle in summers forced them to forsake their village pond nearly a decade ago.

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To ensure safe travel

To ensure safe travel

To ensure safe travel for the 50 families of the village during the monsoon, 25 residents from Katkaripada, Talwada village in Palghar district of Maharashtra, came together to work under Goonj’s ‘Dignity for Work’ initiative to build a bamboo bridge across the village creek. Goonj motivated them and rewarded their efforts with Rahat Kits. Though paddy cultivation is at its peak during the monsoon, the torrential creek water poses a threat to the farmers making it difficult for them to venture out into the fields.

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Cyclone Nisarga-hit Bandarwadi village in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district

Cyclone Nisarga-hit Bandarwadi village in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district

“If there was an emergency in our village, we would have been completely stuck and given today’s circumstances, emergencies can happen anytime,” says Niketan, a resident of cyclone Nisarga-hit Bandarwadi village in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district. It was this disposition of theirs and a little motivation from Goonj that encouraged 17 residents of his village to work under our ‘Dignity For Work’ initiative towards the cleaning of their 500-metre stretch of the main road that was completely covered with cyclone debris.

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An awareness session on sanitation & hygiene

An awareness session on sanitation & hygiene

Keeping in mind the health concerns of the present day, in nine villages of Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, our team members conducted awareness sessions on sanitation and hygiene to home-bound school kids. Moreover, as the children were wearing adult-size face masks, they were gifted with kids’ masks for better protection. As on June 15, we have made 3,20,000+ face masks.
Storyteller – Rekha Rawat and Vivek Bhatt

We are there…Need you too…To know more about our work &

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A rainwater harvesting pit for the upcoming monsoon

A rainwater harvesting pit for the upcoming monsoon

To tap the rainwater of the upcoming monsoon, 14 villagers of Shahpur in Thane district, Maharashtra – under Goonj’s ‘Dignity For Work’ initiative – worked towards the making of a rainwater harvesting pit to ensure perennial availability of water for their needs.
Storyteller – Dattatray Patil (Goonj Fellow)

To know more about our work & to donate – bit.ly/RahatCOVID19

#DignityForWork #Goonj

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Making the Pond ready for monsoon

Making the Pond ready for monsoon

In Manchia village of Puri district, Odisha, keeping the monsoon in mind, 29 locals came together under Goonj’s ‘Dignity For Work’ initiative, to clean 400 sqm of the village pond to make it suitable for use.
Storyteller – Jagdish Kumar (Team Goonj)
Partner organization- Gram Vikas Sahayak Sanstha
To know more about our work & to donate – bit.ly/RahatCOVID19

#DignityForWork #Goonj

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Livelihood generation…

Livelihood generation…

In Sansargarh village of Rajnandgaon district, motivated by Goonj team member Prahlad Patel, 23 locals planted saplings of elephant foot yam and taro root. Under Goonj’s ‘Dignity For Work’ initiative and with the support of our partner organization Samagra Srishti Sansthan, the plantation happened on the ridge of the newly-constructed village pond. Owing to their high nutritional value, the villagers are looking to make good returns from selling the produce in the market.

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Tamil Nadu: Ensuring food security

Tamil Nadu: Ensuring food security

For the people of Guduvancheri, Tiruvallur district in Tamil Nadu, given the high price of paddy, the availability of freshwater in the paddy field of the region is crucial to ensure their livelihood, as well as the food security of the region. However, when the parched village pond clubbed with the presence of overgrown aquatic weeds in the irrigation canals hindered the flow of freshwater through their paddy fields, encouraged by Goonj,

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Rajasthan: No more walk-for-water

Rajasthan: No more walk-for-water

When it is common for people, including pregnant women, to walk 5 km under the scorching sun just to fetch water for daily use, something must be very wrong with society. But, for the people of Lalpada village in Banswara district of Rajasthan, this has been the reality for years. When the handpumps failed and people were forced to drink dirty water, the villagers approached Goonj’s community worker there, who motivated them to dig an open well.

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Kerala: Unclogging the arteries of Kuttanad

Kerala: Unclogging the arteries of Kuttanad

What roads are to us, canals are to the people of Kuttanad. To tackle the invasive growth of water hyacinth in the backwaters of Edathua panchayat, our team in Kerala motivated the locals towards the cleaning of a 300mx12m stretch of canal. With the water hyacinth removed, adequate water now reaches the paddy fields, apart from being available for domestic use. The clear canal has also enabled people to freely move about in their canoes.

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Jammu & Kashmir: Let’s go back to school:

Jammu & Kashmir: Let’s go back to school:

The residents in Harrog region of Ramban district, Jammu, received Goonj’s support for a makeover… makeover of a school. The parents were sceptical to send their wards to the unkempt premises, where classes are to resume by July. As the annual school maintenance work couldn’t be undertaken this year following the lockdown and the non-availability of labour, when approached by our Jammu team, the villagers expressed their unanimous desire to clean the school and repair the pathway leading to it.

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Maharashtra: A clean drop to drink

Maharashtra: A clean drop to drink

In Palghar district of Maharashtra, water scarcity during intense summers, combined with the receding water levels in the wells, forced the people of the region to consume mucky water. Moreover, with the fear of an impending outbreak of water-borne diseases, Goonj motivated 207 people from the 15 villages of Vikramgad, Dahanu and Palghar blocks to work towards the cleaning of 15 wells of the region. Wells as deep as 30 feet were cleaned merely using local resources.

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West Bengal: Building bridges…

West Bengal: Building bridges…

 

Three years ago, rains washed away the bamboo bridge at Foskadanga village in Alipurduar district of West Bengal. This led to the dwellers of the tribal hamlets in Kalchini block to travel an additional distance of 20 km to reach schools, health centres and local markets. Goonj, in collaboration with its partner organization NEST, motivated and mobilized 40 residents to rebuild the bridge under its ‘Dignity For Work’ (DFW) initiative,

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For the natives of South Mandabari village…

For the natives of South Mandabari village…

For the natives of South Mandabari village in Alipurduar district of West Bengal, the absence of an irrigation system made paddy the only cultivable crop in the region during monsoon. With a resolve to tackle this issue, 75 people from the village, under Goonj’s DFW (Dignity for Work) initiative, worked tirelessly for 10 days towards the digging of a pond (50ftx25ftx12ft). Under DFW, locals are mobilized, motivated and empowered to identify and solve problems at the community level,

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Kerala: Before it rains

Kerala: Before it rains

We took our DFW (Dignity For Work) initiative to the Kadar tribal hamlet, nestled inside Nelliyampathy forest area in Palakkad district of Kerala. Just like any other tribal area, this one too has the problem of malnutrition, poverty, exploitation, lack of transportation facilities and a heightened drinking problem. When our team member went on a visit, the locals had told her they wanted to repair the road before the rainy season,

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Say #IamAMigrantToo

Say #IamAMigrantToo

So..as many here know one thing which has been troubling me and a whole lot of us a lot, is the entire language and thought process, the new words. Social distancing instead of physical distancing to the entire meaning of Migrant Worker. And my #Covidi in making is just on this pain !!

We have all seen millions of people, labelled migrant workers, struggling on the roads,

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Dignity for Work

Dignity for Work

Under Goonj’s DFW (Dignity for Work) initiative, our Karnataka team and our partner organization motivated 53 individuals from Pandathimnahalli village in Kolar to clean a pond which was left unattended for years. Situated en route the village temple, the pond, which was once frequently used for religious rituals, was in a state of complete neglect. Now, having heard from our team the importance of practising hygienic ways in the time of this pandemic,

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5 village women show how villages can find their way back to sustenance…

5 village women show how villages can find their way back to sustenance…

Five women of a small village in Palakkad district of Kerala show us how to stand up in the face of a challenge by the pandemic. One, whose daughter was about to get married… one, whose children have dreams to fulfil, and others, with just the task of survival… When their husbands and sole breadwinners lost jobs and income, these women came together to address the problems they face. A small community farm was the solution they came up with.

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The people…

The people…

The people, many call labourers, recently repaired a 2 km road in Kukru Village of Jharkhand. Left with no work after the lockdown, when we spoke to these 115 families, they chose to receive the relief kits, after working on their own issues, under Goonj’s ‘Dignity For Work’ initiative. Our team mobilised and motivated this small community to identify and work on their own issues. Apart from the road repair they also cleaned their village primary school and water tank.

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Growing Green…

Growing Green…

A massive forestation drive is on in Uttarakhand’s Watan village to create a source of income-generation for the villagers of this hill state. Team Goonj is working closely with the people of this region to plant saplings, herbs, shrubs etc to convert it into a proper forest, using the Miyawaki technique that helps build dense, native forests. The approach ensures 10 times faster plant growth, resulting in 30 times denser plantation.

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Connecting as we grow…

Connecting as we grow…

Working in the East Singhbhum district, Jharkhand, when our team mobilized the villagers of Kalajharna, they decided to work on making a bridge, to lessen their travel distance by about 4-6 km, between Panchadih and Barudih. Situated inside the forest area, the village is home to around 300 people, who do small-scale farming and collection of forest products. Each of the participant families worked very hard to make the bridge,

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Building hopes…

Building hopes…

West Bengal; The Anganwadi (ICDS centre) of Foskadanga village in Alipurduar, West Bengal, has been in a state of neglect for a long time. Adjacent to a forest, cattle often roam into the centre, making it unclean for children to study and play. When Goonj, along with its partner organization, mobilized and encouraged the villagers, they decided to revamp the structure, painting materials, making bamboo fences, repairing the connecting road with stones brought from the Paro River,

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Lacking food, but not resilience…

Lacking food, but not resilience…

Our Tamil Nadu team first met Vijaya in Cuddalore district when they reached out relief to a family living on just rice and salt. Like most in her village, Vijaya too works as a casual farming labourer on someone else’s land. To make ends meet, she also ran a small tiffin stall which brought her a decent earning. But the lockdown changed everything. The stall is shut, and finding employment in the fields during this crisis has become even more difficult.

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Standing with the master weavers of Pochampally

Standing with the master weavers of Pochampally

Who hasn’t heard of Pochampally saree? The saree that has received the Geographical Indication tag for its association with Pochampally in Telangana state, where its made… In this lockdown, these master craftsmen are now left with no work, income, nor food. Goonj local teams reached out to 120 families in Pochampally to provide ration kits and basic essentials to ease their hardship a bit. Goonj is reaching out relief to many neglected communities like tribals,

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Multiple approaches to revitalize rural Bengal:

Multiple approaches to revitalize rural Bengal:

Bengal is emerging as one of our biggest hub of initiatives in rural India. While in north Bengal our teams are reaching out to farmers to purchase potatoes in bulk and including these in our local ration kits, in Sunderbans, where our teams had earlier (before the lockdown) worked with the communities to plant kitchen gardens, they are now growing and selling back fresh vegetables to us, which are being added to our local ration kits.

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Responding to tomato farmers’ desperation in Karnataka:

Responding to tomato farmers’ desperation in Karnataka:

Goonj is buying tomatoes in bulk directly from the farmers of Kolar, adding these and other vegetables to our ration kits in the region. WHY? Kolar in Karnataka is popularly called the “Golden Land” of India – for its mine fields and also for horticultural crops like tomatoes, yielding 4 lakh tons every year. This time of the year tomatoes are supplied all across India and internationally, giving farmers a handsome return of 5 lakh on investment of 1 lakh per acre,

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From the fileld #RahatCOVID19, Stitch-in-time in Tamil Nadu:

From the fileld #RahatCOVID19, Stitch-in-time in Tamil Nadu:

With the spread of COVID-19 and the national lockdown affecting the lives of millions, Goonj teams are working round-the-clock to reach basic ration and other hygiene material to people. In Tamil Nadu, we turned our processing centers and workshops into 3 face mask-making units, with trained team members in each unit, taking up a daily production of 2,500 masks. Till now, 18,000 masks have already been made. We are also reaching relief material to families and communities struggling for basics in parts of the state.

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From the field – #RahatCOVID19 West Bengal

From the field – #RahatCOVID19 West Bengal

Our team, with around 7 grassroots partner organisations, local governing bodies and volunteers, has started working in the state for distribution of essentials like rations and basic utilities. We have been able to reach out in parts of districts of Alipurduar, Malda, Birbhum, Medinipur, Jhargram, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Purulia, Uttar Dinajpur and Kalimpong, prioritising landless farmers and vulnerable sections like the transgender community and sex workers, who traditionally have less access to resources.

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From the Field – #RahatCOVID19 Bihar

From the Field – #RahatCOVID19 Bihar

Bihar has seen one of the biggest reverse migration with thousands of workers, returning back in the last few weeks. Some glimpses of our work – Our teams reached out to people in 42 villages in 4 districts of West Champaran, Madhepura, Saharsa, and Buxar, reaching essential rations and basic hygiene packs, face masks, sanitizers etc. apart from providing help in disinfecting 7 villages.

Monetary donations for logistics and bulk purchases —

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