Lighting up villages with solar power and doing other challenging things: Kudumbashree Adivasi women’s group of Edamalakudi – Kerala

The adivasi women of Edamalakudi, Kerala’s remotest panchayat, have formed a headload workers’ group, helped light up their villages with solar power, and practice group farming in wild elephant territory. All are Muthavan tribals. Almost all are members of Kerala’s extraordinary anti-poverty and gender justice movement – Kudumbashree. They are also neighbours of Chinnathambi, the keeper of the Wilderness Library. pic: Madhuraj, Mathrubhumi Weekly […]

When the village panchayat  acted  –  partly under their prodding  –  to try and reach solar power to all, these women took on the task. They picked up and brought the panels, each weighing up to 9 kilograms,  across hostile, hilly, up-and-down terrain between Pettimudi and here. On foot. There is no other way to reach Edamalakudi, Kerala’s first tribal panchayat, in Idukki district. They had formed a ‘Chumattu koottam” (headload workers group), riling  local male porters who had enjoyed a monopoly over such work. […]

But the Kudumbashree or ‘CDS’ groups of Edamalakudi do far more challenging things. They practice  ‘group farming’ in  small plots. They are focused on food crops and, in those, on organic farming. They also practice shifting cultivation. “No, we use no chemical fertiliser.” Also “We have not cut any trees.” […]

A shorter version of this story was carried by BBC News (Online) in English and in Hindi. A Malayalam version ran first, in the  Mathrubhumi Weekly

Source: Solar panels & solidarity | P. Sainath
Address : http://psainath.org/solar-panels-solidarity/
Date Visited: Mon Jun 16 2014 20:22:10 GMT+0200 (CEST)

Hungry elephant on the rampage
Photo courtesy Davidson Sargunam >>
Find a copy in a library near you on worldcat.org >>

“The smart boy or clever girl who is deprived of the opportunity of schooling, or who goes to a school with dismal facilities (not to mention the high incidence of absentee teachers), not only loses the opportunities he or she could have had, but also adds to the massive waste of talent that is a characteristic of the life of our country.” – Nobel Awardee Amartya Sen in The Argumentative Indian (Penguin Books, 2005), p. 344

Tips: Tribal Children’s Right to Education | Find this and other books published in India | Video documentary on the Lifeworld of an Enlightened Villager | Related posts about childhood | Childrens rights: UNICEF India >>

“Cover Your Country” by PARI: Rural people speak about their lives through photos, narratives, film, and audio materials | RuralIndiaOnline.org >>

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