examples of projects are shown below.There are many more projects in the field.
Solarlamps in tribal village Kodamoola, Gudalur
In the village there was no electricity in the evening so very dark and people were dependent oil lamps. PALM 2 is distributed 84 pieces of solar lamps and now all the roofs of the houses with brightness. Security is also important, People feel easier to work with more lamps even in the darkness E.g food preparation, homework, children’s studies and village gathering. The lamp is very easy to carry and when is needed. A great successful project which has brought a lasting and integrated change in the lifestyle of villagers especially the elderly women and many children!
To increase the capacity and knowledge of children of 5 – 15 years old in 11 tribal villages to develop their talents and make them acquainted with many skills and with outside communities, to achieve a feeling of self worthiness.
Importance of having a Summer Camp:
To make the children aware about the value of education, develop self –expression, bring out children’s talents and enhance social functioning.
Summer camp in Thekkupadi-Mudumalai tribal village. Creative thinking and drawing Workshop.
Click the PDF file – Palm 2 creative workshop
examples of projects are shown below.There are many more projects in the field.
Gardens for 9 schools.
In the rural schools most children are suffering from aneamia and stunted growth due to lack of proper meals. As this is a big problem and effecting the children’s attention in schools, the PALM decided to select 9 schools in 2014 to develop a vegetable garden with the objective to :1) to use the produce of the garden in the school meals to promote eating of vegetables, 2) to educate the children on balanced meals and 3 ) to transfer the experience into the homegardens of the children.
Health and Counceling
20 volunteers have been selected from the Selfhelpgroups , who are now being trained in TOT, meaning training of trainers. The counceling is being done by an experienced physician/councelor, who also meets problematic cases individually. Since the publicity of many rape cases and domestic violence in India many women have become more open about their personal problems. A series of connected health subjects is detailed and worked out,and taught to the volunteers to disseminate their knowledge in the field . The schools are receiving health classes through powerpoint presentations.
2 New Pre Schools
In the game reserve : Mudumalai a tribal pre school is now running and one pre school was opened in Kodamoola in February 2014. An existing building is utilised , 27 children are attending the pre school.
Years of utilization of chemicals have resulted in a severe acidity of most soils, this has resulted in severe crop losses without the ignorant rural farmer realizing why. The PALM 2 is guiding 1861 farmers in the Nilgiris and 2605 farmers in the Erode District towards sustainable farming methods using a twelve- subject- training syllabus. The farmers learn to produce their own bio pesticide and bio and vermi compost. Out of the 4466 farmers 20 % is selected according to the geographic location to function as a key farmer , he or she is using the farm as a model farm to train the surrounding farmers in organic farming techniques. While hundreds of farmers are in a transition period 25 farmers have been officially certified under the TNOCD ( Tamil Nadu Organic certification Development ) organic network . The demand for organically grown vegetables and other products is on the increase. It is the need of the hour to produce and process own organic manure on a large scale ( see under projects : Composting and Bio gas )Fig: The consultant meets with O’Valley Farmers and discuss the organic produce. – March 2013
Towards self reliance
The farmers are now on their way towards independence and registered under separate Farmers Associations and as NABARD Farmers Clubs, while in the Nilgiris 1800 small teagrowers have united into 17 Small Tea Growers Societies, initiated by PALM 2. In the Erode District Umbrella farmers bodies are being formed for a stronger say in the rural Government Schemes. The no. of farmers, their landholdings and their crops are systematically updated every year in the PALM 2 administration.
Promotion of animal husbandry
More than 1000 small farmers/ group members of PALM 2 are integrating their farming with the rearing of one or more cows and/or goats. Improved milk production, identification of diseases, healthier animals, importance of insurance are subjects being addressed by the PALM 2 field staff.
The farmers have followed training programs in nutritious fodder production called Azolla, CO3, CO4, which proved to increase the milk production by 1/3. Continuous monitoring of the activities by the agricultural coordinators is needed. Milk is either sold locally or collected by the chilling centers available in the nearby towns. A family of 4 can live from selling 20 liters of milk per day.
Promotion of bio gas
In total organic farming 1 or 2 cows are required to produce urine and cowdung for the process. Recycling of all the stable waste into bio gas, keeps the premises clean and promotes a balanced eco system by avoiding the emission of methane gas in the air. A series of organic manures are also being produced from the waste. Even in places where no electricity has been supplied, the group members of PALM 2 have shown interest in constructing bio gas units. With the dung of 2 cows a farmer can produce biogas to light 2 bulbs of 60 Watts. Thus making it possible for the children to study and do their home work in the evenings. The gas is also utilized for cooking purposes. The Government of India is assisting in the construction of the bio gas units with a subsidy of 35 % , being utilized by PALM 2.
bio and vermi compost and bio pesticides
To recondition and maintain a healthy structure of the soil several ways and means are being taught to the farmers. Fencing of nitrigen fixing shrubs and plants are recommended and green manure is promoted. Most farmers are producing and utilising home made liquid fertilizers such as panchakaviya, dasakaviya, Jeevamirtha , Meenamilam to fight insects and to promote growth. Fungicides are also experimented with.
Promoting chicken and rabbit rearing
For the past 5 years the PALM 2 has motivated back yard chicken rearing for housewives and small farmers. The number of chicks is between 25 – 50 . The woman entrepreneur from the plantation areas is able to earn an additional 1000 rupees per month, if the appropriate recommendations are followed. Initially their was a search for the best adjusted variety of chicks. In 2011 in Gudalur alone 35 units were planned but 63 units had been achieved. Country broilers are popular and have a higher value than factory produced chickens. Rabbit rearing has also become popular and it has given good profits.
Water storages, water tanks of a good size can be utilized to grow sweet water fishes of different types such as carps, tilapia, etc. The poor landowner is eager to dig a pond of 30 – 30 meters for this income generating purpose. Fingerlings can be purchased from the Department. After a period of 6 – 9 months the fishes have reached maturity, some having a weight of 2 kgs. They can be sold for 70 rupees per kg. In the photo you see Mr. Balakrishnan having 3 ponds with 5 different types of sweet water fish. His income is appr. 4000 rupees per month!
Mushroom cultivation requires limited space , hygienic conditions and a dark room. Different altitudes in the Nilgiris state allow different types of mushrooms to grow. An experiment was done by the PALM 2 agriculturist early 2009 with button mushrooms at 1000 meter altitude. The project is potential to expand on a commercial scale in the near future. Oyster mushrooms were tried by several poor people who have no access to space in special trial units, the grower is able to fetch 100 rupees per kg. and the product is rather popular among the vegetarians.
Most women are deserving housewives in need of a supplementary income , They cannot leave their husband and children to attend outside training courses, as such they are happy to be able to develop their talent within the village itself.
Minor Forest produce
The tribal communities in the Thalavadi target area have been living from the forest products for ages. They collect amla, tamarind, broom grass, medicinal tubers, gums, fibres and tree seeds and sell it through a distribution network of private middlemen. Financial support is requested by PALM 2 for additional infrastructure development for the processing of amla, tamarind and honey and the related training programs .
Food processing and value addition
Based on their requirements, the PALM 2 has organized a training programs in the production of pickles, masala powders, tomato products etc. At least 20 women are producing masala powders on a regular basis, both in Thalavadi and in the Gudalur Block and sell it to the nearby shops. Additional income comes from packing ragi, pulses and maize products, which is sold to the local shops with a good profit.
Village Development Committees
When PALM enters a tribal village using the PRA tools, a village development is being established to give the villagers a say in the process as from the planning stage.Village leaders , male and female are being selected for the committee. The committee meets monthly together with the PALM staff
Village Development Committee in Kodamoola. The men and women are telling their priorities in development issues: No clean drinking water, no electricity, no toilets. In the front are Sheeba and Ruth, 2 of the PALM staff.