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Resilient Republic

How rural India showed resilience, synergy during lockdown

Republic Day is an ideal occasion to celebrate rural India’s positive progress. VillageSquare recollects how communities used the lockdown productively, despite difficulties and loss of livelihoods.

While strictly following safety measures to prevent spread of coronavirus, the women-led Maval Dairy ensures supply of milk during the lockdown (Photo courtesy Krishnagopal, ALC )

COVID-19 Resilience

Women dairy farmers ensure safe delivery of milk during lockdown

Amidst national lockdown in the country to contain the spread of coronavirus, most of the activities in cities and towns have come to a standstill. in these times of unprecedented crisis, one stellar example among many positive forces is that of women dairy farmers who have refused to bow down to the crisis.  

The gritty women farmers of Maval Dairy Farmers Services Produce Company limited in Maval village near Talegaon in Pune District continue to procure, process and supply milk, one of the essential services that is needed by one and all in urban centers.

Lockdown Impact

Volunteers in Odisha ensure stranded migrants do not go hungry

Social workers handling migrants’ issues networked to ensure that stranded migrants such as this group in Tamil Nadu received food supplies (Photo courtesy ODMMI)

Social service personnel working on migration issues network with philanthropists, administrators and volunteers to ensure stranded Odia migrants and other state migrants in Odisha are fed

Healthful Moringa

Farmers cash in on demand for immunity boosters

With no signs of the coronavirus infection abating, moringa farmers in Tamil Nadu use the increasing demand for natural immunity boosters to their advantage, by value addition

Karur Moringa and Vegetable Farmers Producer Company Limited, a farmers’ collective in Lingamanayakkanpatti in Karur district has seized this opportunity to promote moringa in a way that appeals to the Indian palate. From moringa dhal powder, moringa chutney and moringa jaggery balls to the basic moringa oil or leaf powder, the farmers have tried to make their product a kitchen staple.

The farmer producer company has also ramped up production of their other immunity booster products like noni syrup, seenthil (Tinospora cordifolia), etc. As the coronavirus infection and lockdown make it tough for small businesses across the country to survive, this farmers’ collective not only survives but thrives.

Women Banking Correspondents

Bank sakhis help villagers get lockdown financial relief

Bank sakhis have been the last mile link in ensuring that the government’s financial support during lockdown reached the rural beneficiaries (Photo by Amritesh Kumar, PRADAN

In villages that lack banking facilities, banking correspondents carry out related work as banks’ representatives. They have been instrumental in beneficiaries receiving their lockdown welfare support

Lockdown Synergy

Adivasi communities restore common wells during lockdown

As soon as the nationwide lockdown came into effect, Bhura Ram and his cousins came back to their village from Ahmedabad, Surat or Bombay, leaving behind their jobs as helpers in textile industries, masons, share croppers and painters in the cities.

Of the 85 households in Kanela village, almost 80% have at least one male member migrating to the city for work. “Most of the male members of our villages work in cities. It is because of the lockdown, that all of us are in the village at the same time,” said Bhura Ram.

A month into the lockdown, Bhura Ram and others in his village gave up on the expectation of receiving anything substantial from the government. “How long can we wait? There is no work outside, so we thought of working on our village assets,” said Bhura Ram.

Along with 20 families, he reconstructed the well in Kanela village in Brahmano ka Kalwana panchayat of Udaipur district. “It is not that we hadn’t thought of constructing this well before but there were always resource constraints,” said Bhura Ram.

Their efforts have not only ensured access to drinking water, but have spurred residents of many villages into action, resulting in restoration of communities’ common assets.

IVRS Helpline

How interactive audio helped migrants during lockdown

An existing interactive voice response system was refashioned, enabling migrant workers in destination cities get messages regarding their circumstances across, subsequently facilitating their return

Model Sarpanch

Woman panchayat chief on course to transform village

Kanku Ben Amritlal supervised COVID-19 preventive measures and monitored through CCTV surveillance, to ensure everyone followed rules (Photo by SETU team)

From efficient COVID-19 preparedness and relief measures to advocating girls’ education and converting a dumping ground into a park, Kanku Ben Amritlal offers hope in rural development

Lockdown Education

Teachers turn rural house fronts into classrooms

Teachers of a government school in a Jharkhand village have turned exterior walls of mud houses into blackboards and raised platforms into seats, to ensure students continue their education.

Students sitting on a raised mud platform and writing on the walls that double up as their blackboards while maintaining social distance and hygiene is a common scene at Dumarthar and its neighboring hamlets of Khargdiha, Chandanpura, Charkapathar and Simaria located at a distance of one kilometer from each other.

Jency Samuel
Jency Samuel
Jency Samuel is a civil engineer and journalist based in Chennai.

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