Aug 16, 2017

ET's Health - Skill Development Programme

The Programme Participants & Audience
The Programme Participants & Audience

The Earth Trust’s Health-Skill Development Programme was conducted at B. Manihatty village in the Nilgiris, India during April to June 2017. On 2nd June, certificates were issued to the 23 programme participants of the village. Mr. Arko Banerjee, a young Intern from GlobalGiving (GG) who was on a visit to the many NGO’s in Tamil Nadu visited the village, accompanied by the ET staff.

The programme hall was colourfully decorated and displayed with the traditional food of the Badagas, traditional medicines taught during the Health programme and the clothes stitched and knitted during the Skill-Development programme. A warm welcome was accorded by the participants, children and village leaders. The Certificate Day programme started with the Tamil invocation, followed by a welcome speech by one of the participants. ET’s Project Director, Health Programme Manager and Researcher spoke about ET and its programme in brief.

The Village headman spoke about how he initially mis-judged that this was one among the various programmes of the government. Now, at the display of the various products by the participants, he was totally taken aback.

He insisted that the programme be organised again in the same village during December this year so that many other stands benefited. All the other elders who spoke on the occasion shared similar sentiments and wished the participants very well for the future. One of the elders spoke on how this programme has given a platform for the participants to share and stay united. Another elder told that the participants are now mini-doctors. A couple of the participants spoke on how the ET’s programme helped them break barriers.

Mr. Arko Banerjee of GG, in his speech told that he was totally bowled over by the happy and smiling faces of the hall. As a young guy, he told that this was the first instance where he was given such a warm welcome. He spoke of his background and work with GG. He asked for the participants’ views on the how to take the programme forward, impact, etc.

This was followed by issue of certificates to the participants. The Certificate day ended with vote of thanks, national anthem followed by the Badagas traditional lunch and dance.

Issue of Certificate to a Young Participant
Issue of Certificate to a Young Participant
Skill-development products under display
Skill-development products under display
Skill-development products under display
Skill-development products under display
Group photo of the participants and delegates
Group photo of the participants and delegates
Traditional Badaga dance by programme participants
Traditional Badaga dance by programme participants
Jun 20, 2017

One-day Conference on Organic Farming

Guests and organisers of the Organic Conference
Guests and organisers of the Organic Conference

‘Organic Farming is the pressing need of time’ was the headline carried by one of the local dailies of the Nilgiris in India. And it was the sentiment shared during the one-day conference on organic farming organised by the Special Area Development Programme (SADP) of the Nilgiris District in India on the 15th of March 2017. The one-day conference was an eye-opener on organic farming for most of the officials and farmers attending the programme. And for The Earth Trust, it was a day to show-case all the good work done for over 15 years on organic agriculture in the Nilgiris District.

The Conference was attended by the District Collector, officials of the SADP, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, officials of the Horticulture Department, staff of the Tamilnadu Agriculture University, officials from the Animal Husbandry Department, The Earth Trust team and the farming community. The officials who spoke on the occasion, stressed on the need to realise the importance of organic agriculture and how it would benefit the farmers and consumers as well as in conserving the soil, air and water environments.

The Project Director and the Principal Researcher of the Earth Trust presented the various programmes of the Trust on Health, Environment and Livelihood and presented the ‘Contractual Arrangements and Price Fixation for Organic Produce’ with the organic farmers. The sustained and concerted effort by the Earth Trust for more than 15 years in the Nilgiri District in creating awareness to the rural farming community, teaching the skills on organic farming and rendering marketing help for their organic produce was explained during the Conference. The unique buy-back arrangement, the type of training and monitoring carried out by the Earth Trust with the organic farmers were presented.

The organic vegetables and other products of the Earth Trust were displayed for the delegates of the Conference. The officials interacted with Earth Trust team about the displayed items.

At the end of the one-day conference, the role played by the Earth Trust in promoting organic agriculture in the Nilgiris was well recognized and understood. All the individuals who are connected with the Earth Trust are seen as resource persons for organic agriculture and torch-bearers for the conservation of the ecosystem of the Nilgiris.

ET's Project Director speaking during the occasion
ET's Project Director speaking during the occasion
ET's Researcher presenting during the conference
ET's Researcher presenting during the conference
Display of organic products by ET's Farm Manager
Display of organic products by ET's Farm Manager
District Collector interacting about ET products
District Collector interacting about ET products
About the Organic Conference in the local daily
About the Organic Conference in the local daily
May 8, 2017

THE EARTH TRUST'S PRO-HEALTH PROGRAMME REPORT - JANUARY TO MARCH 2017

Beneficiaries of the ET's integrated programme
Beneficiaries of the ET's integrated programme

THE EARTH TRUST’S PRO-HEALTH PROGRAMME REPORT – JANUARY TO MARCH 2017

The Earth Trust’s (ET) village women’s health programme moved on to the next village, Pudhugatty during January and March 2017. Considering the need to unify women’s health and empowerment together with producing our own (safe) food needs at our backyards, an integrated programme encompassing health, skill development and organic farming was framed out and implemented in Pudhugatty.

Fourteen village women both old and the newly married were trained on health issues, imparted skill develpoment through knitting and tailoring and trained to grow vegetables and herbs in their kitchen gardens. Thus a road map to success has been laid out by integrating the care of women with other services.

During the programme, the women were grouped into two; one group attended the health classes in the morning session while the other group attended the skill development classes and vice-versa. The modules of the ET’s health programme are framed to provide holistic health benefits (physical, mental and psychological well-being) to the women, while the skill development training aims at their economic independence and self-reliance.

Immediate and long-term impact of the programme

The participants of the programme could experience the fruits immediately and success stories were many. Though the women attending the programme lived in the same village, they were strangers to one another once. Now there is a sense of oneness and togetherness, sharing and caring, ripping apart some of the mental barriers and family worries.

The health programme had its immediate impact for the trainee women and their family. Whatever was being thought in the health classes were soon benefitting their own family members too who have been suffering from various ailments.

The children of a trainee Ranjini, had loss of appetite for about a year. She administered the herbal medicine Ashta Chooranam for her children, for 3 days, morning and evening. Soon the little girls started eating normally!

Similarly, Ranjini prescribed Adathoda syrup to her relative, Lakshmi aged 60 for the acute chest cold and there was gradual improvement in her health condition.

Another trainee named Nithya prescribed Adathoda syrup to her 60 year old father, a cancer and asthma patient who developed chest cold due to sudden weather changes. The syrup worked effectively and her father could forgo of the inhaler.

Sangeetha, the trainee of the health programme suffered from severe pain and swelling due to vein varicose. Application of Cypress Oil cured the pain and swelling, overnight.

The father-in-law of another participant of the health programme, Sharmila have been suffering from knee pain which withheld him from walking to his farm which is quite far away from their village. From what was taught in the programme, Sharmila administered Peacock Oil to his knee followed by hot water pressing in the knee area. This prescription seemed to work with gradual decrease in the pain.

The 50 year old Anusiya who have been suffering from menstrual pain issues and have to take medicines for over 30 years, started taking home-made remedies as taught in the health programme, which worked miraculously!

Not only the health programme, the skill development programme had its impact among the village women. A follow-up visit by the ET’s health team, came to light that the young Nithya who successfully completed the tailoring and knitting lessons could soon start her work in the village and could make handful of money, thanks to the ET’s skill development programme.

Organic farming and exposure visit to ET’s resource farm

Apart from the health and skill development programme, the participants were also apprised of the benefits of organic farming. They were encouraged to grow their home-need vegetables in their backyards. Fortunately, some of the women were well aware of the natural ways of farming. One of the participants, Poorni have been growing vegetables in her small kitchen garden for her family. A lemon tree stands besides her home which is fed with bio-fertilizers. Now she could sell the organic lemon through the Earth Trust!

At the end of the ET’s integrated programme, the beneficieries were taken to a one-day exposure visit to the Earth Trust’s Holabettu Resource Farm, where they were given training to grow vegetables and herbs organically. The exposure visit enriched their knowledge on natural farming methods which they can spread to their native communities.

Relaxation exercise for the programme participants
Relaxation exercise for the programme participants
Herbal medicine preparation during the programme
Herbal medicine preparation during the programme
Lessons on tailoring for village women by ET staff
Lessons on tailoring for village women by ET staff
Knitting practice sessions for the participants
Knitting practice sessions for the participants
Exposure visit to the ET's resource farm
Exposure visit to the ET's resource farm
 
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