GRAAM SETHUVillage Bridge
Initiated in December 2018, this is a programme to lend continued and specific inputs to the alumni of the Integrated Learning Programme. Members are youth who have evinced interest in engaging with their own village communities. The domains that they will engage in are: ecology and sustainable agriculture; active citizenship (facilitating active engagement with the panchayat and democracy), social awareness on a range of issues, water conservation, home gardening, and waste management. Currently there are 16 youth who are members of this programme.
In the year 2016-17, the prolonged drought rendered our efforts at supporting some sustainable agriculture plots futile. But, this year, despite all the tensions and stress of working in the Covid-19 situation, the rains assured all the recipients of the ‘Sponsor a Field’ program a bountiful harvest. Geeta, from Sira in Tumkur, saw all her hard work and persistence be paid with a thriving field of ragi, niger and millets. Her neighbours who were sceptical of organic agriculture turned up to see her field. Mahendra and Jaysundra reaped a good harvest of ragi and beans. Manju got a bountiful field of sunflower, ragi, groundnuts, maize, castor and millets. In Puttanpura, Jayanna, a middle-aged farmer, added millets to his plot of land and was very happy to reap same (little millet) with ragi and beans. Puttaswamy, an experienced farmer who had earlier burnt his fingers with chemical agriculture, nurtured his one acre field to grow a lush trove of ragi. The ‘Sponsor a Field’ program made this possible and it is important that we continue this over the coming year so that more of the local youth and farmers can become catalysts for sustainable agro-ecologies.