#EachforEqual: Impact Stories: PRADAN WOMEN

kumari bai cocoon

“Pradanis a deeply held belief for me” Deep Joshi

“I wanted to change the India I lived in” Vijay Mahajan

PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action) was created in 1983 with an idea to develop and enable professionals with empathy to work at the grass-root level to bring about a change. Deep Joshi and Vijay Mahajan believed that well-educated professionals working within communities could bring both the empathy and knowledge needed to help poor people improve their lives. Giving back to society is fulfilling when you can bring change to the lives of the rural poor. Even the greatest poverty of Rural India could be solved says, the founders of PRADAN. In 1987 PRADAN began working with the government and over the years they have played a major role in developing such programs as IRDP, SGSY, and the National Rural Livelihood Mission. 

The March issue of Agriculture World had Many Impact Stories of Women who have unleashed their Dreams. Such a story is of Shivkali from Churi village in MP is a source of inspiration for many families in her village who were stuck in poverty. Fifty-two women in this village are intensively into sericulture today because of Shivkali. Shivkali today walks with her head held high, and empowered tribal woman who did not resign to circumstances. She is ever ready to extend her new technical skills to other sisters in her village. Together they can be a force for good, a force for change. The actors like Shivkali who are at the bottom of the social pyramid, need not be maids, but when given the right opportunity, support, and training could be masters of their own fate.

just boiled

#EachforEqual, PRADAN introduced a new method of Agriculture, System of Root Intensification (SRI) in Debgaon in Chhattisgarh. A tribal woman Kumari Bai is galvanizing an entire village to bring about radical change in agricultural production and gender norms. This journey started with one woman taking tentative steps to new farming methods. Within a year, the entire village shifted to SRI and we are seeing visible changes today. SRI integrated both the traditional knowledge of Indian farmers and modern technologies, trellis based creeper cultivation and a strategy of mixed-multi tier cropping pattern and also ensured doubling of cereal production and farmers selling their vegetable surplus in the nearby market and beyond.

PRADAN’s work is sustainable and self-perpetuating and it brings skills and systems that help women, families and communities gain confidence and take charge of their own lives. Tribal women like Shivkali and Kumari Bai are revolutionizing agricultural production with the help of PRADAN and also ensures that people surrounding them and their family keeps benefitting from the change and the identity they gain as Women Farmers.

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