Drought during rainy season in India

Drought during rainy season in India

Blog
01 Jul 2019

Our colleagues Gert Crielaard and Linda Lap recently visited our clean cooking projects in India together with our local project partner JSMBT. JSMBT stands for Janara Samuha Mutual Benefit Trust, a local community organization that is part of SAMUHA and works in Raichur district in northern Karnataka. SAMUHA’s mission is to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people in India. They believe that development can best be achieved through group processes. Nice to know that the name SAMUHA in Sanskrit means “an organized group or society”.

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After traveling by night train from Bangalore, we are received early in the morning at the JSMBT office. A warm and enthusiastic welcome from people who have been committed with heart and soul to various projects in the region for years. A region that is finding it increasingly difficult due to, among other things, the changing and volatile climate. The rainy season has started, but it is not noticeable. The ground is still dry and we see few farmers in the fields.

We are talking about the project with which we provide local households with more efficient cookstoves or Chulikas. The director, local project coordinator and a project employee are present and talk about the local activities they organize. The dedication and enthusiasm with which the people of JSMBT do their work is striking.

Every year, the 18,000 households that have received Chulikas from the project are visited, which is about 50 visits per day! But many more activities are organized. Children receive information about climate change at schools, village meetings are organized to discuss various topics, such as health, nutrition, clean water, sanitation and social services. But a lot of training is also given. Women are trained in the use of the Chulika and trained to repair Chulikas, farmers receive training about land use and, for example, training is given on how to apply for microcredit. In short, a complete program aimed at improving the quality of life of vulnerable people living in the Raichur district. We will visit many of these activities in the coming days.

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jonneke-nl

Chikkahonnakuni is one of the villages we visit. Here we speak to several women about their experience with the Chulika and the activities organized in the project. The living situation of the women is very similar, usually a family consisting of a father, mother and about 5 children who live in a house with a room for cooking and eating and a room for sleeping. The parents earn on average €3 to €5 per day, have a piece of their own land and often also work as agricultural laborers for another farmer. Despite the low wages, almost all of the children go to school, but the children also have to work during the school holidays.

What is special is that the women mainly talk about the amount of time they save by using the Chulika, because they have to collect less wood and can cook faster. This time is often used to work extra and earn money. They like the health benefits, such as less coughing and burning eyes, but they find the extra income through time savings just as important. And that is perhaps not surprising in this poor region.

FairClimateFund always takes the CO₂ footprint of its trips into account as much as possible. We visit our projects a maximum of once a year to discuss progress with our local partners. We always compensate our (project) trips with our Fairtrade Carbon Credits.