Manuvikasa: NGO based in Sirsi, Uttara Kannada (UK) district

Manjunath K. Shresthi

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MANUVIKASA is a non-governmental, non-political, voluntary organization committed for the advancement of education, environment and rural folk.  It was registered in the year 2003 and actively working in Haveri and Uttara Kannada districts of North Karnataka, India.  The board consists of people from different walks of life like: social workers; educationists; accountants and agriculturists.  The organization addresses the issues like alleviation of poverty, creating awareness and does varied activities on different social problems; publicizes human rights and child rights issues; employment creation; proper management of natural resource and various other issues for rural development.

Vision

Development of sustainable livelihood; improving education; enriching the environment and development of good human values.

Mission

To create and sustain a social order among the marginalized and deprived members of the rural community regardless of caste, class, creed and gender with special emphasis on women and children; enabling them through various programmes and activities ensuring sustainable livelihood, distribution of natural resources without discrimination.

We are helping poor people get loan from banks and our own Pragatimitra Cooperative. The beneficiaries availed of loans and started poultry, small shops and other occupations for generating gainful employment and also supplementing their incomes. All this has happened with loan distribution right at their doorsteps. Some of them have purchased autos though loan support efforts initiated by us. The recharging of the depleted water sources and helping the small and marginal farmers through different types of water harvesting structures has been high on the agenda. Mr. Ganapati Bhat, Managing Trustee and Director of Manuvikasa spoke to The Flag Post, about the organisations endeavours in lending and giving a helping hand to the people in the region.

  1. What is the criterion for digging a tank? Do you inspect the land or go as per the information provided by the farmer?

We first see the spring availability and check the catchment area. We see the land whether it is rocky, clay or normal. Then we check the possibility of excavator movement and after discussing with the farmer and in consultation with him we finalize the place for excavation.

  1. What is the cost of digging a 30′ width X 30′ length & 10′ deep pit?

It all depends on the soil type, distance from another tank etc. Normally, the cost is around 10,000 with increase or decrease in costs, we collect around Rs. 7000 from farmers. For poor farmers it is done free of cost.

  1. In which months is the digging of the tanks done?

We dig the ponds from October to June. We have now six excavators and an average of five ponds are developed by us every day.

  1. How are the tanks filled with water….?

Few tanks are filled with seepage or spring and few are from rain water through surface channels.

  1. What is the system of Rice Intensification..?

It is a method of cultivation of paddy. In this method farmers can grow 30% extra production with less water and seeds and it also less labour intensive.

  1. What are the programs undertaken by your NGO to help the lives of

the distressed people especially the women ?

We are mobilizing women under Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Joint Liability Groups(JLGs). We provide micro credit to start and develop income generation programmes. For example petty shops, garland making, dairy etc.

  1. How many women have benefitted through the SHG and Manuvikasa intervention?

We have developed more than 2500 groups and helped 20,000 women. A total of 30 staff members are working in the women empowerment programme.

7A. Are children also a part of your development programs and how have you helped them

in changing and making their lives better?

Yes we have helped them too.  Education is the means to success. But nowadays it is difficult for poor and backward people to educate their children or provide necessary educational materials. The situation of the poor, orphan and semi orphan children are critical. Prices are going on hiking day by day. In this situation poor and orphan children cannot afford these materials. Children from these families suffer from inferiority complex. They start stealing notebooks, pens etc from others bags. Some children use only rough notes and never get an opportunity to write these notes on a good notebook. Just because of this these children cannot score much although they are capable. Some children stop their education in the middle. We are providing basic necessity materials and learning materials (Worth Rs. 3100) to the children. We also provide scholarships

  1. What are the energy efficient choolas (closed stoves) developed by you; what are the benefits and how much wood is saved through them?

Choolha development Model

MANUVIKASA is developing choolhas in Siddapur taluk of Uttara Kannada district.

  1. These choolhas are energy efficient and saving almost 60% of the wood quantity compared to their prior usage.
  2. Choolhas are made on the need basis by identifying the beneficiary.

Community contribution, selection of beneficiary:

Manuvikasa has identified the marginal and landless labourers as beneficiaries in its first phase of beneficiary selection. We have constructed 91 choolhas in the project area in two years. Beneficiaries are selected based on the following steps

  1. Self Help Groups meetings
  2. Beneficiaries belong to the SHGs promoted by MANUVIKASA.
  3. Marginal and landless labourers are most preferred.
  4. Involve the beneficiaries of our other programmes to identify the choolha beneficiaries

Contribution:

MANUVIKASA has made the grants of GEF/ SGP for choolha construction as revolving fund. This fund is given as loan to beneficiaries. Total cost of the choolha is Rs. 8000 and Rs. 6000 will be given to the beneficiary from the project. Again that amount is given to new beneficiary in the same model.

  1. Application is received from beneficiary
  2. Spot verification and study of the previous conditions
  3. Loan sanction
  4. Choolha construction
  5. After satisfactory completion of work, the beneficiary has to start the repayment in instalments

Once the repayment starts, a new beneficiary is selected and they will be involved through the same procedure.

Quantity of wood saved:

  1. Before using choolha :For each person 10kg of wood was burnt every day. i.e.3.6 tonnes of wood per person every year.
  2. After using the choolhas:For each person only 4kg of wood is enough. i.e.1.44 tonnes of wood per person per year.

The reduction of the usage in wood quantity is almost 60% compared to the prior usage. Thus they are saving 2.21 tonnes of wood every year per person.

  1. What is the cost of One (1) unit of choola?

Each unit is available at a cost of Rs. 8000/-.

  1. What is the nature of activity coming under Krishi Sinchana?

This programme is a joint effort of Deshapande Foundation Hubli – NGO partners supported by DF. Every year Krishi Sinchana is conducted nearby Hubballi (Hubli) and more than 1000 farmers gather and demonstrate their innovations. Lot of discussion happens on various issues which enhances the income of the farmers in a sustainable way.

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