Natural Resources: Restoration and Sustainability
NYSASDRI uses environmentally-friendly programs to help families in need participate in income-generating activities using micro-credit, sustainable agriculture methods, and culturally supported ways to best use Orissa's natural resources. Turning wastelands into hope, NYSASDRI maintains a commitment to using available resources, and the organization thinks creatively when determining what materials constitute useable resources. A barren wasteland in Santhasara has been turned into a nursery and agricultural method demonstration area, so the community can be oriented as to how fresh vegetables, grains, and spices may be harvested, even on barren land.
Raising Awareness of Sustainable Methods
NYSASDRI supports village education programs to teach community members about taking care of their environment. A workshop on solid waste management was organized in 2006 at Kashipur, where 90people from women's organizations, self-help groups, youth groups, and teachers participated. Similarly, in April 2010, another workshop on climate change was organized at Kashipur Field Centre by NYSASDRI, where76 people, including government officials, participated. This workshop provided knowledge on the effects of climate change and how to prevent it. The participants pledged to plant trees and form a Forest Protection Program in their communities. Demonstrations of sustainable agricultural models were also held in villages. Moreover, 40 vermin compost pits were installed in 15 villages, which now use organic compost such as cow dung and bio-pesticides in their agricultural activities.
NYSASDRI continues to learn and grow as an organization, and has spent time learning about sili-culture activities so that future projects can teach these activities to villages. Sili-cultureis a soil-less cultivation system that is adapted to less productive land or even to unproductive surfaces (such as roofs and rocky or sloppy areas). It consumes less water and requires less labour than traditional agriculture, which makes it cost-effective and adaptable by many farmers in the future. These methods empower poor populations to improve their lives while helping the environment. The Santhasara village has already used these strategies to cultivate five chili plots in 2008.
Sustainable Development through Food Security
Creating awareness is a worthy goal in itself, but NYSASDRI programs always aim for the long-term success of a region through activities originated and continued by the local villagers. A program on sustainable development through food security for tribal families of Gondia Block was formed. Awareness was raised in15 villages and 550 tribal families regarding better management of water resources. Moreover, a canal, sluice gate, and four water harvesting structures were constructed to help 255 farmers irrigate 226 acres of previously inaccessible land. Two grain stores were constructed, and crop yield significantly increased for farmers since the introduction of compost and bio-fertilizers. Self-help groups, parent-teacher associations, water-user associations, and community centres have been set up so that the public plays an active role in the sustainability of this program. These groups have gone on to promote income-generating activities, adult literacy programs for women, pre-school education, and functional literacy programs to hundreds of non-school starters and school drop-outs. They have also saved thousands of Rupees for use in their own projects. 453 beneficiaries have been supported with self-finance schemes, and Pani Panchayats have been formed in four villages, which meet regularly and have opened bank accounts to manage their own transactions.
Nursery and Agriculture
An agriculture production/demonstration centre and a nursery have been established in the village of Santhasara on barren and unproductive land. This has generated enthusiasm and interest among the community. From this agricultural activity, NYSASDRI is able to obtain various types of organic products such as wheat, garlic, onion, ginger, corn, mustard, and other fresh vegetables.
Mo Jami Mo Diha Abhiyan (My Land My Homestead Campaign)
A regional workshop on 'Mo Jami Mo Diha Abhiyan' was organized at Hotel Bhagirathi, Bhawanipatnain December 2007, with active participation from concerned NGOs working in the KBK districts of Odisha. More than 60 social activists, social workers, and intellectuals from the districts of Kalahandi, Koraput, Bolangir, Nuapada, Rayagada, Subarnapur, Nabarangpur, and Malkangiri participated in this workshop. The campaign is Odisha government's unique initiative. The objective of the workshop was to identify ways to make the campaign successful and make the administrative arrangements more pro-people in nature. The main issues that came up in this workshop were mutation, demarcation, improper information systems, encroachment, discrepancy in land records and allotment, the PESA act, the role of Gram Sabha / Gram Panchayat, the issue of patta, and rampant corruption at the ground level.
Natural Resources
Livelihood Support