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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Living: Case-38: GAJJALAKONDA IS NOW AN EQUITY CONSCIOUS VILLAGE!
Have you read, “Mayhem of the Miserables!” available 

When the APRLP activities began in Gajjalakonda Village in Markapuram Mandal, the DWMA conducted awareness programmes on the activities of the watershed programme for farmers and labourers. The DWMA persuaded the farmers to work on watershed works in their respective fields. They started user groups with farmers and labourers in the village. They conducted gender awareness programmes and introduced the idea of equal wages for men and women. Men protested against this initially but later on agreed to the proposal. The farmers and labourers of the village joined together and formed five labour groups, each comprising thirty members. Men and women worked together on the construction of farm ponds, stone walls and check dams etc., and on 4 KMs of plantation from Gajjalakonda to Moddulapalli Road.

After the completed building works were measured, the labourers were paid Rs.61.20 paise per metre for earth work and Rs.150 per metre of stone work. Women and men got equal wages.  Earlier, women used to be paid Rs.20 and men Rs.40 as daily wages. The villagers understood the injustice of the disparity in wages for men and women because they had attended the awareness camps.

One person in the group was chosen as the leader to oversee the work of the entire group. The village organisation got the money directly from the DWMA and paid the labourers by cheque. The group leader assembled all the members and distributed the money equally.  Each member got wages ranging from Rs.50 to Rs.80 per day and at the same time they worked and developed their own fields. The villagers are grateful for the help and also admit that they have saved money in the process. Gajjalakonda village is now a gender friendly village where men and women earn equal wages. 

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