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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Living: Case-70: FESTIVITIES MADE EASY BY THE VILLAGE ORGANISATION!


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Chintalapallem village of Peddavoora mandal in Nalgonda district is 10 km from Nagarjuna Sagar. There is no proper road to this village as it is in a minor forest area. Transport too is not available and people have to walk long distances.

During festivals and other celebrations the villagers had a problem as there were no facilities to hire shamianas or vessels for cooking. They had to go to Nagarjuna Sagar, which was tiresome and expensive. After the APRLP came to Chintalapallem, a village organisation was formed. During the village meetings the people expressed a need for a ‘tent house’ which stocks shamianas and other material needed for large scale celebrations in the village. The village organisation immediately decided to set up a tent house on behalf of all the self-help groups for the benefit of all the villagers. Each of the sixteen self-help groups
contributed Rs.7,500 and collected Rs.1,20,000, with which they bought:

Chairs                          – 100
Tables                          – 10
Cooking utensils          – 9
Basins                          – 12
Buckets                        – 12
Tents (shamianas)        – 4
Other smaller items.

They rented a house for Rs.150 a month, which became the ‘tent house’.

All the self-help groups mutually agreed to appoint one member who is paid Rs.4, 000 a year to manage this business. They have opened a bank account and deposit the money accrued from this business into this account. They have formed a recovery committee comprising one member from each of the sixteen groups to collect overdue payments. The recovery committee is given a list of defaulters and the outstanding amounts. Initially one member goes to recover the money. If she fails, five members go together and insist on payment, if the reasons for non payment are not compelling.  This is the style of functioning that has been decided by the committee.

They village organisation reviews the business once in six months. They have decided to lend the money they have earned from this business to those who are in need, for example people who require funds for marriages, education, medicines, and other such reasons. They run this business based on strict regulations. They collected Rs.19, 500 in 2006 and have been a great help to all the villagers.

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