PUNNAGAI AND PONNAGAI – LEADING TO PROSPERITY
Mr.S.N.A.Jinnah, Chief General Manager of Nabard, Regional office, Chennai, S.Suresh kumar, Asst.General Manager of Nabard, Trichy and Dr.Jeyaseelan, Group CEO of Hand in Hand India (HiH India) & HIH India team visited a tribal development project implemented by HiH India with the funding support of Nabard at Pachamalai, Tiruchy district. The main objective of the intervention in this area is to avoid migration of tribal communities and provide them employment all year round in their own villages. The unique strategy used by HiH India for this is titled, “one lakh income from one acre of plantation crop”.
During this fruitful visit, the CGM visited the project areas and appreciated the technical work done by HiH India in those areas. He interacted with the SHG women of the area and wished them the best with a popular Tamil proverb, i.e. “Punnagai (smile) and ponnagai(wearing gold jewels) leading to prosperity
Some key changes that HiH India has brought about amongst the farmers in the community include:
-Training programmes that have allowed the farmers to increase their net income from harvesting tapioca crops by 10 times in 5 years.1100 acres have been covered by these farmers with tapioca plantation
-For each farmer’s one acre land, mango (54 plants), cashew (40 plants) and silver oak (80 plants) have been provided
-Farmers have been trained to take up inter crops -vegetables, pine apple and pulses.
-Soil and water conservation measures such as field bunds, stone bunds and farm ponds have been undertaken. 450 acres of barren lands have been brought to cultivation.
-People have been empowered as all these development interventions have been planned and implemented through the people’s institutions with the facilitation support of Hand in Hand India.