Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ammi and Kulavi kitchen equipments are still in use in Dasilnaikanoor village.

Traditional way of masala preparation in Dasilnaikanoor
The village walk under Participatory Rural Appraisal, (PRA) conducted under SG.OFI/SEVAI Watershed project, it is observed that the Dasilnaikanoor village people especially women use the traditional kitchen equipments for cooking for maintaining the cost effectiveness of the food preparation for the families. This oblong grinding stone (Tamil name “ammi”) and the roller (Tamil name “kulavi”) which looks like a rolling pin are made out of stone.  In the traditional Tamil cooking dried ingredients such as coriander, cumin, and black pepper are placed on the heavy stone and pulverized with the roller.  The granite stone has carved ridges to hold the ingredients in place.  Traditionally chutneys, curry pastes are also made with this equipment.  When grinding with ammi and kulavi, spices, coconut are placed on the base stone and the top roller (kulavi) is moved back and forth.  When using this apparatus, very less water is used.  Methods of grinding spices evolve over the years. In Dasilnaickanoor, even
Village temple of dasilnaickanoor
now the women of this village use stone pounders for malsala mortar preparation. Most families in this village use stone grinders for fine-tuning the masala as the woman of the family sits  in front of stone grinder and bring the rolling stone up and down to grind the masala( a mix Red chili, turmeric, coriander, garlic, onion mortar) to prepare the sambar/veg/non- veg curry etc for the rice food/staple food. The methods of grinding spices are traditional and manual. Most houses have their own grinder and mortar made of undressed granite. This was used for grinding small quantities of spices. One of the kitchen "appliances" is the "Ammi" (that's what we call it in our native Tamil language). The Ammi or a stone rolling grinder consists of two heavy stones just like a mortar and pestle. The Ammi has been passed down through the generations. My women in Dasilnaickanoor use it as often for her day-to-day needs. The rough surface of the basalt stone creates a superb grinding surface that maintains itself over time as tiny
Wall paintings of Dasilnaickanoor temple
bubbles in the basalt are ground down, replenishing the textured surface. In Dasilnaickanoor and other parts this village traditional kitchen equipments are still in existence.  In Dasilnaickanoor people still use these equipments on a day to day basis.  Other than these equipments the fire stove which is used to cook food is called “aduppu” which is made out of clay.  Normally fire wood  is collected from the backyard is used.  Dried coconut leaves are also used make fire.  Some people use coconut leaves especially when boiling water.  Normally Clay pots are used to cook food on aduppu.  -Govin

Link Workers honoured for their involvement for working towards zeroing HIV/AIDS new infection in Trichirapalli District.

Link Workers of SEVAI express their solidarity in their mission

SEVAI a Trichy based NGO honored the Link Workers involved in Link Workers scheme (LWS) for significant reduction of HIV new infection in Trichirapalli District. In an Award distribution function held in SEVAI, the District Resource Person of LWS, Mr.Subramanian, of implementing NGO, SEVAI, spoke on this occasion, “NACO has designed the Link Worker Scheme (LWS) to provide HIV prevention, referral and follow up services to HRGs and vulnerable groups in rural areas. NACO, TANSACS, DAPCU and the implementing NGOs at the districts are closely involved in LWS. LWS is implemented in Trichirapalli District BY SEVAI with a strong management and technical support structure from TANSACS. The Link Workers Scheme is taken in a holistic approach to make it a success. Villages with an average population of 5000 and high risk behaviour fall in the priority list. High risk behavior meant higher percentage of activities involving male and female sex workers, which directly increased the chances of sexually transmitted Infection (STIs).Other than this, various other factors play a part in high risks of STIs in rural areas. The Link Worker Scheme as promoted by NACO and TANSACS took help from within the village to make the people more aware about the scheme and its benefits. Pamphlets, wall paintings were used to impart more information on the same. Under the LWS, villagers are taught the practice of safe sex. Free condoms are distributed in the area and young people and are educated about the harms of unprotected sexual activity; married couples are talked out of infidelity and multiple sexual partners.SEVAI- LWS Team also makes sure that the people are aware about the various government schemes. Link Workers reach out to those vulnerable populations who are not able to access to HIV related services. The Link Workers provide HIV related information, demonstrate condom use, distribute condoms, refer patients for appropriate services and do follow-up to monitor and facilitate the consistent use of these services. The focus is also given on advocating for availability of quality services and reduction of stigma and discrimination against HRGs and PLHIV. Public events such as World AIDS Day, International Women’s Day were organised where thousands of people participated. The key achievements during this project period are significantly the Presence of trained link workers in 100 villages, Covered target population through outreach activities and there are People used services of ICTC and tested their HIV status, Mainstreaming HIV & AIDS activities were carried out with various departments, Linked to Govt Scheme, Advocacy cum sensitization Program etc”.The project Director of SEVAI, Dr.K.Govindaraju introduced the new guidelines given by NACO for the Link Workers Scheme to be followed from April 2015 and enlightened the eligible cluster link workers and Zonal supervisors and the other supervisory functionaries to adhere the guidelines given by NACO as closely monitored by TANSACS.- Govin

Monday, March 30, 2015

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) organized to build rapport, elicit support, information and participation of the women SHGs in their own development under SG/OFI Project.

SHG-PRA Conducted in Dasilnaickanoor SHGs by Vanitha,Coordinator of SEVAI SHG project.

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) organized to build rapport, elicit support, information and participation of the women      SHGs in their own development under SG/OFI Project. Women Self Groups were formed in the Watershed area of Thottiyapatty and Dasilnaicknaoor clusters under SG/OFI/SEVAI projects as the SHGs are important because they expand knowledge base, try to bring about changes in their attitudes and impart new skills and build upon our existing skills. The project coordinator organized a Participatory Rural Appraisal(PRA) of women SHGs in  Dsilnaickanoor and the outcome of this Participatory Rural Appraisal(PRA) for women groups were: Poverty is not just material deprivation but a continuous process of denial of choices/rights/opportunities, discrimination, disparity, domination, displacement, de-humanization etc. Participatory techniques aim to ‘break the silence’ of the poor and disadvantaged sections, recognize the value of popular collective knowledge and wisdom and legitimize the production of knowledge by the people themselves. Alleviating poverty does not end with meeting individuals’/people’s material needs. People including the very poor have to be empowered socially, economically and politically. This is best done as communities and not as individuals. Every human being has tremendous potential in herself. This hidden potential in the poor can be unleashed if the right environment is provided. As an individual, the poor are voiceless, powerless and vulnerable. By bringing them together as a homogenous collective, they have tremendous strength. The practice that is presented is a “Community Development” approach. The very poor members of a community are organized to form Self Help Groups. The entire community plays a role in selecting the poorest households among them using criteria that they themselves develop - aided by a Facilitator. 15 to 20 members from these poor households and from the same socio-economic background form a Self Help Group. This approach normally works well with women. Meeting together each week and a weekly saving by the poor members are two basic steps. The meeting together gives each member a new identity”. The PRA outcome was thoroughly discussed .The poor women who have thus far been voiceless and powerless leading to a sense of hopelessness, soon realize that they are no more alone. They start seeing a new meaning and purpose to life. They start sharing their problems in the group and social issues are discussed. A new relationship of trust and togetherness develops in contrast to the former state of loneliness. The process of “Social development” is initiated. The weekly
PRA Debriefing with the community leaders
saving - however small it may be - brings in a financial discipline in the members. Once they have made a commitment to save and start at it, they push themselves to work more and raise more resources to keep their commitment. It develops in them Economic development” process. Under this project a lot of Capacity Building inputs are provided to the individual members as well as the groups and their leadership qualities are developed. The whole process is slow and no spectacular results are seen immediately. The conventional entry point to a poor community is through the acknowledged leaders. Very often, the very poor within the community are left out in this development process. The members of the community are facilitated to carry out PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) exercises like Social Mapping and Wealth Ranking. This helps them identify the poorest among them based on criteria developed by the community themselves. The poorest members of the community are invited to form Self Help Groups. Although the people are very poor, their inborn potential to manage their lives have to be brought out. This is a process, with the right approach, it is possible and it works. The practice touches the root causes of poverty. The basic characteristics of a Self Help Group, which is the primary unit of the People’s Institution, are: Informal association, Homogeneous in terms of socio economic condition, mainly for the poor. The SHGs are Non Political and promotes Voluntary participation, Rotational
PRA Walk and village observations
leadership, Affinity among members, the members bound by mutual trust, respect and affection that support one another, Participatory methods in management, Self help principles, Mutual support, Continuous capital building, Common interest in all activities, Bank account in the name of the group, Own rules and regulations, Bye – laws formed by the group members. Under this SG/OFI/SEVAI Project the functions of SHGs were imparted to women members and followed and the important functions are Regular weekly meeting. Regular saving, Credit management, Book keeping, Social action programs and Community action programs, Awareness and training. In the Self Help Group approach, a fresh awareness of the role of a family comes in. Families start taking care of their children according to their “Good for the Child”, this is what the family considers necessary and can sustain. The participatory approach emphasizes flexible learning, adaptable to the pace set by the learners/trainers and tailored to needs expressed by participants’ themselves.-Govin

Tree nursery is grown in Dasilnaickanoor watershed promoted by SG/OFI/SEVAI Project.

Tree nursery raising techniques imparted to a farmer of Dasilnaickanoor

Nursery is a place where plants are grown, nurtured and sold out. The importance of the best quality planting material as an initial investment is a well realized factor for persons engaged in tree plantation field. But in general good quality and assured planting material at reasonable price is not available. The demand for quality planting tree nursery is steadily increasing due to interest in fruit tree cultivation, social forestry, aggro-forestry and plantation crops. SG/OFI/SEVAI Project in Dasilnaickanoor is setting up plant nurseries to meet the demands of the people has been felt by small and marginal farmers. Thus SG/OFI/SEVAI introduced small nurseries which will serve to augment the incomes of needy sections of rural society especially dry land area of Dasilnaickanoor. Nursery plants require due care and attention after having either emerged from the seeds or have been raised from other sources like rootstock. Generally they are grown in the open field under the protection of Mother Nature where, they should be able to face the local environment. It is the duty and main objective of a nursery grower to supply the nursery plants with suitable conditions necessary for their development and growth. This is the major work of management in the nursery which includes all such operations right from the emergence of young plantlet till they are fully grown-up or are ready for uprooting and transplanting in the main fields. Nursery Techniques involve raising seedlings, saplings economically useful through scientific methods with new techniques available, which are cost effective. These new techniques are useful in increasing the success increasing seedling vigor; reducing transplanting shock and generally reducing the quantum of manual work. Cost effective nursery techniques introduced under this project of SG/OFI/SEVAI has advantages of reducing Manual labour and drudgery, increased  Vigour of seedlings, Reduces transplanting shocks, Success rate survival of the plantation is high, Overall operating costs are less, Inputs like water, manure etc. are low and the Growth rates are enhanced. Raising seedlings with potting medium technique ensures that a large number of seedlings can be raised in minimum space under optimized and controlled conditions. The seeds, saplings are planted in plastic bags filled with a specially prepared potting medium. The bags have holes in the bottom. They are kept in shallow pits lined with a plastic film to prevent roots penetrating the soil below. They are watered by letting water into the pit from where it enters the bags through the holes. The potting medium has to be porous to avoid water logging and should also have all the plant nutrients. The process of composting involves soaking the agro-waste in water containing cattle dung. The agro-waste is spread on the ground in a layer about 20 cm thick. The microbial culture is spread on the layer and the next layer is laid on top of it. The heap can reach a height of one meter. It is then covered by a piece of plastic film. Once every month, the heap is stirred and covered again. Depending upon the nature of the agro-waste, the process takes anywhere from 2 to 4 months.-Govin

Peer education is one that is of equal standing with another

Peer learners of SSMHSS

Peer Education is one that is of equal standing with another: one belonging to the same societal group especially based on age, grade, or status. Education in Peers settings promotes Collaborative Learning, An instructional strategy used to reinforce skills taught by the teacher.  This teaching method allows time for practice, review, and opportunities for students to use higher-level thinking skills. Peer modeling is another support that can be used to help students learn academic, processes and classroom routines.  It also provides the classroom teacher opportunities to use peers to assist with instruction, clarifying directions and give social reminders with little or no disruption to the lesson cycle.  It is an excellent way for peers to provide appropriate behavioral models of students who need to improve their social skills. In ways similar to the school community, the peer group becomes an agency of learning. Even very young children develop a sense of self from their perceptions of important people in their surroundings, including relatives, teachers, and peers. Socioeconomic status and parents’ occupations affect how families view themselves and the process by which they socialize their children. Later, as children leave the home setting, their self-perception and socializing skills become influenced by how their peers view them. When children move out from family to school, and the community at large, they begin to form attachments, and friendships emerge through their play. Early friendships begin to form and children’s peers begin to have a more lasting influence.Peer influence on behavior gradually becomes more dominant. Peer groups have an even stronger influence than that of parents, children discover that others can share their feelings or attitudes or have quite different ones. The perspectives of others will affect how children feel about their own families. The peer group also influences development of children’s socializing
Peer Learners of Dasilnaicknanoor
skills. These early friendships help children learn how to negotiate and relate to others, including their siblings and other family members. They learn from peers how to cooperate and socialize according to group norms and group-sanctioned modes of behavior. The peer group can influence what the child values, knows, wears, eats, and learns. The extent of this influence, however, depends on other situational constraints, such as the age and personality of children and the nature of the group. Socialization is particularly important for children with difficulties, and it is the reason many programs include peers who are typically developing in education programs. In its most acceptable form, the peer group is a healthy coming-of-age arbiter, by which children grasp negotiating skills and learn to deal with hostility and to solve problems in a social context. Education to peers modeling promotes
Friendships, Increased social initiations, relationships, Peer role models for academic, social and behavior skills, Greater access to general curriculum, Enhanced skill acquisition and generalization, Increased inclusion in future environments, Greater opportunities for interactions, Increased parent participation and Families are more integrated into community. Govin