Bamboo Handicraft Workshop helps the students achieve expertise in this particular skilled work along with the academic curriculum. The handicrafts prepared by the students and also the populous of the nearby villages are displayed at various exhibitions organised in different cities. These handicrafts are put on sale during these exhibitions, and students/villagers receive a royalty of the items sold at these exhibitions, thus marking the first step towards self-sustenance.
One of the projects under the Lok Biradari development schemes is the dairy management. Everyday requirements of milk and milk products in the Biradari and the nearby villages is satisfied by the dairy. Everyday on an average 80-100 liters of milk is produced at the dairy. Milk is used to make dairy products like curds and cottage-cheese as well.
When the Lok Biradari began functioning there had been no plan to set up a school. It was dictated by circumstances. But formal education through the school was not the only kind of teaching the organization did. Agricultural extension activity was an important part. Traditionally the Madia Gonds grew no vegetables. They raised millets and rice, and drew all the rest of their wants from the forests. They ate all sorts of animals: dogs, cats, ants, birds, monkeys, etc, often drying the meat to preserve it so that they could eat it later The LBP began by distributing hybrid paddy varieties to the tribals so that they could get higher yields. They also used to distribute vegetable and fruit seeds. Simultaneously they organized demonstration plots, both on its own land and in tribal villages. The students in the Lok Biradari School too were taught improved agricultural techniques and they proved to be good ambassadors in their own villages. So successful have they been that almost all the tribals have now begun to grow vegetables and fruits. The government too has started distributing hybrid seeds, so the LBP has stopped doing so to avoid duplication of efforts. Another important activity was to provide life-saving irrigation to tribal farmers. Sometimes the rains would vanish for a few days or weeks right in the middle of an important growth phase for crops. During this period the LBP would offer their diesel pumps to the tribal farmers on condition that the farmers paid for the cost of the diesel. This activity still continues, but in a limited way, because many farmers now have their own diesel pumps bought with a 100% subsidy from the government. The LBP still provides training to such beneficiaries and later helps out by repairing those pumps that fail. About 20 pumps are repaired every year. Spray pumps to spray insecticides and pesticides are still lent to farmers. There is even a government handpump repair unit at Bhamragad. Even so the LBP repairs about 10-12 handpumps every year.
Hemalkasa and surrounding villages is known for thick forest and its own natural beauty. However
surrounding also suffers from some nature problems.
One of them is water conservation. The soil of Hemalkasa and surrounding villages does hold water,
hence despite of heavy rain every year, villagers have to struggle for potable water and irrigation water.
All of the villages are dependent on natural sources of water such as river or canal. So once the rainy
season over each one of us (Humans and Animals) have to struggle for water.
Aniket Amte a Director of Lok Biradari Prakalp have come up with unique idea, and asked villagers can
we check for other water resources such as huge lake. If we excavate a huge lake according the
population of village, each one of us will have enough water for irrigation and drinking. It will also help
to increase underground water level. Each one of us can take multiple crops instead of only one per year.
But he also introduced some unique thoughts
1. Villagers have to contribute 10% of total value of excavation work so that each of one will own the lake and everyone will take care of it.
2. None of them should drink alcohol in village.
3. None of them should eat tobacco.
4. Save trees and plant trees
The president of gramsabha has to conduct a meeting and he should get 70% agreement from villagers to follow the rules. Once it’s done, we can go ahead and start the excavation work. And the day come 6th Jan 2017 when we have started excavation work at the village name “Bejjur” around 3 kms towards Allapalli from Lok Biradari Prakalp, Hemalkasa. The size of the lake is 100*50 meter with 3 meter depth. The excavation work completed in 15-20 days.The total cost for excavation work 10 lack rupees. And so on... We have completed the excavation work at several villages.
Creating a second income source:-
The communities residing in the dense forest of Hemalkasa and surrounding are mainly gatherers and hunters. After so many decades passed, they are settling down and turned to farming. Farming is only income source for all of them. To give them equal opportunity and to create second option for income, Lok Biradari Prakalp have decided to give them formal training of fish farming. We have identified 5 personals from 5 different villages and provided the formal training of fish farming, fish hatchery and fish nursery at Dimbe, Pune. Now all of them are well trained and they will pass on the knowledge to rest of the villagers so that all of them will be more confident and will look fish farming as income source.
Let the pictures speak now