Pudurnadu is a tribal pocket of the Javadhu hills in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. The mild climate, good rainfall and fertile soil of Pudurnadu are ideal for growing crops like rain-fed banana (native to Pudurnadu) and other banana varieties, mango, jasmine and few vegetables like Lablab, beans, and chili. However, despite being endowed with rich natural resources, fertile land, and high rainfall it is an underdeveloped area. As is the case with most tribal communities in India, the people here live in deprivation and poverty.
Status of Drinking Water in the Village
Most of the families in this area rely on rain-fed agriculture as their main source of income, making the entire tribal economy dependent on rain. This presents the inhabitants of Pudurnadu with serious problems. The money made by monsoon farming is quite low, and due to the uncertainties of rainfall, the farmers can never be assured of even a meagre income. Furthermore, the people face unemployment for four to six months of the year when there is no rain for their fields.
Way Forward and Expected Benefits
The remoteness of the place has preserved the tribal people’s traditional agricultural practices, which are organic by default. As the niche market for organically produced horticultural products is quickly expanding, the traditional knowledge of the tribal farmers can be capitalised on to secure better prices for their produce and act as a means of social and economic empowerment. However, before they can try to get better prices for their produce, the tribal people must find a solution to their main obstacle in growing horticultural crops, which is the lack of a steady source of water. This is where the farm ponds can be useful, as the ponds can help the farmers not only to catch and store the rainwater but also to tap the subsurface water that is available for a major part of the year. Unfortunately, efforts by some farmers to excavate farm ponds have not been successful. They were unable to construct strong stonewalls on the sides, which are necessary features of a farm pond. If the farmers receive assistance in the digging of farm ponds and/or the construction of stone retaining walls, they are far more likely to have enough water to start horticulture production.
Villagers Speak Before Construction...
Over the above budget DHAN Foundation contributes Rs. 50,000 by providing professional and techno managerial support to the community.
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