Parimochana is a participatory programme launched by PARIJNAN FOUNDATION® to reach out to people below the poverty line (BPL) and initiate sustainable development in several villages around the Shri Chitrapur Math®.
The two-fold aim of this endeavour is: 1. to improve the livelihood and thereby, the quality of life of the participant natives, and 2. to ensure sustainable management of the natural resources within the given area. There has also been a perceptible decline in vices and family tensions, as also a decreased dependence on the government’s administrative system alone for the fulfilment of the basic needs of the village population.
Parimochana has proved successful because of the four sound principles in which it is rooted:
- Community mobilization has been achieved by creating a ‘Sangha’ of 10-15 members, with an adult from each of the needy families. Weekly meetings are held to ensure that each member saves a fixed amount in the Sangha to utilise later for self-lending. Monitoring the formation of Self-Help Groups (SHGs), training the community facilitators who train the group members is done at the onset of each phase.
- Community empowerment is done through giving exposure and training in livelihood promotion for member families. The Sangha-s thus become planning, implementing, and monitoring bodies for all interventions at family level – both livelihood and ‘quality-of-life’ programmes.
- Community participation happens when the Sangha scans available options and develops a family-level micro-plan for each unit, based on its available resources, earlier experience, feasibility of chosen option, and its existing or likely competition.
- Family support or development assistance is provided through the Sangha to each unit to start the chosen activity and the Sangha decides the amount to be repaid and its instalments. This goes into the common fund to be used for sustainability of the programme.
- Forming the organisation with a time-bound agenda and interaction of project staff.
- Enhancing livelihood through promotion of the Integrated Farming System which includes land and water resource development, rain harvesting, forestry, trees for fodder, bio-mass production for manure, fuel, and so on.
- Horticulture: Creation of nurseries with training provided for better livelihood.
- Improved composting techniques like vermi-composting, crop rotation, application of bio-pesticides, new cultivation practices.
- Better agricultural implements provided as community assets.
- Promoting non-agricultural rural enterprises like traditional skill-based activities – carpentry, pottery, dairy, sheep and goat rearing, or service jobs like laundry, hair-cutting salons.
- Providing training, seed-money to buy better tools or start a new activity.
- Promoting better sanitation and construction of toilets.
- Promotion of usage of renewable sources of energy like solar power.
Parimochana emerged as a successful model for its sustainable development. ‘Parimochana Federation’ is a registered entity under Karnataka’s Society Act, and works as an official interface between the various Sangha-s.
Its system has enabled the participant to put any support money to good use and repay it to Parimochana Federation with responsibility. Each and every participant accepts the support as divine ‘Prasad’, as they see the holy connection between Shri Chitrapur Math® and Parimochana Federation.
- Women Empowerment: The women who have benefitted greatly are aware of everything Parimochana does, speak to the public and visitors, and express their views. Women who were confined only to their homes are now more aware of financial matters. The SHG system has made each and every woman of the participating families independent during bank visits and carrying out transactions like cash remittance, drawing loan, repayment, etc. This awareness extends to their homes where they don’t just aid in earning a livelihood, but also help in taking financial decisions and sharing responsibilities with their husbands in order to lead a comfortable life. Women are more confident and bolder in routine or important matters.
- Economic Upliftment & Quality of Life: Women participating in Parimochana have also generated self-employment, which means their effort and time are now put to a more effective use. For example, the cultivation of Jasmine has provided employment to hundreds of families. Women are coming forward with new ideas like constructing toilets, improved chulhas (stoves), etc. for assisting them in their endeavours to improve their lives. Though government schemes provide support for the construction of toilets, participants are approaching Parimochana Federation to avail loan for it due to limited provisions and advance cash for construction (as the government only pays after the completion of work).
Where migration used to pose a big threat for the youth moving to cities and/or being asked to return, the project intervened to provide financial strength so they could lead contented lives back in the villages.
- Environmental: Existing water resources were improved and rejuvenated for optimum utilisation for Jasmine cultivation, vegetable cultivation, and development of horticulture orchards. Jasmine cultivation has proven to be a more successful intervention. With more awareness about the need for proper sanitation combined with the availability of loans for the construction of toilets, Shirali and surrounding villages are moving towards becoming ‘Open Defecation Free Villages’.