Must read for the weekend …

A feature on the Deccan Development Society (DDS), an organization aimed to create a self-sustainable ecosystem of dalit women in Andhra Pradesh, in a manner that its leader coins as being “villaged global.” My favorite paragraph:

Starting in 1999, the women of the DDS created a market with about 2,000 members, comprising ecological, self-produced food crops. The sales of their agricultural and other produce yielded a 300% profit in six years; the womens’ dividends increased between Rs 30-800 annually. A mobile van selling the produce was introduced in 2001 to provide people easier access to produce and to popularise organic food. The Zaheerabad Consumers Action Group was also formed which has brought out films on local cuisine and a cookbook using ingredients based on the crops that the women produce. It even runs Cafe Ethnic, a millet restaurant!

I strongly encourage you to read it in its entirety here.

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Midday Newsfeed

  • Employment: The social justice ministry concluded that the participation ratio of SCs/STs in the NREGA, a rural job scheme, shows that despite the fact that tribals are half the number of Dalits, they consistently outnumber them in the program, and that this needs to be corrected.
  • Environment: The government is working on a formula to compensate states for the environmental damage caused by power projects that sell power outside the states they are located in. The compensation will be paid by the company, agency, or state buying power. (Source: OneWorld South Asia)
  • Health: A Planning Commission report says that India is an attractive destination for health tourists, but that a major obstacle was the unwillingness of insurance companies to pay for treatment in India. Alternative systems of medicine are an added attraction for medical tourists.
  • Technology: More Indian IT firms are moving abroad because they claim it is cheaper to do business elsewhere.