Nirmala Barla, a forty-year-old from Brahmanamara village in the district of Sundargarh has broken the shackles of patriarchy by excelling in bringing her family out of the clutches of poverty. This was the first time a wedding took place in her family and a single penny was taken as a loan from anybody. She also prided herself as the first person in her village in Odisha to purchase a power tiller.
Brahmanamara in Odisha doesn’t only boost of one Nirmala Barla, as there are many more village women like her who have come forward to adopt this change. They have also motivated the other villagers in the Sundargarh district in Odisha to join their movement to grow organic crops. Jagannath also had a huge growth in his mustard crop last season. They grow their crops without buying seeds and fertilizers from the market.
The villagers in this village in Odisha have also gone ahead with multi-cropping.The change has touched the lives of more than 2000 farmers from over 30 villages in the Sundargarh district in Odisha. The local residents from these villages in Odisha have been helped and guided in the entire process by Centre for Integrated Rural and Tribal Development (CIRTD), a local non-profit working to popularize organic farming and promoting indigenous seed banks by farmers.
Role of CIRTD
CIRTD was established by a group of educated youths from the district of Sundargarh, Odisha. These group of youth came from different socio- economic background with a single dream of bringing about a change in their district in Odisha. These youth believed that change is possible only with the help of a collective effort. Their vision is to eradicate poverty and promote prosperity through means which is easy to adopt. At the same time, they also wanted to preserve the cultural heritage of their state, Odisha. CIRTD also envisages on removing illiteracy and social evils to bring about an overall change in their immediate environment.
CIRTD understood that all the wealth of the world cannot help bring about change if the people are not taught to be self-sufficient and self –reliant. Taking steps in this direction, CIRTD introduced the villagers to organic farming. The farmers who are mostly tribal further modified their composition of organic fertilizers using things like molasses that can be available locally.
These inputs have helped bring about a change in the lives of the farmers in the Sundargarh district of Odisha. The women folk of these villages now have taken a step forward and have gone in for collective farming. The best feature about collective farming is that even the poor landless farmers are not left out.
Kudos to CIRTD for bringing about a change in the Sundargarh district in Odisha. They truly justify the adage that “ Charity begins at home and God helps those who help themselves”.