South Vihar Welfare Society for Tribal (Ashray) is working with dedication in the field of Rural and Social Development sector for the past 17 years. The work of Ashray has been acknowledged by the World Bank and the UN (FAO) and also the organization has received many awards for its outstanding work. We have been a part of ATMA, Birsa Agriculture University (official member), Nabard and many other agriculture and allied sectors in the dissemination and execution of work in the sector of agriculture and its allied sectors. The thematic area of work for the organization is Combat Human Trafficking and Livelihood Promotion.
Under the Livelihood promotion area a lot of work has been done in the mobilization of farmers, SHGs, adolescent girls, training and capacity building of the farmers, women and adolescent girls, promotion of sustainable agriculture, farming and animal husbandry, provision of linkages with banks , schemes and employment. Ashray till date has created 150 Self Help groups ( 2250 Members), 30 adolescent girls group through Balika groups (age group 12 – 18 yrs. with 450 members), 20 youth clubs (360 members), 15 farmers clubs (300 members), 10 Village Development Committee with 90 members in the districts of Ranchi, Gumla, Simdega and Bokaro. Each group has its own goals and objectives of group formation. The various groups work efficiently under the supervision and monitoring of Ashray, in practicing farming, utilization of livestock and establishing linkages for the generation of employment and securing livelihood.
The organization has made popular the practice of SRI (System of Rice Intensification) for the increase in yield and income of the farmers. It provides the beneficiaries with complete solution whereby provision of technical tools and goatery, piggery is also a major part. We have provided our farmers with the training on vermi-composting and organic farming with the point of sustainability and inculcating the sense of care for environment and people. Watershed Management is a very important aspect that the organization thrives to promote and the organization has successfully constructed pond, dug-well, waste-water structures, CCT, gabion structure etc. to ensure the availability of water for sustained agriculture. Keeping into consideration the problems in agriculture in Jharkhand area which is mostly due to the complete dependency of irrigation on rainfall which is mostly erratic in nature and the climatic change is making the situation worst where the poor farmers are suffering great loss in this sector. Thus, to increase the yield in a sustainable manner, Ashray has initiated and popularized the SRI (System of Rice Intensification). Several research studies demonstrated that SRI can sustain and enhance rice production and productivity with better management of existing resources. In additions, SRI has several other benefits such as consumption of less water, low external agrochemicals, resistance to external biotic and biotic factors and low emission of greenhouse gases. Despite of few challenges to encourage the poor farmers to adopt this methodology, SRI has grown popularity among the progressive farmers of the coverage area of Ashray mostly in the Namkum Area of Ranchi, due to its high productivity and cost effective nature. Ashray has struggled to train the farmers/SHGs in the same and slowly has been able to bring in confidence among the farmers to grow crops using SRI and organic farming. The Farmers and SHGs have been practicing and benefitting from SRI, which has increased their yield. The SHGs under the direction of Ashray -South Vihar Welfare Society for Tribal have been practicing community farming as well. “Food Security” and “Food Sovereignty” is our major focus and thus Marua and Mahua kheti is our priority and we promote our beneficiaries to cultivate traditional crops. Rabi crop cultivation is also promoted by our team.
The organization promotes exposure visits for its beneficiaries. Many farmers have been able to get training and have been motivated to practice new ways to increase income through increased yield. The Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) are important for the organization and it imparts training of the same. Innovative and latest low cost latest technologies are being made available to our farmers and SHGs so as to make them updated with the new environment friendly equipment and finally bring in a sustainable high social impact in the lives of the rural people. Thus, education and training are vital to our working mechanism where many farmers have been taken to various agricultural institutions to get the best and latest knowledge and to practically understand the implementation of a few technologies. Scientific inputs are a must in the learning to increase the yield. Thus training enables the building of capacity of the farmers to achieve our final objectives which are broadly as follows:
1) To enhance sustainable rural livelihood.
2) To conserve and promote sustainable utilization of water resources.
3) To promote sustainable utilization of arable agriculture and pasture land resources
4) To enhance food security and food sovereignty.
Ashray strives until sustain in a mission mode to make the services available to the marginalized people for improving their livelihood through sustainable agricultural and livestock rearing practices whereby building their capacity to lead a dignified life is ensure and promoted.