Vihara Program Areas
Specialties interested in joining the project must do so within the specific areas that best matches one’s training and professional capabilities. Present advisors supporting the groups are either fixed or interim. In all cases, there is a solicitation for additional expert support.
Students and Interns
Students and Interns (high school and college levels) from across the globe are welcome to join the Vihara Foundation. Modern communication technology makes this practical. Students and Interns bring special value to the projects’ evolution and development. The projects offers opportunity for experience and growth serving in key roles in functions such as data collection and processing analyst, web-design, marketing and media, and strategic thinking and reasoning for policy develop and institution.
Vihara Program Areas
1.Climate Mitigation Technical Teams
Contact Dennis Ramdahin at [email protected]
2. Rock against Poverty/ Creative Development Finance Technical Teams
Contact Dennis Ramdahin at [email protected]
3. Poverty Alleviation Technical Teams
Contact Dennis Ramdahin at [email protected]
Vihara Project Areas
1. All Project Involvement
Contact Dennis Ramdahin at [email protected]
2. Individual Working Groups of The Vihar Project
The below comprises a listing of project implementation areas/working groups of the Vihar Project.
MACRO-DESIGN WHOLE-SYSTEM THINKING STRATEGIES TARGETING ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY
1. Cooperative Building, Structuring & Legal Institutionalizing
Purpose: Stable land management is closely linked to secure land tenure systems. Secure land management avoid conflict and create the conditions for inclusive development, not focused exclusively on growth and respects the ecological and social needs. It is for this reason that farmers are encouraged to systematically organize their land for the purpose of pursing development. Furthermore, the generational divisions of land devalue the inclusive bid for common people resource management and cooperative business management outgrowth and development.
Status: Over the last four years of project initiation, aggressive work in the form of community farmers meetings and personal interactions have been carried out and completed to educate and stimulate cooperative mindset amongst the farmers and communities. Farmers have hence expressed understanding of the inherent value achievable through production land pooling and are in agreement to form legal cooperatives for longterm benefits.
Currently, work is in progress to institutionalize legal registration of the cooperative business entity underpinning The Vihar Project; such structure will entail the landpooling agreements at 500 ha units involving:
– 25 ha self-help groups (4 per 100 ha sub-divide)
– 100 ha sub-division divides (5 per 500 Ha unit)
– 500 ha cooperative unit (100 per 50,000 Ha farmers’ own/operate business enterprise)
These landpooling agreements will support and make collective decisions regarding civil engineering needs (road and irrigation infrastructures), and the capital investment for storage and processing.
2. Agrarian Planning & Crop Modeling
Purpose: Systematic agrarian planning that complements natural resource availability, and sustainable business management for income generating production and servicing to food security is vital to the success of community livelihood of farming regions (and to the state and nation as a whole).
The fact that agrarian planning is presently executed in random and distributed modes undermines the true potential of the collective community output and economic possibilities, hence contributing to the situation of poverty and underdevelopment.
Agrarian planning and crop modeling must also meet the demands of modern and overly populated society. There is now greater potential for crop diversification, apart from those traditionally cultivated, including but not limited to exotic crops, medicinal plants, orchards, energy producing cultivations, and more.
Status: The Uttar Pradesh State Agriculture Department has done extensive research in this area and has agreed to work with the Vihar Project to effect these diversifications.
Preliminary research completed to establish the distribution of crops grown in the project area with respect to irrigation needs and availability by season has also been done. It is the intent to shift farmers from random and distributed cropping to more organized and productive arrangements (using the foregoing strategies for natural farming and irrigation technology integrations)
Further scope is mapped out to develop a computer modeling application (at 500 ha units) that will guide crop planning and soil rotation requirements, along with new technology design prescription for irrigation precision, and bulk market demand needs.
3. Institution of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) technique in lieu of Chemical Based Agriculture
Purpose: To get poisonless food, pollution free to water, air and environment, and happy, pleasant, wealthy and prosperous life for each and every living being is the birth right of everybody. This is the underpinning foundation of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) practices.
ZBNF relies on nature’s way of farming and relies on no chemical fertilization and uses of pesticides. It relies on the dung and urine of Indian Bovine Cows, which is fermented at 40kg/Acre, and applied to the land three times per cropping season.
It is currently practiced by 3 million farmers nationally in India, Nepal, Burma and Sri Lanka. The concept is also being adopted in South Africa, Mauritius and West Indies.
Status: ZBNF founder and teacher, Shri Subhash Palekar has joined the cause of The Vihar Project and is presently training farmers for the practical shift over. A number of workshops have been sponsored between the Vihar Project and the local Ministry of Agriculture, Ballia District. Farmers have travelled to other localities throughout India to also observe the practices and benchmark adoption. Preparations are in the works for a full scale adoption and transition into the project.
4. Dairy Cooperative (complementing ZBNF).
Purpose: Dairy institution serves the vital functions of the whole system design (1) It provides the necessary ingredients needed to execute the ZBNF process, (2) it’s excess dung and urine serves as vital inputs into the community biogas/bio-energy generation, (3) milk produced is a vital commodity to dietary demand and value added production stock.
The milk aimed to be produced from this dairy stream will be of organic non-chemical grade.
The institution of dairy cooperative will contribute to significant jobs in the community village setting that can be allocated to the landless/youth sector of society.
150 dairy holding (distributed) is required to service 500 Ha landpooling arrangement of ZBNF.
Status: Work is in progress to procure an inventory of cows to complement the ZBNF needs of the project area.
Planning is in works to meet the capacity for dairy cooperative that will service animal dung and urine collection for biogas production and ZBNF fertilization of the fields, as well as milk production.
Markets for sale of milk has been identified in Ballia.
Technical support from UP local Ministry of Agriculture has been secured.
5. Renewable Energy – Biogas, Solar, Wind, Others
Purpose: Bio-energy as biogas has been determined by Govt. of India to be a valuable and vital asset to rural community energy demand. Biogas produced through this undertaking will serve vital purpose as clean cooking fuel, and also and vital energy supply for running field irrigation systems (already researched and shortlisted to be compatible).
This has been identified as a huge plus for the agricultural optimization process as phase out of burning of animal dung as biofuel for cooking (a prevalent practice in the region and India) is attributed to the non-cycling of organic matter back to the soil for optimum fertility and soil biodiversity.
Status: UP Ministry of Agriculture / Renewable Energy Initiative, in cooperation with UNICEF, has approached the Vihar Project about undertaking the establishment of 10 Cows Biogas generation Units that will have capacity to generate, compress and bottle gas production.
Already, several meetings have been conducted between the Vihar Project and UP Biogas Initiative, including field visits.
6. Climate Mitigation, Carbon sequestration and Green House Gas reduction
Purpose: Agriculture and Livestock Remain Major Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. According to the World Watch Institute, in 2010, global greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector totaled 4.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) equivalent, up 13 percent over 1990. Agriculture is the third largest contributor to global emissions by sector, following the burning of fossil fuels for power and heat, and transportation.
The Vihar Project aims to make positive contributions to climate mitigation through adoption of several strategies:
- adoption of soil cultivation methods that lowers green house gas emissions. These include sustainable soil management and conservation agriculture, which looks at minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotations.
- sustainable manure and biomass management. Collection and anerobic digestion of cows manure and biomass will result in methane capture and significant green house gas pollution avoidance.
- Increase carbon sequestration. Through improvements in the soil fertility, greater production is anticipated which contributes to greater CO2 sequestration. This also is directly proportional to the amount of carbon being added to the soil.
Status: The Vihar Project is aims to achieve the above strategies starting at the 500 Ha unit and scaling up to 50,000 Ha.
The greenhouse gas avoidance will be directly linked to carbon financing.
7. Groundwater Extraction Baseline and Modeling, Salinity Risk
Purpose: Studies have projected findings that the water extraction for agriculture in the vast North Indian regions are lowering groundwater tables beyond sustainable rates of replenishment, and also contributing to salinity risks to soil. Introduction of salinity diminishes soil fertility and hence production output. Lack of remediative intervention could render soil barren and infertile. One such study from 2009 (at project inception) reports this http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090812143938.htm
Field research by the Vihar Project confirms reports of diminishing and lowered water tables due to over-extraction in the project region. Further research is hence warranted to establish these finding and to ascertain existing and probably risks of salinity in the region.
Further research has also found that poor policies concerning govt electricity subsidies are contributing to farmers in the region to leave pumps running indiscriminately contributing to over extraction of groundwater. These findings warrant scientific investigations.
Status: The Vihar Project has teamed with Columbia University of New York City, Department of Hydrogeology, to undertake this investigation.
Data on water extraction rates by government and private tube well pumping stations have been established. Findings that groundwater levels are diminishing have to be confirmed.
8. Water Sustainability, Irrigation and rainwater Harvesting and recharge
Purpose: Technology and water harvesting design approach have emerged in the mainstream fields of agriculture management and civil engineering. In order to complement a sustainable action plan to counter the aforementioned field survey findings of groundwater over-extraction for agricultural cultivation, it is necessary to adopt some of the established approaches.
Overall, the objective is to shift away from irrigation practices that are contributing to groundwater over extraction to technologies that are resource conserving.
Status: Work by The Vihar Project to investigate and specify the appropriate water management practices and technologies that are needed to effect overall water sustainability complementary to agricultural operations has been conducted.
It has been agreed through technical reviews and field surveys of the technology application, that the use of Central Pivot technologies, modified to meet the Indian agriculture needs, are appropriate for adoption.
CP technology contributes to an estimated 66 percent water conservation to traditionally practices open surface flood irrigation.
These can be complimented further by adoption of remote soil moisture measuring sensor, and centralized intelligent application control systems.
These systems also afford Fire protection and security surveillance benefits, vital to the total project investment.
9. Soil Physics, Fertility and Re-fertility
Purpose: The commoditization of cow’s dung as a cooking fuel for communities’ domestic energy needs, plus the prevalent usage of chemical fertilizers over the last 40 years have contributed to the diminishing trends in soils fertility, as have been revealed by farmers testimony of continuously lower production outputs than customary expectations.
It is also a fact that this diminished soil fertility mirrored India’s booming population explosion, which consequently placed more stress on the land, and was also mirrored by excessive use of chemical fertilization and pesticide application.
The introduction of ZBNF concept and practice is projected to reverse these effects and return the soil to a state of optimal texture and fertility.
Status: The UP Ministry of Agriculture has been working with the Vihar Project to test soil quality and benchmark nutrient and organic content. Vihar Project is aiming to benchmark these results and have them compared to soil samples taken from ZBNF farms.
Vihar Project is also looking into adopting zero till agriculture, or Conservation Agriculture as promoted by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
10. Propagation of Bio-diverstiy and Seed Banking
Purpose: The commoditizations of seeds, and the introduction of Genetically Modified Strains of seeds, have left farmers trapped in a system of seed control and capital exploitation.
Field surveys and findings by the Vihar Project have identified widespread production failures amongst farmers due to this fact, as they use harvested GMO seeds for recultivations, resulting in total crop failures (ability for crop to grow, but not produce). This results in significant production loss to the average farmer and significant loss in income…hence, affecting his and his family’s livelihood.
Similar problems is said to be occurring amongst cotton farmers elsewhere in India, and hence, the epidemic of suicide rates.
During the Vihar Project exercise to work with farmers, it has also been found that appropriate seed acquisition is a major shortcoming. Much of the seed are controlled by the Multi National Corporation markets.
Fortunately, The Vihar Project has been able to secure seeds from Banares Hindu University Agricultural Department. This constrain in seed acquisition reinforces the need to have an established seed bank institution in place.
Also, considering much of India’s farmlands were once forested, and now cleared for agriculture, it becomes imperitive to consider integrated biodiversity cropping and reforestation of the design landscape. The MS Swaminathan Research Foundation has agreed to help us in these areas.
Status: Scope for Seed Bank establishment is being worked out at present, and with the help of MS Swaminathan Research Institute.
11. Base Economic Modeling, Data collection, and optimization modeling to establish equity value in underlying investment economy
Purpose: Decomplexing the structure of the agricultural system from an economic standpoint is crucial to fully understanding the values (inputs and outputs) that are inherent in the system and the business restricting possibilities that are possible. Defining the base economic performance values per metric unit establishes the boundaries by which to set realistic optimization targets.
The values that exist between the boundaries of “inaction” and those of “action” over time are representative of real and achievable equity values inside the investment system. These provide the basis for constructing creative development financing for overcoming capital shortfalls for achieving sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
It is to be noted however, that these values are not measurable and extractable on a micro and randomly distributed state, but rather visible and tangible in an ordered, systematically designed and structured arrangement (i.e., whole-system integrated sustainable development business management model via the Vihar Project).
Status: Preliminary field research through deployment of data sheets and statistical analysis of data has been completed to establish an economic baseline of the study region. This baseline was then used to model optimization targets to establish the delta equity value of the project’s range of 50,000 Ha, which at 66 percent optimization, is projected at 1 billion USD, 5000 Crore Rupees, (that which will be used to facilitate negotiations for creative financing schemes).
12. Equitable Distribution of Wealth (EDW) strategy design and institutionalizing
Purpose: Much talked about on the development spectrum is the issue of equitable distribution of wealth – the economic divide between the rich and the poor.
The challenge confronting the Bihar/Uttar Pradesh poverty stricken region is this very issue. In the economic framework of the rural poverty stricken economy, there is a customary divide between the farmers as producers, and the processors and marketers (as millers, packagers and distributors). In between there are the middlemen (or middle traders), who typically makes a profit of 20 percent onto of what farmers sell for.
This challenge is twofold:
- Through organization of famers to achieve bulk quantities of harvests, approach central govt market directly (NAFED) to evade middlemen losses, hence, increasing market revenue
- Make the farmers and labourers investors and shareholder into the capital investment for mills and factories and value branding in support of the project’s investment region. Accomplishing this will be a bold move to the tradition status quo and would be a quantum leap in terms of achieving gains in equitable distribution of wealth.
Status: Going forward, it is the intent to design the necessary EDW framework that would allow incorporation of farmers and labourers into the total investment formula. Research and discussion has already begun with the major institutions.
13. Market Surveys and Analysis – National and International
Purpose: In November 2010, as part of the Vihar Project’s landpooling experimentation, 100 ha of contiguous Maize production was cultivated and harvested to generate 350 Metric Tons of grains. Though a bulk harvest was attained, significant difficulties were experienced to approach the national cooperative buyer – NAFED. Nonetheless, middlemen did not resist our efforts as they waited patiently for our goods to return through their gateway.
It turned out much of the marketing cooperatives that NAFED are chartered to work with are formulated by well constructed middlemen operations who have controlled the system since 1958; our experimental consortium of non-cooperative small farmers was defenseless to approaching the system.
Much lessons were learned to guide the future decision makings about approaching markets and evading middlemen. These lessons only strengthened the farmers and their bid to get around middlemen and to direct access to markets. (It is worthy to note, that at the inception of the project, farmers feared the potential retaliation by middlemen).
Status: Going forward, it is the strategic intent of the Vihar Project to go directly from production to processing to market distribution. Market alignments domestically and internationally have already been researched and shortlisted.
14. Storage, Milling and On-site Processing Investments
Purpose: Capacity for storage, milling and on-site processing is the pre-amble to achieving gains in equitable distribution of wealth, and for the development upliftment of the communities that support the total investment (the trickle down effect).
Currently, much of the produce from the project region is transported out of the regional geography for processing, milling and branding, after which, it is sent back to the local markets for sale. This practice is called “supply-chain drift”.
Status: Work is in progress to baseline and research the appropriate storage mechanisms that are needed to meet harvest capacities of farming operations.
Milling and on-site processing are new attributes to development and research is being conducted within the national and international food sector industries for investment interest.
15. Creative Development Financing Negotiating
Purpose: The notion of estimating the economic equity inside a poverty stricken region is a relatively new concept being introduced to development practitioners. Furthermore, the application of sustainable development and sound business management establishes the confidence levels that are required to rationalize the project’s potential.
Data measurements and analysis shows clearly that the poverty stricken farmlands are producing below their true output capacities. This can be attributed to significant economic loss to the region and communities.
The measure of economic equity is substantiated at 1 Billion USD per 50,000 Ha Comprehensive Rural Sustainable Development Proposal (CRSDP).
Status: It is the intent to rationalize these study findings and lobby international development financing policies that would use CRSDP confidence level measures to flow equity value over time for present capital investments needed to overcome development funding hindrances.
16. Carbon Financing
Purpose: Carbon credit accreditation and carbon finance has emerged as a mainstream business opportunity in today’s sustainable and renewable energy market economy. Only recently has this service expanded to include sustainable agricultural projects. The current and first such project globally is the Clear Plate Initiative Hungary http://www.theclearplate.com/.
The design basis of the Vihar Project to move small and randomly distributed farmers into sustainable operations at the substantial scale of 50,000 Ha, and phasing out chemical fertilizer and pesticide usage, along with increasing soil carbon contents, and improvements in manure management, loans itself for qualification for carbon and greenhouse gases equivalent tradable accreditation.
Such accreditation contributes to an innovative stream of revenue that can serve as project development funding, and going forward, as dividends payable to the farmers.
Carbon and greenhouse gases offset quantities are measurable and quantifiable also through optimized farming impacts on higher carbon sequestration, reduced energy use, and reduced methane release into the atmosphere.
Status: The Vihar Project has identified the Gold Standard Company in London that is willing to list the Vihar Project as the second sustainable agriculture initiative in the world to qualify for carbon tradable revenues (at 50,000 Ha benchmark).
17. Investment Risk Management, Safety, Security and Assurance/Insurance
Purpose: The sustainability of the whole-system initiative depends on the ability to assess, manage and mitigate risks associated with the investments (both internal and external risks). Different risks are associated with different aspects of the project, including but not limited to: physical risks (fire, damage, theft), climate risks (delays in monsoon, natural disasters, floods, drought), planning risks (seed acquisitions, logistic delays), market risks (price collapse, market gluts, trade embargoes), financial risks (global economic dynamics, monetary devaluation, third party bankruptcies, inflation), management risks (team deficiency, problems, expertise shortfalls), labour risks (strikes, cultural migratory patterns), political risks (change in gov’t, leaderships, political mischief, media mischief).
While risks are inevitable, dealing with them will demand comprehensive analysis, proper forecasting, planning and contingency training. It is expected that risk management be an integral part of training and preparedness.
A security plan and insurance policy to protect hard assets and production outputs will have to be put into effect.
Status: The immediate and foremost risks that are of most concern for planning execution (the physical risks and climate risks) are being planned for. Physical security of the investment via personnel training, tools and equipment, met by integration of IT technologies are being scoped (starting at the 500 Ha Unit and building up).
Regarding Climate risks, civil and infrastructure designs, and technology applications are being scoped.
18. Stimulation of ancillary business development and job creation in communities
Purpose: The introduction of sustainable means and methods scoped for scale of implementation to support the project initiatives will stimulate ancillary support business and associated jobs.
For example, specific technology introduction will require the establishment of local dealerships and service centers to service logistics and service needs. These have been identified as requiring the recruitment of business professionals, field technicians, training experts, and specific training needs.
Jobs will be created in many sectors, including business management services. These jobs sectors currently don’t exist in India and in the project region and will be a new introduction to the service job sector.
Status: These specific ancillary needs will have to be identified and compiled to forecast the specific opportunities that will emerge as a result of pursuing organization and development parallel with the Vihar Project multiple strategic objectives.
19. Community Eco-Housing
Purpose: Entire communities of landless poor live in closely knitted houses build of straw and open to the environment. These homes offer no protection to the elements, and subject men, women and children to weather extremes. Further, mosquitoes, snakes, spiders and other harmful creates find their way inside.
Status: Work is in progress to design low cost, natural resource consuming eco-housing that would facilitate the phase out of grass hutment by the poor.
Green Architect Sanjay Mukherjee has committed to the construction and training of the locals for building. Already surveys of the villages were conducted.
Vihar Project has also tied up with Center for Sustainable Villages, in Nagpur. Here tremendous work has been conducted to construct environmentally friendly homes that can be used by the poor.
20. Disaster Planning, Risk Management and Mitigation
Purpose: Fires represent the biggest risk to the community. Second to that is winter’s coldness, which can only worsen things should there be a fire disaster. Grass hutment communities are very vulnerable to fire risk. Since 2009, the Vihar Project have witnessed annual fires that wipe out entire villages. With this comes loss of human lives and animal lives, and complete loss of livelihoods.
The objective has then emerged to deal with this situation through Disaster planning, risk management and Mitigation. This relates to making changes in these community designs, layout, and common practices that contribute to the root causes of the risks.
Clean fuel, safe cooking ranges, fire planning, fire resistant housing, fire fighting contingencies are all in the works.
Status: A disaster plan outline has been developed by Vihara Foundation and presented to the Chief Development Officer of Ballia District. It is the intent for the Vihar Project to execute this plan.
Gov’t seems reluctant to do much at this point in time to help this situation.
21. Women Empowerment and Basic Education
Purpose: Women have been identified by the international community of practice as key pillars to the development pursuit. Women empowerment is also a key development focus area of India, apart from Internationally.
The empowerment of women is sought to gain respect of the female gender in the organizational layout and pursuit of development. Women will be part of the development formula and their inclusiveness will be prominent and profound.
Women will also be key to breaking some of the cultural mindsets. For example, one BPL girl of the Vihar Project who was excelling academically was drawn from studies and married off at 18. Despite project’s plea to let her excel and become an example for young girls, she left the village and Foundation’s program to join her new husband in a geographically separated location. Her new marital duties restricts her from applying her education, and she was confined to household chores and child bearing responsibilities.
Also of importance, women are to play a pivotal role in the issue of population control, that which will eventually be scoped into the Vihar Project past certain milestones.
Status: Work in progress to baseline the development opportunities of women, a key component of the community and farming society.
Already, Vihar Project has experimented with a Women’s school for reading, writing and vocational skills. The results have been astounding. The schools has currently been suspended due to funding shortages.
22. Distressed Migratory Labour Reversal
Purpose: Field survey and research finds that many male youths are resorting to migratory patterns outside the village in search of employment. These behaviors are not confined to only landless class youths, but also landowning middle class youths as well.
The problem is chronic. Many youths stay out of the village for extended periods at a time, sometimes as long as six month. Most work in big cities and remit income to support their young families. While the concept of remittance serves well for sustaining families, the practice creates social gaps between marital relations, and families and their children.
In the case of labour class youths, many confront grave struggles in their migratory job functions. Most are confronted with bias and prosecution, physical harm and, in extreme cases, occupational hazards and safety concerns.
In certain communities, youths are brokered into the construction industry, living in labour camps and earning a mere 100 to 200 rupees per day.
Status: Work is in progress to baseline the migratory challenges confronted by youths and migratory laborers. The Vihar Project have interviewed many of these village migratory youths who affirm that if employment is created in the village they would chose to stay at home and be with their families. It is the intent to create these jobs and opportunities that will keep the migratory youths and laborers as the driving force for community driven integrated development.
23. Food Security for Below Poverty Line, Child’s Health and Nutrition
Purpose: Limited access to and availability of food by the poor and those living below poverty line (men, women and children exposes to nutritional deficiencies). In the case of children, this becomes problematic as it interferes with growth development and learning.
The aim of this proposal is to demonstrate how local diets amongst the malnourished poverty stricken rural communities can be modified and significantly improved by the availability and use of naturally occurring indian plant Moringa oleifera (also known as Saigan) – a natural nutritional supplement that is aggressively being introduced into the diets of the malnourished globally.
This will be done through nutrition education (established through prior international studies) to improve behavioural practices related to consumption of available plant foods.
Also, as part of the optimization planning, landless sector of the community will be taught practical horticultural interventions (a needed household practice that has been observed to be chronically absent from the community livelihood planning).
Many poor families have been observed through field study to rely on open markets for procuring their daily food necessities, consuming whatever income they may have earned. Many families go hungry due to lack of disposable income.
Status: The Vihar Project aims to integrate men, women and youth of the landless laboring sector of the communities and implement training on homegrown vegetables.
Moringa cultivation will also complement this effort. The project has identified global experts on cultivating Moringa and integrating into diets. These individuals stand ready to mobilize.
24. Community Health and Sanitation
Purpose: Survey by the Vihar Project of the community demography identifies that almost 100 percent of landless laboring class communities practice open defecation. There are no implementations of household toilets. This contributes to unsanitary conditions and diseases.
Poor hygienic practices are also attributed to high incidents of water borne diseases (as documented by Vihar Project Medical Clinic).
This is a well know and prevalent problem throughout India by the poor. The challenge lies ahead to change this cultural habit and practice.
Status: Vihar Project has teamed with the Centre for Village Science (CVS) , in Nagpur India. CVS, in joint venture with UNICEF has at disposal numerous designs of village sanitation technologies ready for adoption and incorporation. The challenge has always been putting this into practice into the community setting.
The Vihar Project loans the platform for which to introduce these technologies as part of the whole-system inclusive development.
25. Community Entrepreneurship and Low Interest Micro-Financing
Purpose: The opportunity for community entrepreneurship is unrestricted. These opportunities will be encouraged and supported by the Vihar Project.
Status: As the project advances, these opportunities will emerge and present themselves. The project will be there to provide guidance and support.
26. Children’s Education
Purpose: The education of the children is seen as prudent and foremost. A development initiative that encourages a trail of community children that are lacking basic education is setting a platform of divided in the social and inclusive growth.
Since 2008, children’s education have been developed and encouraged in the village community (starting in Belahari and adjoining villages).
What have been learnt from this exercise is that, had not this initiative been started, much of the labour class children would be and remain illiterate.
Today, much of the children are learnt and able to do basic reading and writing, and comprehension of English and Hindi. They integrate with the middle income children who are privileged to access of education and are encouraged to learn and become educated.
Status: It is the Vihar Project’s intent to expand this opportunity of learning. While the children all congregate on a daily basis to learn under a tree, it is the intent going forward to construct a wholesome facility for house all, and stimulate participation.
A vision for a low cost but first class school construction has already been researched and benchmarked.
27. Publication, Media and Social Value Advertisement
Purpose: It is important to get the results and lessons learned from this project out to the world and for replication and sustainability. Moreso, it is important to ensure that the poorest sector of the community equally benefits from these media campaigns.
Many of the advertisement, hoardings and billboards in the poorest communities of Ballia, UP and Bihar, promote ads that contribute to no social value addition to the community. Ads are usually consumerism ads that are least interpreted by the community…only standing figment of imagination and wonder. It is the Vihar Project’s intent to augment this, and plaster large and conspicuous hoarding and billboards with social value messages that can uplift the communities immediate development needs at large.
Such campaign will also be complemented by efforts to institute basic educational reforms for labour class women.
Status: This campaign is in scope for design and development.
The scope for developing this area remains at large to innovative thinking and open to the international communities.
28. BPL Family Planning and Community Education
Purpose: The development of the BPL community needs emphasis. This emphasis will revolve around the aim to achieve sustainability in key areas of development. It is the intent of the Vihar Project to reinforce this drive.
Areas of emphasis involves family planning and population control importance, health, hygiene, education, job training, women empowerment, children’s health and nutrition, social valuation etc.
It is the intent to engage BPL communities in all aspect of development activities.
Status: This program area will have to be fully developed.