More than 24% of the Indian population are described as Scheduled Tribes. They are also known as Untouchables, Adivasis and Dalits. Traditionally, these groups are indigenous forest dwellers and coexist with the wild life and nature.
VEFC believes that these tribes are the custodians of the forests and have right to live with human dignity. In order to support their cause and to empower the poorest tribal women we have established small backyard poultry cooperatives located in the forest area of district Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, India. A group of five women form a coop. They are provided 500 day old chicken, feed, medicine, utensils, technical and marketing support. This initiative will raise their standard of living with better nutrition and financial sustainability. We started this project in March 2011. Though the pricing and marketing is very unpredictable but overall the women coop group is very enthusiastic and determined.
In order to facilitate elementary education and other extension education for adults in various fields such as agriculture, health, nutrition and sanitation, we started this multipurpose building in October 2008. After a long bureaucratic process dealing for two years with the Department of Forest, we were finally able to complete this building up to the lockup stage. The concrete and steel roof was installed on March 13th 2010. The residents of village Musepur worked very hard though they did not have proper facilities and tools.
We are trying to arrange more funds and hopefully the building will be ready by the middle of 2011.
The pilot project for testing the Solar Lamps (2008-2009) was not a success. The charging panel failed to charge the batteries after six months. So we will be testing and dealing with some other Solar Energy companies.