What better way to start the New Year, than by remembering all that happened in the old one. Here are the top 10 highlights of 2019, that make for markers to start the New Year.

Farmer field schools (FFS)

While Farmers’ Field Schools have been successful internationally, it was for the first time that BCT KVK brought local implementation. Given the impracticality for scientists to visit multiple places at once, the concept of FFS was launched in the month of May in 5 villages of Dimili, Teruvupalli, Mamidivada, JV Palem and Haripalem.  Farmers are evincing good participation and an enthusiasm to learn.

Dr. BV Parameswara Rao passes away

The year 2019 brought with it deeply saddening losses as well. June 9 was a dark day, as BCTs founding father Dr. BV Parameswara Rao passed away.  His demise left thousands in tears, and condolences poured in from various quarters. Many sent notes of their association with Dr. Rao, and how he had shaped their decisions to work for social causes or even return to India to work for the country.

Trainings for women

From bakery to mushroom units, from tailoring to value addition to commonly available jackfruit, a range of training programs were conducted over the year for women. Saplings were distributed to enable homestead gardens, and women learnt how to prepare nutritious food for infants as well. Through these programs, 100s of women received training in 2019 across villages and can set up their own units.

“Prerana” program

July marked the launch of the Prerana program in tribal areas. The result of a collaboration between BCT, the Department of School Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh, VIBHA, USA and Sikshana Foundation, Bengaluru, this initiative will work to improve the standards of education for 78,000 tribal children from class 1st to 8th. Encouraging peer-to-peer learning, the initiative is receiving positive response from both teachers and students.

Meity with IT

BCT-conceptualized ‘Grameena Incubation Center’, was selected as one of the 34 Incubation Centers across India. Selected under the Technology Incubation for Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE 2.0), BCT will now start 2 agriculture based Incubation centers per year for the next 5 years. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), New Delhi, will provide support to ideate and field-test ideas.

QRT Team visits

November 27th and 28th marked the visit by the Quinquennial Review Team (QRT) to BCT KVK. Reviewing the work undertaken from 2011 to 2019, the team visited the cluster villages under DFI (Doubling the farmers income), gave valuable inputs and interacted with villagers.

Training for PwDs

Customised training for specially abled at SMART centers became a reality. 14 trainees with intellectual disabilities from Arunodaya Special School, were chosen for the Gajuwaka center, while 9 were selected for the Autonagar SMART Technical center. The training programme started on December 3, ‘World Disability Day’. Students at SMART T Autonagar will learn to assemble electronic devices while those at Gajuwaka center will learn CRS (Customer relationship and sales), Basic IT and typing skills.

TRC Phase 2 begins

Reaching to the physically challenged people, affected in Hudhud cyclone through BCT is the Tata Relief Committee programme. On 6th November, Phase 2 was inaugurated. 229 People with disabilities (PwDs) were identified as beneficiaries and 83 PwDs from 41 villages from 10 mandals attended the assessment camp for prosthetics, orthotics, special chairs.

Accolades & more

Constantly measuring its success through the success of its stakeholders, Team BCT had many reasons to rejoice this year. Farmer Smt.Desagiri Bangaramma from the tribal village of Thajangi, flew to Delhi, to participate at the ‘Farm innovators meet 2019’ on July 16 and 17. Farmer Sri Janapareddy Chinna attended the Indian Science Congress at Bengaluru. On May 24 BCT KVK also ranked Number 1, nationally, for its implementation of 23 training programmes under the Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan.

 “Cheyutha” program for adolescents

Awareness on life skills, reproductive health, hygiene and nutrition, and other social issues for adolescents, was on focus through 2019. Tackling the issues of child marriages, early motherhood, health and gender discrimination, the initiative spread awareness to 11-16 year olds at their schools.