The catalyst for the growth and sustenance of a village needs to be internal, rather than external. BCT therefore, works towards rural self-sustenance by making its people partners in growth. This is taken up through the formation of Community Action Groups (CAGs). Operational since the past 6 years, CAGs have been formed in 137 villages. With local stakeholders, the CAGs work by identifying issues relevant to their villages, and finding solutions.
Through this initiative, BCT has enabled answers for various long-term and short-term problems like crop and pest management, post-production of farm produce, open defecation, public health and hygiene, lack of quality education, health issues, employment training etc. Approximately 1.3 lakh people are impacted every year through various programs of the CAGs.
A few instances of solutions and support that has been provided by BCT through the Community Organization initiative includes
This initiative enables farmers to be the decision-makers for developing their land. Started in May 2019 with five villages, FFS taps into scientific approach, success stories of other farmers, and enables local solutions for local problems. As a result of this project, farmers are now able to learn at their village, share information, add value and enhance their income
Set up in various villages and revived from time to time, members meet once a month for discussions. Facilitated by BCT team members, the meetings provide a platform for farmers to discuss issues, identify inputs at low costs, consider new options like organic farming, value addition to crop and improve their income
Regular health camps such as eye screening camps, orthopaedic camps, covid screening and vaccination camps etc. are regularly conducted. Awareness initiatives like ‘Global handwashing day’ and discussions on menstrual health and hygiene are taken up too. During Covid, the team also distributed masks and sanitizers in the villages through the community action group members. Medicines, oximeters and oxygen concentrators were also set up at the primary health centers and community health centers
Often women in villages support their husbands in the farm or remain as housewives. Understanding their latent potential, BCTs programs constantly focus on skill enhancement and opportunities for women, so they can augment income and enjoy better quality of life. Promotion of kitchen gardens, skill training, setting up thrift groups, training on value addition to farm crop have been some programs that BCT regularly takes up
Besides the above, the CAGs take up a range of different activities through the year. Groups for adolescents to discuss freely have been set up. Some CAGs have even set up libraries, water pumps, provided education scholarships, constructed toilets and trained children in vocational skills, studies and folk dances. Needless to say, each solution remains unique to each village, and yet adds together to craft the unique fabric of the region