Participatory Approach: Conduct of PRA
Participatory Rural Appraisals using various PRA tools and techniques are conducted to obtain information on the topography of the land, soil structure, water resource utilisation, seasonal crops, rainfall and cropping patterns, preference for trees and history of the area.
The PRAs also facilitate rapport building with the community and the entire community decides on common activities. The participatory approach entails use of participatory methodology in assessing and monitoring socio-economic development activities at the grassroots level.
COODU has gained the expertise in not only conducting Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) in its project areas but has also extended training other NGOs and CBOs as well as officials of various departments in PRA techniques.
Formation of Groups
Following the PRAs, conduct of various groups is formed such as User Groups, Area Groups, Water Users Association, Self Help Groups among women in the watershed areas and so on. The focus is also on strengthening the existing village level institutions (local bosdie such as Panchayats)
Mobilisation and Advocacy
COODU has been constructive in not only mobilisation of people at the grassroots level with a focus on the poorest of the poor but also taken initiatives in voicing its views at appropriate forums thereby influencing policy and engaging in necessary advocacy-related activities. In all districts where COODU implements programmes, it has maintained good rapport with the district administrations through the District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs).
Natural and Alternate Farming – Exposure visit
COODU had organised visit to Vanagam in Karur District which is at the fore front of natural farming in the state. Being run by Dr.Nammalvar , Vanagam has been propagating natural farming techniques.
Training to women SHG members
Some of the trainings include raising of seedlings in nurseries, plantations and other agro-products, vermi-composting, training in electronics and computers, financial management and book keeping.
Entrepreneurship Development Programmes
They are also provided with guidance on project planning and implementation. The Resource Persons for the EDP are drawn from various government and non-government institutions including cooperatives, banks, academic institutions, practitioners and entrepreneurs.
As a result of EDP training provided by COODU to SHG members, many women have got trained and are presently engaged in profitable entrepreneurial activities. They are in turn sharing such benefits to other women in their groups.
COODU has been instrumental in raising awareness among farmers in the project areas on the hazards of use of chemical fertilizers for food and fruit crops. Hence, it has encouraged use of bio-fertilisers, bio-manure (converted from solid waste) and organic farming including vermi-composting.
SHG members have been trained in the production of organic manure and vermi-composting that is sold to needy farmers.
With technical support from COODU, in several watersheds, small and marginal agriculturists have been encouraged to establish medicinal plants and herbs as main crops or intercrops. SHGs have also been trained in raising of medicinal plant nurseries for large scale growing of medicinal herbs.
Considerable efforts have been taken to disseminate information using several media to encourage the use of traditional herbs and medicines for various ailments including treatment for HIV/ AIDS without side effects.
COODU was selected as Implementation Agency to execute Drought Proofing Programme in the tribal areas in Periya Jambugandi of Perianaikanpalayam Block at the foothills of the Western Ghats in Coimbatore District in the year 2001-2002 by the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), a Government of India agies under the Ministry of Rural Development.
COODU had formed tribal SHGs and UGs and imparted training on accounts, soil & moisture conservation, afforestation and pasture development etc., COODU had facilitated hundreds of tribal farmers and labourers in the execution of the following works
Summer ploughing, farm bunding, stone bunding, stone bunding, check dams & vegetative barrier, percolation ponds, renovation of existing ponds, farm and cattle ponds, agro-forestry and horticulture plantation and fodder crops, etc.
Women Self Help Groups (SHGs).
With the support and guidance of Mahalir Thittam of Tamilnadu Corporation of Development of Women, COODU organization has organized rural and urban women, who are marginalized and un-organized, in 89 habitations and formed Self Help Groups, as the grass root level functional forces.
Micro – credit for Income Generation Activities
In order to develop the economical independency of women and to provide alternate employment opportunities to retain the women work force by preventing migration, COODU has guided the women SHGs to avail credits from financial institutions to establish their own employment units by utilizing the available local resources in order to ensure their economical sustainability
Training on Naturopathy and Yoga for Women
For a period of 6 months, the organisation motivated and mobilised eligible women and organised the training in Palladam. The training on Naturopathy and Yoga was imparted by a medical practicener and paramedical personnel to 90 Women who now practice in rural areas.
To prevent trafficking of girls combined with prevention of HIV/AIDS in Coimbatore, the United Nations Development Programme has selected COODU. COODU has organised advocacy activities and undertaken preventive measures through SHG members – volunteers and in association with health Police and Judicial officers.
REHABILITATION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS AFFECTED BY TRAFFICKING, HIV/AIDS IN COIMBATORE DISTRICT UNDER UNDP-TAHA
- Mapping of high risk areas
- Selection and orientation of Peer educators
- Community sensitization programmes through street theatre
HIV/ AIDS Prevention, Control, Care and Support
HIV/ AIDS activities form an important component of development within COODU’s development framework. COODU has offered a wide range of services on the HIV/ AIDS continuum beginning with prevention efforts, moving over to referrals for treatment and diagnosis and has provided care and support services through the TANSACS-supported COODU Community Care Centre for You (C4U).
In Coimbatore district alone, COODU has undertaken a wide range of intervention efforts among different target groups that include students, teachers, government departments, and the general public. It has also conducted awareness campaigns and assisted in implementation of BSS among high risk behavior groups such as truckers, commercial sex workers, IDUs, MSM, male and female industrial workers, slum populations and others.
World AIDS Day Programme
Maintenance of public conveniences
With shortage of sanitation workers, the corporation of Coimbatore was unable to properly maintain public conveniences and therefore approached COODU to facilitate in maintaining 81 public conveniences in 3 zones.
COODU engaged urban SHG in maintaining the public convenience.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLAN
In the background of the Tsunami and other calamities, the Government has directed the urban and rural local bodies to prepare Disaster Management Plans to cope with natural and other disaster/calamities such as Tsunami, Earthquake, Fire, Flood, etc.
The Municipal Corporation of Coimbatore, as directed, entrusted formulation of ‘Urban Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction Project’ to the organization which created a database on the ward profile by conduct of Participatory Learning Methods involving elected representatives, officials and the people at the ward level and, based on the existing as well as required infrastructures, formulated the disaster management plan.
Recognising the importance of bio-fuels, COODU has assisted small and marginalised farmers to establish Jatropha plantations in 7,500 acres of land in both watershed and non-watershed areas in Coimbatore district. For such activity, 7.5 lakh Jatropha seedlings were raised and distributed to farmers. 7 training and orientation programmes have been conducted motivating farmers to take to Jatropha cultivation.
The Jatropha seeds are to be procured and bio-diesel is to be produced through this. Adequate measures have been taken for the sale of Jatropha seeds at an attractive price that would be beneficial to the farmers.
Trees for socially and economically backward women
With financial aid sponsored by school students of Germany through Con Act.e.V, Germany tree crops and horticulture seedlings were distributed to 100 socially and economically disadvantaged women in Valayapalayam, Pongalur block of Coimbatore district in the year 2001-2002. Also 100 seedlings were planted in community land. Cost of maintenance of trees for 4 years was given to the selected women who are all SHG members as Revolving fund.
Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve
During the course of the awareness generation campaign among the fisher folk on the need for the conservation and development of the Biosphere, COODU has also prepared micro-plans for providing alternative livelihood to the fishermen community living along the Gulf of Mannar and subsisting on its resources, for getting financial assistance from the UNDP.
Being recognized by the Biosphere Reserve Trust as one of the premier organizations in carrying out its objectives COODU hopes to work with the trust under the aegis of the UNDP to facilitate the fishermen in finding alternative livelihoods on a sustainable basis.