Our Resource Centre
Spread out over an area of 5 acres, the resource centre cum office in Mayurbhanj is situated besides a Sal forest in the village of Kakbadh. Away from the noise, pollution and fast- pace of a city, this campus is a perfect location for people who want to retreat for a while, conduct trainings or just move to a rural area as a getaway. This plot of land was donated to Unnayan by an elderly gentleman, Meghrai Hembrom. Over the years, the office has grown, providing accommodation to four members of our staff. We see this space as a resource centre for the villages in the area and have thought about developing it accordingly.
Unnayan has set up a goat-rearing unit and a poultry unit in its office premises at Kakbandh village with 30 goats and 100 poultry birds at the beginning. It has been planned to further increase this number to 100 goats and 500 poultry in due time. These units are being treated as demonstration units of scientific and commercial rearing of livestock. Necessary technical guidance and training is being taken from experts of the genetics department in veterinary college of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology. The main purpose of these units is to provide technical inputs to the community on income generationthrough livestock promotion by experiments at our own level along with generating some income for the organization itself. The process involves the entire cycle of this farming starting from construction of the sheds according to the need based on the research study, selecting appropriate breed, vaccination and medication, feeding till the marketing of the products. A relatively small unit of the goatary farm in a group and 3 individual units of poultry have also been set up at community level following the same technical process. Unnayan, at present, is conducting a study on the viability of further expanding this at community and individual household level based on which auxiliary action plan will be made and modalities will be formulated to promote the same on a larger scale.
Unnayan has now developed a name for itself in the area as the producers of livestock. Our poultry farm is now known for its supply of banaraja chicken in the area. This breed grows at a good rate but is not as susceptible to diseases as broiler chicken. Looking at the response of the birds, the district has appointed Unnayan to supply chicks to all small producers in Mayurbahnj. The chicks are procured from Bhubaneswar and are reared in the farm for a period of three weeks. This is a sensitive period for all small livestock. After the first three weeks, they are less prone to diseases and mortality and can be reared with minimal care.
Production centre for construction material
Our low-cost bricks, rings and plates are being used in the construction toilets under the total sanitation campaign. The district authorities have also recommended the use of our bricks in the Indira Awas Yojana for Rural Housing. Besides being a production centre for construction material, our construction centre at Kakbandh is also a training centre for the capacity building of women and other unskilled labour in the area. This production centre has been feeding into the total sanitation programme in the area. This year, 2500 rings, 680 plates and 31,066 bricks were produced. This centre has generated 1584 days of employment for people in the area and wages of Rs. 58, 400.
Herbal medicines are the best remedies for a number of illnesses. They offer the best treatment at low costs with little or no side effects. In most rural homes, we see that people still use herbal medicines, moreso in tribal homes. Looking at this, we started our own herbal garden this year where we prepare herbal medicines. This process began with a week- long training for three of our staff members at ‘Anthra’ an organisation working in the field of Ethno- veterinary medicine. This training oriented the participants to identification of herbal medicines, preparation of medicines, packing and preservation of medicines. The training also involved disease identification and the application of herbal medicines.
With trainings in traditional knowledge, we are now preparing medicines for human beings too. Since the project area in Mayurbhanj is located close to the forests, the herbal plants are available. We are also growing some of the plants. These medicines (neem oil and paste) are being used extensively for skin ailments.
The herbal garden was started to support the work of Ethno- Medicine and Ethno- Veterinary Medicine in the field. Herbs from here are used to prepare a variety of herbal medicines that are sold at the office. These ethno- medicines are also applied to the farm animals on an experimental basis.
When Unnayan first started working in the Amarada and Jhatiada gram Panchayats (tribal pockets) in Mayurbhanj, it was difficult for us to conduct residential trainings. Moreover, harsh weather conditions in the monsoon and summer made it very difficult to have trainings all around the year. We now have two training halls at the resource centre in Kakbandh. We largely use these for our own trainings, but the hall is also let out to other organizations for their training needs.