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Economy of Permanence
Reviewed by Sudhirendar Sharma
27 Mar 2011

Permanence in a transient world

There are still bits of history in Wardha, the district town in Vidharbha, Maharashtra. There is an air of optimism as one strolls across the sleepy streets, sensing a whiff of peace and non-violence as people go about their daily chores. Modernity has yet to take full control on peoples’ life; the creative genius has an environment to flourish here.

Magan Sanghralaya, in the middle of the town, is a repository of non-violent tools and techniques for building an ‘economy of permanence’. It houses what Joseph Cornelius Kumarappa, whom Gandhi called the ‘doctor of village industries’, stood for in giving constructive shape to Gandhi’s revolutionary ideas.

Published over 65 years ago, Economy of Permanence is seemingly more relevant today then during the period it was written. Even as early as in 1945, Kumarappa had given a call to shun the use of non-renewable resources which he proclaimed belonged to a ‘bucket economy’ (where the water gets depleted) and exhorted that we need a ‘river economy’ instead (one that replenishes).

Partly experiential, the non-violent way of life is based on author’s own transformation from a Europeanized lifestyle. In detailing out the inter-related facets of life, lifestyle and livelihoods, Kumarappa builds his thesis on the premise that the life of man is transient in comparison with that of Nature, which is relatively permanent.

In his foreword to Economy of Permanence, Gandhi had observed that ‘it needs careful reading twice or thrice if it is to be fully appreciated’. Kumarappa was clearly ahead of his times, talking of moral values and cooperative banking in the same breath. With equal ease, he could relate standard of living to the idea of democracy as well.

Despite the book been written more than half a century ago, many of Kumarappa’s ideas are still being effectively pursued in and around Wardha.Economy of Permanence is a work of practical philosophy, insightful and inspiring at the same time.

Economy of Permanence
by J C Kumarappa
Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti, Wardha
186 pages, Rs 200

KHADI IS A PHILOSOPHY.

KHADI IS A PHILOSOPHY.

It weaves together the stories and the destiny of the farmer and the many people involved in the seven subsequent production stages (ginning/cleaning, carding/slivers, warping, weaving, dyeing, and printing). Khadi generates community-based livelihood and strengthens the village economy. It is a wonder fabric with less twist and softer weave (more air cavities, more porous) that is uniquely thermally efficient.

Mahatma Gandhi urged the adoption of khadi as a means to economic freedom. Modern day sustainable production practices, low carbon footprint urging, and the importance of reducing the use of chemicals in everyday life, find new resonance in the production of organic khadi.

MAGAN KHADI IS PURE ORGANIC KHADI FROM FARM TO FABRIC

Built on Gandhian vision, and with a strong legacy connect to his personal involvement, this is an enterprise that is uniquely progressive in its holistic approach to community development, combining traditional skills from across regions, current scientific advances, design expertise, and a pulse of changing fashion trends of individual and commercial customers.

AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE PAST IS IMPORTANT TO REALISE FUTURE ASPIRATIONS

In 1936, Gandhi moved to Sevagram, then a village near Wardha. This is where he set up his base. (Today, the ashram in Sevagram attracts visitors from around the world who walk in quite awe through a campus with humble cottages that were once occupied by people who shaped the destiny of the country. Prayers are conducted at specific times through the day).

In 1938 Gandhi inaugurated the Magan Sangrahalaya (museum), dedicated to rural enterprise. Arguably, this is the only facility he conceptualised himself, and got to see in its early operational days. The governing body today works with over 400 self-help groups providing training and skills development, sharing new production techniques, nurturing local handicrafts and artisan communities, and spreading the reach of khadi, from farm to fabric. Chairperson, Dr. Vibha Gupta leads the diverse projects of a resurgent Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti’s rural enterprise that ensures livelihoods in the region through skill development. 80% of sale proceeds from a wide variety of products from khadi fabric and finished garments, to personal products and staples, toys, food products and more, are ploughed back into the betterment of the lives of all those involved in their production.

Magan Khadi shares a symbiotic relationship with the Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti’s rural enterprise khadi projects. The focused Magan Khadi enterprise and brand will help build on considerable current achievements and scale growth plans to further community development objectives.

FROM 16T TO 37T OF 100% ORGANIC COTTON BACKED WITH PROCESS STAGE INTERVENTIONS

In 2016, Magan Khadi procured 16 T of raw organic cotton from 25 farmers of Samudrapur, Seloo block, Wardha, and Arvi block of Wardha District.

The Khadi unit works with two Organic Farmers Training Centres – Chetna-Vikas (Alodi village) and Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (Samudrapur, Girad village). Training is provided in – land preparation; mulching ; irrigation; sowing; multiple cropping; nutrient mix; pest control ; organic farming norms.

A 12-member team monitors the organic farms, keeps records, maintains an organic seeds bank, supplies organic farm inputs, assists in marketing farm produce, and conducts farmer training.

With Mission Samriddhi intervention the annual production target is 37T of organic raw cotton. Earlier, the carding/sliver/roving process stages were outsourced. Owned ginning and roving machines will now be installed at a nodal centre near the organic farms for increased efficiency and less wastage. Soft baling machines will be used to prevent damage to micro cotton fibres. Spinning units will continue to operate in clusters (20 in Karla ; 35 solar spinning units in Seloo ; and 25 solar spinning units in the Magan campus in Wardha). The warping process which was earlier left to the weavers will be done in-house to ensure no mixing of non-organic yarn, which is essential to maintaining the integrity of the 100% organic Magan Khadi proposition.

The number of farmers involved in organic cotton cultivation will increase from 25 to 60. Current production capacity will increase three-fold. Direct employment through process stages will increase from 173 to 261. And Magan Khadi will now be able to take up orders that had to be declined earlier due to capacity constraints.

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8 stages from farm to fabric

1. Raw cotton

2. Ginning/cleaning

3. Carding/slivers

4. Spinning/reeling

5. Warping

6. Weaving

7. Dyeing

8. Printing

PRINTING TECHNIQUES

1. Leaf Block (God’s Block) – Fresh leaf is used as block. Leaves from the Magan campus

2. Kacim Line – Lines are drawn on loosely stretched fabric with help of a coconut fibre or straw brush

3. Block Prints – Library of 800 blocks. Big demand for Warli design (8 blocks)

4. Eco Prints – Dry flowers, leaves, roots and bark are placed on the fabric and the fabric is rolled and steamed.

5. Eco Spray – Fabric is crumpled and colour sprayed

ALL NATURAL DYES

Natural dyes extracted from seeds, roots, leaves, vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs and barks create the entire pantone range of colours. The often edible and known for medicinal properties in traditional medicine, natural ingredients produce the most vivid shades and delicate pastels in the hands of Magan Khadi experts working with well researched and documented organic dyeing processes.

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The delicate Blushing Stripes stole collection with colours from natural dyes

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Extract from natural dyes ingredients / colours table in the Magan Khadi library

PRODUCT LINE

1. Yarn

2. Fabric (colour woven ; grey)

3. Print on fabric

4. Readymade products (Stoles ; Sarees ; Jackets ; Shirts ; T shirts ; Laptop sleeves ; Tote bags ; Bed sheets ; Bed spreads ; Pillows covers ; Cushion covers

INSTITUTIONAL ORDERS

In addition to retail customers, Magan Khadi also caters to the needs of institutional buyers including reputed brands like Aditya Birla, Good Earth and Navdanya (finished fabric with custom design printing and stoles) and national khadi institutions.

Magan Khadi is not merely about designing exquisite fabrics and prints in khadi. We can play a very significant role in improving the well-being of so many rural communities across India. Organic khadi has implications on the health and prosperity of our farmers, weavers, and all those involved in production. Organic means no chemicals through the process stages – from farm to fabric. Very few people understand this implication of this and the reality of what Magan Khadi is doing. After decades in this field and with all our pioneering work, we’re still at the beginning. With the support of Mission Samriddhi , I am looking at interventions across process stages to realise our true potential.

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Spinning unit in Seloo

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Popular Warli prints from Warli tribe (Dahanu, Thane dist.) of Maharashtra. 28 design patterns in 20 colours.

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‘Booti’ and ‘Jaal’ prints with individual blocks. 800 block designs. Fabric printing on 35 count ST 42

Wardha Wardhan

Wardha Wardhan

A week long annual fair is organized by the institute where NGOs, activist groups, farmers, artisans and artists display, demonstrate, and sell their products. It also provides a platform for all these groups to interact with each other.

For general public, it gives an opportunity to know about alternative living, eco-friendly products, ideas and methods to conserve nature and meet people who have pioneered to evolve new alternatives. Here, the people are exposed to alternative products and processes such as organic food; alternative fuel; alternative sources of energy, alternative to multinational products, alternatives to chemical products; herbal medicines as alternative to allopathic drugs etc. It include a culture which emphasizes the use of natural products, their beneficial proprieties vis-à-vis chemical based products.

It serves as a market for ecologically sound products where competition and commercialism is replaced by common sense and compassion.

In the years 2004 and 2005, CAPART assisted the institution to organize Gram Shree Mela where 150 organizations from 22 states participated. Around 70,000 people from Wardha and surrounding villages also visited this exposition.

Natural Food

Natural Food

PRAKRUTIK AHAR KENDRA
The processed food items are manufactured by Self Help Groups. For the visitors the outlet provides hot organic meal made from organic season vegetables, coarse grain and fresh oil. The beverages contain herbal tea, coffee and drinks made from flowers.

Village Industries

Village Industries

THE KHADI AND VILLAGE INDUSTRIES WING- EVOLUTION OF KHADITHE KHADI AND VILLAGE INDUSTRIES WING- EVOLUTION OF KHADI

The museum showcases various rural industries and depicts the development of Khaki over the years. The khadi wing showcases forty different kinds of Charkha dating back to year 1930. The Charkhas displayed in the exhibition range from the hand , pedal to solar driven Charkha. It also displays the changing form of Charkha from Sudarshan (Wheel )to kissan (Box) to Ambar charkha and presently the E-Charkha. The display wing hold sections on Khadi, Natural Dye, Silk, Raw-Silk, Wool and Jute mixed Khadi.

  THE VILLAGE INDUSTRIES WING

The museum showcases 32 rural industries including – Food processing, Agriculture tools for small farmers , Honey from the wild rock-bees, Non-violent Leather (goods from fallen hides), Pottery, Hand made paper, oil from edible & Non-edible seeds. It also exhibits industries based on Palm, Bamboo, Lac, Grasses, Jute, Wood, Metal, Glass, Stone, Mud, Horn, Cow dung and Cow urine.

Water Harvesting

Water Harvesting

STORING RAINDROPS FOR RESUSCITATIONSTORING RAINDROPS FOR RESUSCITATIONIn the summers of 2002, Dr. Vibha Gupta met the women from Girad village of Samudrapur block, Wardha, who informed about the acute water crisis in their village. In addition, they explained how a mass exodus from the adjoining three water-scarce villages has aggravated their crisis. On reaching Girad, she found that the wells were drying. Ugly fights and violence at water sources ended in police station. The local farmers were undergoing a terrible economic crisis as 80 percent farmers were reeling under heavy debts taken for purchasing chemical farm inputs.
In search of water, tigers from the adjoining forest moved down to these villages. Outside villages refused to marry their daughters to men of these villages; and liquor booths were outnumbering food stalls. The famous pilgrimage – Farid Baba Dargah – annually attracted 15-20 lakh pilgrims, whose water needs also added to this water crisis.
With the help of the local community, MSS led an anti-liquor campaign and succeeded in banning its sale. Then, a detailed watershed action plan was prepared and CAPART agreed to fund it.
In three years, watershed structures and 36,000 new trees planted by community started showing results. The level of groundwater and well-water in the village rose by 5-6 feet. Initially during summers, these villages were supplied 2.4 crore litres of drinking water through water tankers, costing Ten Lakh rupees. Now a regular supply of tap water has replaced these water tankers.

  CONSERVING PRESERVING SOIL EROSIONCurrently, seven community ponds and 50 farm ponds provide irrigation to 1,000 farmers. Farm bunds and drains brought 200-acre additional land under cultivation. A total of 5602 Metric Ton soil is also saved from erosion. MSS conserved a total watershed area of 2500 hectares. It has constructed 36 kilometre long Continuous Contour Trenches (CCTs) to check rainwater from flowing down the Girad Tekri ( or hillock) over which is situated the Farid Baba Dargah. It has succeeded in conserving 9000 cubic metres of water during every monsoon by constructing Gulley Plugs, CCT stone bunds and several other measures to catch every raindrop falling on the hillock.
To prevent farmers from polluting and misusing water , Natural Farming wAS introduced to local farmers. These farmers use no chemicals, optimally utilize water, show noticeable rise in productivity and have saved the expenditure on chemical farm inputs, amounting to nearly 2.5 crore rupees.

सृजनशीलता का खजाना

सृजनशीलता का खजाना

मगन संग्रहालय समिति मुख्य रूप से एक ऐतिहासिक संग्रहालय चलाती है। इस संग्रहालय में विभिन्न प्रकार के ग्रामोद्योगों व खादी का सदियों पुराना इतिहास दर्शाया गया है। इसके ग्रामीण प्रौद्योगिकी विभाग में ग्राम आधारित, कम लागत वाली, पर्यावरण के अनुकूल और ऊर्जा व पानी का संरक्षण करने वाली 18 प्रौद्योगिकियों की झांकी प्रस्तुत की गई है। देश की स्वाधीनता की लड़ाई में महात्मा गांधी के प्रमुख सिद्धांत यदि सत्य और अहिंसा थे तो प्रमुख हथियार थे खादी और ग्रामोद्योग। महात्मा गाँधी अंग्रेजों से ज्यादा अंग्रेजी व्यवस्थाओं, सभ्यता व संस्कृति से आजादी चाहते थे। दुर्भाग्यवश स्वाधीनता के बाद गांधी के नामलेवा नेताओं व सरकारों ने खादी व ग्रामोद्योग को विकास में बाधक मानते हुए पूरी तरह उपेक्षित कर दिया। खादी और ग्रामोद्योग विभाग होने के बावजूद सरकार का मुख्य ध्यान मशीनीकरण व भारी औद्योगीकरण पर ही केंद्रित रहा। ग्राम की बजाए शहरों को विकास का केंद्र बनाया गया। आज स्थिति यह हो गई है कि विज्ञान और प्रौद्योगिकी की दौड़ में खादी और गांव के कुटीर उद्योग-धंधों व कारीगरों को पिछड़ा समझा जाता है। ऐसे में यह जानकर किसी को अजीब लग सकता है कि 1938 में महात्मा गांधी ने जिस पहले खादी व ग्रामोद्योग संग्रहालय की स्थापना की, उसका नाम एक ग्रामीण वैज्ञानिक मगनलाल गांधी के नाम पर रखा था और उसके विकास में अपना जीवन खपाने वाले व्यक्ति डा. देवेंद्र कुमार एक युवा तेल प्रौद्योगिकीविद् थे।

मगन संग्रहालय खादी व ग्रामोद्योग का पहला संग्रहालय था। महात्मा गांधी इसे ग्रामोद्योगों की एक जीवंत झांकी बनाना चाहते थे जहां उत्पादन की ऐसी नई पद्धतियां विकसित की जाएं जिनसे भारत के गरीब लोगों का जीवन स्तर सुधारा जा सके। 1949 में डा. देवेंद्र कुमार ने एक वैज्ञानिक के रूप में अखिल भारतीय ग्रामोद्योग संघ में कार्य करते हुए विज्ञान प्रौद्योगिकी के बल पर गरीबी की रेखा के नीचे रह रहे लोगों की सहायता के लिए इस रचनात्मक आंदोलन को बल दिया। 1978 में देवेंद्र भाई ने मगन संग्रहालय को अपनी गतिविधियों का केंद्र बनाया। उन्होंने इसके माध्यम से देश भर में विविध क्षेत्रों में कार्यरत वैज्ञानिकों, प्रौद्योगिकीविदों, अर्थशास्त्रियों व अन्य विशेषज्ञों में महात्मा गांधी के मूल्यों के प्रति नई चेतना जागृत करने की कोशिश की।

मगन संग्रहालय समिति का मूल उद्देश्य ग्रामीण कारीगरों के पारंपरिक ज्ञान पर आधारित देशज कौशल को उभारना और नवीनतम विज्ञान व प्रौद्योगिकी के साथ उसका सामंजस्य बिठाते हुए ऐसी नई प्रौद्योगिकी व तकनीकें विकसित करना है जिससे स्थानीय स्तर पर ग्रामीणों को उद्यम या व्यवसाय के स्थाई अवसर उपलब्ध कराए जा सकें। इसके अतिरिक्त खादी ग्रामोद्योग, कृषि व डेयरी आदि पर शोध, विकास व प्रचार कार्य और उत्पादन पद्धतियों का प्रदर्शन करना भी समिति के उद्देश्य हैं।

देवेंद्र भाई ने मगन संग्रहालय में ‘ग्रामोपयोगी विज्ञान केंद्र’ की स्थापना की। दृढ़निष्ठ व संकल्पित वैज्ञानिकों व तकनीकविदों के अपने दल के कारण इस केंद्र ने ऐसी 75 प्रौद्योगिकियां विकासित कीं, जिन्होंने ग्रामीणजन को व्यवसाय के अवसर प्रदान किए। साथ ही संस्था ने 30,000 सस्ते मगर टिकाऊ व पर्यावरणनुकूल मिट्टी के घर, 10,000 स्वच्छ शौचालय तथा 20,000 गोबर गैस संयंत्रें का निर्माण किया। इसी के साथ लगभग 30, 000 ग्रामीण कारीगरों को उन्नत वैज्ञानिक तकनीकों का प्रशिक्षण दिया। देवेंद्र भाई ने मगन संग्रहालय समिति द्वारा ग्रामीण व स्थानीय कारीगरों का एक राष्ट्रव्यापी आंदोलन शुरू किया जिसका नाम है कारीगर पंचायत। इस आंदोलन के तहत देश के कुल 22 राज्यों में कारीगर संघ बनाए गए हैं, जिससे दो लाख से भी ज्यादा कारीगर जुड़े हुए हैं।

मगन संग्रहालय समिति मुख्य रूप से एक ऐतिहासिक संग्रहालय चलाती है। इस संग्रहालय में विभिन्न प्रकार के ग्रामोद्योगों व खादी का सदियों पुराना इतिहास दर्शाया गया है। इसके ग्रामीण प्रौद्योगिकी विभाग में ग्राम आधारित, कम लागत वाली, पर्यावरण के अनुकूल और ऊर्जा व पानी का संरक्षण करने वाली 18 प्रौद्योगिकियों की झांकी प्रस्तुत की गई है। महात्मा गांधी प्रभाग में महात्मा गांधी के दैनिक प्रयोग की वस्तुओं और उन्हें भेंट में मिली सामग्रियों का संकलन है। महात्मा गांधी पर ही यहां एक चित्र प्रदर्शनी भी है जो सेवाग्राम के सहयोग से चलाई जा रही है। समिति द्वारा वर्ष में एक बार संग्रहालय में ‘वर्धा-वर्धन’ नामक सप्ताह भर का मेला आयोजित किया जाता है। यहां जैविक, पर्यावरणानुकूल और स्थानीय ग्रामोद्योगों के उत्पादों की हाट लगती है। इस मेले में स्वयंसेवी संगठन, सक्रिय समूह, किसान और ग्रामीण कारीगर व कलाकार अपने शिल्प व कौशल का प्रदर्शन करते हैं तथा अपने उत्पादों की बिक्री भी। वर्धा-वर्धन आम जनता को वैकल्पिक जीवन शैली, पर्यावरणानुकूल उत्पादों, विचारों व प्रकृति संरक्षण की पद्धतियों को जानने के लिए एक अवसर प्रदान करता है और उन लोगों से मिलने का भी मौका देता है जो नए विकल्पों की खोज में अग्रणी रहे हैं। वर्ष 2004 व 2005 में 22 राज्यों के 150 संगठनों ने इसमें सहभागिता की थी।

मगन संग्रहालय समिति का दूसरा अनूठा प्रयास है कारीगर पंचायतों के रूप में कारीगर आंदोलन। आधुनिक विज्ञान व तकनीकी ने स्थानीय व ग्रामीण कारीगरों को किस प्रकार बेरोजगार व भूखे मरने पर मजबूर कर दिया है, यह आज किसी से नहीं छिपा है। मिट्टी के कुल्हड़ों को प्लास्टिक के ग्लासों ने विस्थापित कर दिया और देश के लाखों कुम्हार एक साथ बेरोजगार हो गए। कुछ ऐसी ही स्थिति महाराष्ट्र में भी थी। महाराष्ट्र में गणेश चतुर्थी पर गणपति की पूजा बड़ी धूमधाम से की जाती है और इस अवसर पर लाखों मूर्तियां खरीदी व बेची जाती हैं। परंतु पिछले एक दशक से गणपति की मिट्टी से बनी मूर्तियों का स्थान ‘प्लास्टर आफ पेरिस’ से बनी मूर्तियों ने ले लिया था। इन मूर्तियों का उपयोग सरल था। ये हल्की व सस्ती भी थीं परंतु इससे वे नदियां व तालाब प्रदूषित हो रहे थे, जहां इन्हें विसर्जित किया जाता था और इनके कारण स्थानीय व पारंपरिक कुम्हार बेरोजगार हो गए थे। केवल वर्धा में ही ऐसे 200 कुम्हार भूखे मरने की कागार पर पहुंच गए थे। ऐसी परिस्थिति में समिति ने कारीगर पंचायत के माध्यम से जन जागृति फैलाई।

मंहगे हाइब्रिड बीज, रासायनिक खाद व कीटनाशक खरीदने में किसान धीरे-धीरे कंगाल होते गए और आत्महत्या को विवश हो गए। समिति ने किसानों को लगभग शून्य लागत वाली जैविक व प्राकृतिक खेती की नई तकनीकों से परिचय कराया। इसका लाभ वहां के 2000 से अधिक किसानों को मिला। वर्तमान में वहां 700 एकड़ खेत में प्राकृतिक खेती हो रही है।

उनके निरंतर व अथक परिश्रम से आज वर्धा में प्लास्टर आफ पेरिस की मूर्तियों का उपयोग बंद हो गया है और 200 कुम्हारों का जीवन बच गया। इसके साथ ही कारीगर पंचायत देश भर में कारीगरों की दशा सुधारने, उनका जीवन स्तर ऊपर उठाने और उन्हें नई व पर्यावरणानुकूल प्रौद्योगिकी से लैस करने में जुटा हुआ है। मगन संग्रहालय ने अनेक प्रौद्योगिकियां विकसित की हैं। जैसे समिति ने मोटा सूत काटने वालों की उत्पादकता व आमदनी बढ़ाने के लिए एक चार तकुए वाला उन्नत चरखा विकसित किया है जिसका नाम मगन चरखा रखा गया है। इन चरखों में बहुराष्ट्रीय कम्पनियों के मंहगे ‘तोपर्म’ के बदले देशी ‘तोपर्म’ लगाया गया है जिसे न केवल स्थानीय स्तर पर बनाना आसान है, बल्कि जिसकी मरम्मत कोई भी ग्रामीण कारीगर आसानी से कर सकता है। इस मगन चरखे से चार गुना अधिक उत्पादन होता है और चौगुनी कमाई भी। इसी प्रकार समिति ने पर्यावरण संरक्षण व जैव अनुकूल वन्य कपड़े के प्रयोग को प्रोत्साहन देने के लिए रासायनिक रंगों के विकल्प के रूप में 200 रंगों की जैविक डाई तैयार की है। इसमें से अधिकांश रंग स्थानीय वन उत्पादों आम, पलाश, बेहड़ा, बित्त आदि से बनते हैं। इसी प्रकार ब्लाक प्रिंटिंग का भी एक सस्ता पर्यावरणानुकूल विकल्प विकसित किया गया है। इस अभिनव छपाई तकनीक में ताजे हरे पत्तों का प्रयोग किया जाता है और इस तकनीक में केवल एक पत्ते से एक डिजाइन को न्यूनतम 200 बार कपड़े पर छापा जा सकता है।

समिति ने एक और अभिनव प्रयास निजी शौचालयों के क्षेत्र में किया। वर्धा जिले के भवानपुर गांव में 100 परिवार हैं। दो वर्ष पहले तक अन्य गांवों की तरह इस गांव में भी साफ-सफाई की स्थिति काफी दयनीय थी और ग्रामीण लोग शौच हेतु गांव की सड़कों पर निकल जाते थे। समिति ने गांव में कई बैठकें कीं और सभी परिवारों को एक शौचालय व स्नानघर का सेट बनाने के लिए तैयार कर लिया। प्रत्येक परिवार ने हजार रुपए प्रति परिवार के हिसाब से कुल एक लाख रुपए स्टेट बैंक आफ इंडिया की स्थानीय शाखा में जमा किए ताकि उन्हें दस लाख रुपए का कर्ज मिल सके। यह कर्ज 11 प्रतिशत ब्याज पर दिया गया और इसका भुगतान 7 वर्ष में करना है। मगन संग्रहालय समिति के स्थानीय कार्यकर्ताओं व राजमिस्त्रियों को उड़ीसा की ‘ग्राम विकास संस्था’ ने शौचालय निर्माण का प्रशिक्षण दिया। पचास परिवारों ने बैंक से कर्ज लिया और समिति ने उनके लिए शौचालय व स्नानगृह के सेट बनाए। इस प्रकार पहली बार बिना सरकारी सहायता के ग्रामवासियों ने स्वयं अपने संसाधनों से स्वच्छ शौचालय व स्नानघर बनाए।

एक अन्य अभिनव प्रयास के तहत समिति ने वर्धा जिले के सेल और समुद्रपुर प्रखंड के 100 गांवों की महिलाओं में जागृति फैलाई और 600 स्वयंसेवी समूह बनाने के लिए प्रेरित किया। इनमें से अधिकांश औरतें खेतीहर मजदूर, दिहाड़ी वाली या शारीरिक श्रम करने वाली हैं। इनमें से अधिकांश गरीबी रेखा के नीचे हैं। समिति के प्रयास, जागृति और प्रशिक्षणों का ही परिणाम हैं कि आज 12 स्वयंसेवी समूहों की औरतें सरपंच, ग्राम पंचायत सदस्य व जिला परिषद की सदस्य चुनी गई हैं। केवल चार वर्ष में ही इन स्वयंसेवी समूहों की मामूली बचत राशि कई गुना बढ़ चुकी है और 15 बैंकों में उनकी कुल बचत राशि है एक करोड़ पैंसठ हजार रुपए और उनका कुल आर्थिक लेन-देन पांच हजार करोड़ रुपए का आंकड़ा पार कर चुका है। समिति ने 760 महिला स्वयंसेवी समूहों की सदस्याओं को राष्ट्रीय स्तर के 50 तकनीकी संस्थानों में प्रशिक्षण दिलवाया। इसके परिणाम-स्वरूप 30 गांवों में 34 नई उद्यम इकाइयों की स्थापना की गइ। इनमें जैविक खाद, जड़ी-बूटियों से कीटनाशक, केले का रेशा, धूप में सुखाए खाद्य उत्पाद, सोयाबीन उत्पाद, मसाले, झाडू, दुग्ध चाकलेट, लकड़ी के खिलौने, दैनिक उपयोग की सामग्री, साबुन, कपड़े धोने का पाउडर, नील, फिनाइल, फर्नीचर, कृषि कचड़े से निर्मित ईंटें, कागज उत्पाद आदि सैकड़ों वस्तुओं का उत्पादन किया जाता है। इनमें अभी 875 ग्रामीण औरतों को सहायक रोजगार मिला हुआ है।

समिति ने जैविक खेती के क्षेत्र में भी काम किया। समिति का कार्यक्षेत्र वर्धा है जो महाराष्ट्र के उस विदर्भ क्षेत्र में आता है जहां पिछले वर्ष आत्महत्या करने वाले किसानों की संख्या सर्वाधिक थी। मंहगे हाइब्रिड बीज, रासायनिक खाद व कीटनाशक खरीदने में किसान धीरे-धीरे कंगाल होते गए और आत्महत्या को विवश हो गए। समिति ने किसानों को लगभग शून्य लागत वाली जैविक व प्राकृतिक खेती की नई तकनीकों से परिचय कराया। इसका लाभ वहां के 2000 से अधिक किसानों को मिला। वर्तमान में वहां 700 एकड़ खेत में प्राकृतिक खेती हो रही है।

अब समिति ने एक बैल चालित पंप लगाया है। इसकी क्षमता तीन हार्सपावर प्रति घंटा है और 30 फीट की गहराई से 12000 लीटर पानी खींचता है। इस पंप में आठ फव्वारे चलते हैं जो पूरा खेत सींच देते हैं। इस पंप से कुट्टी काटने की मशीन या आटा चक्की जैसी अन्य मशीनें भी चलाई जा सकती हैं।

देवेंद्र भाई की मृत्यु के बाद उनकी सुपुत्री डा. विभा गुप्ता ने आज भी उस मशाल को जलाए रखा है जो लाखों लोगों को राह दिखा रही है। वे तकनीकी प्रयोगों द्वारा ग्रामीण भारत में स्थायी रोजगार के निर्माण में व्यस्त हैं। समिति की अध्यक्षा डा. गुप्ता का प्रमुख योगदान है ग्राम परिवर्तन की प्रक्रियाओं से महिलाओं को जोड़ना। समिति की असली ताकत स्थानीय स्वयंसेवी समूह हैं जिनके सदस्यों की संख्या और बाजार में साख निरंतर बढ़ रही है। डा. विभा गुप्ता ने आई.आई.टी. दिल्ली से ग्रामीण महिलाओं में प्रौद्योगिकी हस्तांतरण विषय पर पी.एच.डी. की है। उन्होंने कनाडा और स्वट्जरलैंड से भी कई डिग्रियां प्राप्त की हैं। वे अनेक राष्ट्रीय और अंतर्राष्ट्रीय पुरस्कार प्राप्त कर चुकी हैं। कई आकर्षक नौकरियों को ठुकरा कर उन्होंने अपने ही गांव के लोगों के उत्थान के लिए कार्य करना स्वीकार किया है।

संपर्क : मगन संग्रहालय समिति
कुमारप्पा मार्ग, वर्धा, महाराष्ट्र – 442001
फोन : 07152-245082

The Organisation

The Organisation

Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti

Genesis

Mahatma GandhiGandhiji settled in Maganwadi, Wardha, after his departure from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. He named this Ashram after Maganlal Gandhi, his close associate and a rural scientist who had been his right hand in all the earlier three Ashrams but who suddenly died while working, at his behest, in Bihar in 1928.

Dedicated to the cause of village industries Gandhiji founded the All India Village Industries Association (AIVIA) by a resolution of the All India Congress Committee on 26th October 1934.

Towering national personalities like Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, renowned humanist and international scientists like Shri.C.V.Raman and Prof. Jagadish Chandra Bose, Shri P.C.Ray and prominent industrialist Shri G.D.Birla were part of the advisory board of AIVIA.

KumarappajiGandhiji himself as the chairman, with Kumarappaji as the secretary of AIVIA, undertook the foremost all India movement of revival and expansionarious rural industries, Khadi and artisans based crafts. AIVIA evolved, developed, and disseminated rural industries as well as trained several organizations and artisans.

Laying Foundation for Entrepreneurship Development

On 30th December 1938 Gandhiji innograted Magan Sangrahalaya – The very first museum of Rural Industries and Khadi. He wanted it to be a dynamic window on evolving techniques in rural industrialization and a centre of education for the common person to impart information on new modes of production which could help the poor of the land.

Dr. Devendra Kumar, a young Oil technologist, joined AIVIA from 1949 to 1952 as a scientist and undertook the onus of providing momentum to the noble cause of helping those below the poverty line by empowering them with the tool of science and technology.

In 1978, Devendra Bhai (which was his popular name) made Magan Sanghralaya his base and took up the mission to create a new awareness pertaining to Gandhian values among the scientists, technologists, economists, sociologists and experts in various disciplines all over the country. Here he set up the Center of Science for villages. His entire life was nothing but a relentless pursuit to provide a human face to technology with the dream that no one slept hungry and every citizen of India became self sufficient and lead a life of dignity and honor. The main objective of Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (MSS) is to bring to the fore indigenous skills of the village artisans, stemming from the accumulated traditional knowledge, and facilitate its interaction with the recent knowledge of science and technology. To innovate technologies that could be converted into sustainable business opportunities at the grassroots level.

The other objectives are research, development and dissemination of Khadi and village industries, agriculture, dairy etc. alongwith the display and demonstrate of their production processes

DEVENDRA BHAI: The Crusader

Dr. Devendra Kumar, popularly known as Devendra Bhai, was hailed as the doyen of Appropriate Technology in India.

A science graduate from Lucknow University and an Oil Technologist from the famous Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Devendra Bhai left a lucrative job to join the Gandhian Movement in 1946. Influenced by the Gandhian economic philosophy of decentralization, he joined the All India Village Industries Association (AIVIA), of which Mahatma Gandhi was the president and Prof.J.C. Kumarappa was the secretary. Prof. Kumarappa was a great Gandhian Economist, who influenced Gandhiji to initiate the ‘Namak Satyagraha’ (or the famous ‘Salt Movement’) against the British Raj.

Devendra Bhai helped his Guru Kumarappaji for six years in research and innovative experiments in various village industries he also edited and translated his books as well as articles, which Gandhiji hailed as the best analysis of the village economy of India and called Kumarappa the ‘Doctor of Village Industries’.

Guiding people to self sufficiency

In 1952, Devendra Bhai opted to live with the landless poor of a small insulated hilly village, called ‘Machala’, near Indore in Madhya Pradesh for eight long years – to experience village life in the raw. He made a sea change in the lives of the rural people of Machala who still revere him as a saint who changed their lives by making them self-sufficient to lead a life of dignity and honour. He was also a part of the ‘Bhoodan’ movement (where big land owners donated land to the landless poor) spearheaded by Vinoba Bhave – the barefoot ‘Saint on the march’. Under Vinobaji’s guidance, Devendra Bhai acted as the state level organizer of Bhoodan and was also active in Sarvodaya and village movements.

Catalyzing policy initiatives

In 1965, Devendra Bhai was invited to become the Secretary of the National Gandhi Memorial Trust at New Delhi and was made the Organizing Secretary of the National Committee for Gandhi Centenary of which the President of India was the President and the Prime Minister of India Chairperson. He initiated a number of institutions and was connected to various national and international committees on Gandhian constructive movement. Devendra Bhai acted as a vital link between the grassroots NGOs in the Gandhian field and the policy makers at the Central Government level. He was involved in organizing important meetings with the Prime Minister and the concerned ministers on various issues. He was also instrumental in cultivating a number of scientific institutions in Delhi to orient them towards rural needs. Even the concept of having Rural Development and Appropriate Technology cells at all the IITs in India, was the brainchild of Devendra Bhai. Not many people are aware that he was the person who helped in the formulation of the Council for Advancement of Rural Technology (CART) – the erstwhile CAPART. He was a member of around 150 national Science & Technology committees.

Transforming Rural Life with Technology

In 1978, Devendra Bhai took up the mission of his Guru – Kumarappa – of taking the benefits of technology to the rural poor and initiated the Centre of Science for Villages (CSV) at Magan Sangrahalaya. Wardha. With a team of committed scientists and technocrats, CSV developed 75 technologies to convert them into business opportunities for the rural people and constructed 30,000 low-cost mud houses, 100,000 hygienic toilets, 20,000 biogas plants and trained around 30,000 rural artisans in improved scientific techniques (like non-violent honey extraction, gum-collection without harming the trees, single-bullock driven agricultural equipment and improved potter’s wheel). In fact, he started a major artisan movement called ‘Karigar Panchayat’, creating artisan guilds in 22 states of India with a total strength of 200, 000 artisans.

Light that continues to Enlighten

Though Devendra Bhai is no more in this world, his daughter – Dr Vibha Gupta – is carrying on the torch by creating sustainable livelihoods in Rural India through technological interventions. She has been working with Devendra Bhai since 1978 and is currently the Chairperson of the Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti.

Magan Sangrahalaya – Museum of Rural Industries

Magan SangharalyaThe institute runs the historical museum of rural industries – Magan Sangrahalaya. It is the only museum in India founded by Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1938, dedicated to the artisans of India.

The Village Industries wing

The museum showcases 32 rural industries including – Food processing, Agriculture tools for small farmers , Honey from the wild rock-bees, Non-violent Leather (goods from fallen hides ), Pottery, Hand made paper, oil from edible & Non-edible seeds. It also exhibits industries based on Palm, Bamboo, Lac, Grasses, Jute, Wood, Metal, Glass, Stone, Mud, Horn, Cow dung and Cow urine.

The Khadi Wing

The khadi wing showcases forty different kinds of Charkha dating back to year 1930. The Charkhas displayed in the exhibition range from the hand, pedal to solar driven Charkha. It also displays the changing form of Charkha from Sudarshan (Wheel) to kissan (Box) to Ambar charkha and presently the E-Charkha. The display wing hold sections on Khadi, Natural Dye, Silk, Raw-Silk, Wool and Jute mixed Khadi.

Mahatma Gandhi Wing

This wing displays the belongings and the gifts received by Mahatma Gandhi. Some of the rare Articles of Mahatma Gandhi exhibited here include Gandhiji’s Hair, Smallest spinning wheel (Charkha) used by him, self signed statue of Mahatma Gandhi (only statue of it’s kind in the world) & the stone on which Gandhi made the first Handmade paper.

Rural Technology Wing

Rural Technology Wing presents 18 rural based low-cost simple technologies. that can be adopted by the rural household. It exhibits energy conserving technologies, low cost mud housing, improved agriculture tools, agro- processing tool, and water purification and conservation technology.

Gandhi Chitra Pradarshani

Gandhi Chitra Pradarshani (Picture gallery on life of Gandhi) is run in close conjunction with Sevagram Ashram. This photo exhibition of Gandhiji is annually visited by about three lakh visitors.

Organic Food Shop

The organization runs Prakrutik Ahar Kendra at Sewagram that sells organic grains, cereals, pulses, natural sugar, honey and food articles. All the organic food is procured from organic farmers associated with Magan Sangrahalaya. The outlet provides hot organic meal made from organic season vegetables, coarse grain and fresh oil. The beverages contain herbal tea, coffee and drinks made from flowers.

Documentation Center

The institution has a small documentation unit with 6000 books on subjects like Gandhi, Vinoba, Kumarappa, Rural Technology, Organic farming, Environment etc. The centre has 300 archival documents published by All India Village Industries Association during 1930 to 1960.

Publication

The centre published the following books by J.C.Kumarappa : 1 Why the villages movement 2. Economy of Permanence 3. Public Finance & Our Poverty 4. Gaon Andolan Kyon 5. Sthai Samaj Vyavstha.

Books by Dr.Devendra Kumar – 1.Pause and Think Wither Science 2. Towards Sustainability 3. Sthai Vikas Ka Path 3. The Inevitable Gandhi 4. Your questions and Gandhi’s Answers

Nature Care Center

Prakrutik Jivan Kendra is an alternative health centre based on Nature Cure, Organic Food, Yoga, Mind empowerment and Aurvedic Massage is run by the institute. Every year around 2000 patients are treated in this centre.

The new venture is Antardeep (inner light) provides a neutral, non judgmental and compassionate environment in which using simple, interactive and practical techniques

emotional empowerment, thought management, stress management ,Energy management, Karma management, physical body management, healing, mind de-conditioning.

Khadi : Hand Spun & Hand Woven cloth

The Khadi (a hand-woven and hand-spun cotton cloth) sector is supported by the Government by providing rebate on the sale of Khadi. Magan Sangrahalaya took up the production and sale of Khadi as a mission to support the dying weavers and spinners and sell the eco-friendly cloth to the people without taking any Government subsidy.

To increase the productivity and earnings of thick-yarn weavers using traditional Charkha, MSS developed a Four-spindle Magana Charkha, an improvised spinning wheel. The critical intervention here is the replacement of the costly multi-national ‘Top Arm’ by an indigenous ‘Top Arm’, which can be easily fabricated and repaired in any village workshop. With this appropriate device, the spinner can earn and produce four times more than before.

Presently, this self-reliant Khadi unit of MSS is providing employment to 150 artisans including sliver plant workers, spinners, weavers, tailors, dyers and sales persons. With the collective effort of MSS team and artisans, the institute annually sells 50 Lakh Rupees worth of Khadi.

Using the decentralized, sliver plant developed by Dastakar, Andhra Pradesh, MSS is producing the best quality eco-friendly organic sliver. At the same time, it is also recycling the organic cotton seeds back to the organic farmer since the process keeps the seeds intact.

Natural Dyes : Converting Forest Refuse into color

To conserve the environment and optimize the use of bio-friendly forest refuse ,MSS has developed 200 hues of organic dyes, most of which are made from unutilized local forest produce like Aam (Mangifera Indica), Palash (Butea Monosperma) Pakpu (Antigonan Leptopus), Behada (Terminalia Bellerica) and Bibba or Bilwa (Semicarpus Anacardium)

With the support of Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, MSS has developed new improved tools and techniques of natural dyeing and effective ways of recycling the effluents of a natural dyeing unit. As a low cost alternative to block printing, MSS has also developed an innovative printing technique by using fresh leaves where by from a single leaf 200 motifs can be printed.

Promoting Self Reliance through Natural Farming

Unable to cope with constantly rising cost of farm inputs and decreasing crop yield, farmers are unable to pay back their debts and are compelled to commit suicide. In the state of Maharashtra from year 1995, 35,000 farmers have committed suicide. This year 712 farmers of Vidarbha region have committed suicide. Knowing that degree of dependence equals degree of exploitation, Natural Farming frees farmer from dependence on exploitative market and commercial interests. Hence, MSS volunteers initiated the Natural farming campaign in villages of wardha.

The Natural Farming practice is low cost organic agriculture that protects environment, earth, water, bio-diversity, livelihood, and promises sustainability. It focuses on increasing soil humus by scientific introduction of cow dung, cow urine, and biomass. The organic inputs, Indigenous seeds, bio-diversity and multilayer cropping help earthworms, bees, and birds to contribute in controlling pests, enhancing pollination and improving soil health, combats water waste and contamination.

If properly adopted, Natural Farming technology reduces water requirement by 20 to 30%. The Natural Farmer can make his own seeds, pesticides, and manure minimizing the cost of farm input. The uniqueness of this innovation is its acceptability and adaptability by a large number of farmers.

The 25 villages of Samudrapur block (Wardha Dist.) 2000 farmers are practicing Natural Farming on 1482 Hact.land. In five of these villages 90 % farmers adopted Natural farming.

With Natural Farming, the soil quality has shown considerable improvement. In the first year, the productivity remained constant whereas in the second year, the production per acre increased by 20 to 30%. Instead of one or two crops farmers now cultivate 10 to 30 varieties of crops. Some farmers have started cultivating indigenous crops like Flax seed.

This movement of Natural Farming is to free the farmers from the clutches of money-lenders and banks from whom they had taken heavy debts to purchase hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. All the farmers started preparing farm inputs in their own farms.

In last two years, 2000 farmers adopted Natural Farming. Now these farmers are a proud self-reliant community, free from debt, dependence, domination, and disease. The farmers, who shifted from chemical farming to natural farming, did without buying 25 million Rupees worth of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Instead of filling the coffers of corporate sector, this money was recycled back into the village economy.

The farm productivity increased and none borrowed money from bank or moneylender. As never before, farmers not only used the water optimally but also prevented it from pollution.

Along with gaining self – sufficiency in farm inputs it was equally important for organic farmers to be self-reliant in terms of energy usage. Therefore, to overcome the crisis of long and frequent power cuts, MSS installed a Bullock operated Water Pump. This pump is a combined effort of Mr. P. L. Sharma, Sultan Aslam and Mr. Vivek Chaturvedi of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Bullock – Operated Water Pump

This bullock pump, with three horse power capacity, draws from a depth of 30 feet 12,000 liters of water per hour. Eight water sprinklers can operate on this bullock pump.Apart from lifting water, the pump act like a prim mover and can also be used for running other machines like a grinder, chaff cutter or generator.

Storing Raindrops

In the summers of 2002, Dr. Vibha Gupta met the women from Girad village of Samudrapur block, Wardha, who informed about the acute water crisis in their village and how a mass exodus from the adjoining three water-scarce villages has aggravated their crisis. The famous pilgrimage – Farid Baba Dargah that annually attracted 15-20 lakh pilgrims, added to this water crisis.

On reaching Girad, she found that the wells were drying; there were ugly fights and violence at water sources; the tigers from the adjoining forest were moving down to these villages in search of water and outside villages refused to marry their daughters to men of these villages and liquor booths were outnumbering food stalls. As the first step, with the help of the local community, MSS led an anti-liquor campaign and succeeded in banning its sale.

Then, a detailed watershed action plan was prepared and CAPART (Govt. of India) agreed to fund it. In four years, watershed structures and 70,000 new trees planted on the Farid Pahad started showing results. The level of groundwater and well-water in the village rose by 5-6 feet. These villages that were supplied with 24 million liters of drinking water through water tankers, during summer months, now have sufficient water and are not required to pay for the water tankers.

Conserving Preserving Soil Erosion

MSS is introducing water and soil conservation structures in an area of 2500 hectare, covering eight water scarcity villages. Farm bunds and drains brought 200-acre additional land under cultivation. A total of 5602 Metric Ton soil is also saved from erosion.

MSS has constructed 36 kilometer long Continuous Contour Trenches to check rainwater from flowing down the Baba Farid Pahad (hillock). It has succeeded in conserving 9000 cubic meters of water during every monsoon by constructing Gulley Plugs, CCT, Stone Bunds and several other measures to catch every raindrop falling on the hillock. Seven Collective Farm Ponds and 50 farm ponds are providing irrigation to 1,000 Small and Marginal Farmers

Private Toilets – A Successful Initiative

Bhavanpur Village is one of the watershed villages with 100 households, where every household is member of a Self Help Group. Two years back the sanitation condition of the village was pathetic and the local people resorted to open defecation on the village roads. After a series of meetings, all the households were motivated to construct one toilet and one bathroom in each house. Each of the 100 households of Bhavanpur Village collected 1000 rupees and deposited a total sum of one Lakh rupees in the State Bank of India, so that each household gets a loan of 10000 rupees to construct a bathroom-toilet set from, SBI, Girad Branch.

Under a new scheme initiated by NABARD, State Bank of India offers a soft loan for construction of sanitation units to SHGs at 11% interest to be paid back in 5 to 7 years. For the Total Village Sanitation Program, field workers and masons of Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti were trained in construction of sanitation units and prefabricated cement doors at Gram Vikas, Orissa. And the team with cooperation of the village built sanitation units for each and every household of Bhavanpur. For the first time, without any financial help from the Govt. or any other agency, all the 75 households with their own resources built neat and hygienic toilets. Bhawanpur is no more the same. In fact, a model village has proved that ‘when there is a will, there is a way’.

Women Self Help Groups

Magan Sanghralaya Samiti mobilized 10000 women in 100 villages of Seloo and Samudrapur blocks (Wardha District, Maharashtra) and formed 600 Self Help Groups. Majority of these women are farm labor, daily wageworkers, manual labor, and many subsist below the poverty line.

Nurturing Capabilities

The SHG program assists in capacity building of rural women, raising their technical skills and creativity; accounting and management skill; general confidence and interactive capacity; thereby raising their social, economic and political status.

Political and Social awareness amongst SHGs culminated in Twelve SHG women becom Sarpanch (village head), Gram Panchayat Members (member of village council) and Zila Parishad Members (Member of District Council).

In four years, the meager savings of SHGs increased manifold and now their total saving in 16 banks amounts to 1,00,65,000/- rupees and their total monetary transactions have crossed the figure of Five Crore rupees.

Building Entrepreneurship

If women have money, the living standard of the household is bound to improve. To earn more money, these women had to break away from the status of low paid manual labourer to technically skilled entrepreneur. To meet this objective, MSS trained 760 Women SHG members in the manufacture of 120 products at 50 technical centers, including Regional Research Laboratories.

The enthusiasm and confidence of the trained skilled women groups lead to establishment of 50 new enterprises in 40 villages of Seloo and Samudrapur blocks of Wardha district. Thirty members have opened their own shops to sell products of women enterprises along with other daily use items.

These enterprises produce products such as vermi-compost, herbal pesticides, banana fibre, solar dried food products, soyabean products, spices, brooms, milk chocolates, wooden toys, utility products, soaps, detergents, Liquid Blue, phenol, lantana furniture, agro-waste briquettes, paper products, neem and cow dung products, leaf cups, Khadi (cotton) yarn, carpets (Dari) from waste cloth, herbal medicines and products from forest produce like Amla, Imli, Ber, Bel, Mahua, Mango, Chili, Papaya, Tomato & seasonal vegetables.

It is heartening to note that at present, these micro enterprises are giving subsidiary employment to 875 rural women. Some of the women grew from the status of daily wage earners to an entrepreneur. Women who never stepped outside their villages participated in 15 exhibitions organized in four states, by Gram Panchayat, Voluntary Agencies, Government Departments and Banks.

Wardha Wardhan Exposition of organic products

Wardha Wardhan is a week long annual fair is organized by the institute where NGOs, activist groups, farmers, artisans and artists display, demonstrate, and sell their products. It also provides a platform for all these groups to interact with each other.

For public, it gives an opportunity to know about alternative living, eco-friendly products, ideas and methods to conserve nature and meet people who have pioneered to evolve new alternatives. Here, the people are exposed to alternative products and processes such as organic food; alternative fuel; alternative sources of energy, alternative to multinational products, alternatives to chemical products; herbal medicines as alternative to allopathic drugs etc. It include a culture which emphasizes the use of natural products, their beneficial proprieties vis-à-vis chemical based products.

It serves as a market for ecologically sound products where competition and commercialism is replaced by common sense and compassion. Around 70,000 people from Wardha and surrounding villages also visited this exposition.

Karigar Panchayat: An Artisan Movement

Through a network of volunteers the Karigar Panchayat (artisan movement) is spread out in 21 states of in India covering 200000 artisans including wood worker, black smith, bamboo worker, leather artisans, honey gatherers, potters, metal worker, weavers, mat makers, grass artisans etc.

The Objectives of Karigar Panchayat

1. Work towards the upliftment, development and progress of artisans. 2. Artisans should play a complementary role in environmental conservation and enhancement. 3. Karigar Panchayat must form honest, brave, healthy and progressive relationship with the society. 4. Karigar Panchayat should transcend the village peripheries to facilitate and strengthen the culture, art, science, wisdom and spiritual values of the entire nation. 5. All the decisions of Karigar Panchayat should be through consensus. 6. With a collective effort, Karigar Panchayat members should get rid of their ill habits, addictions and unhealthy customs. 7. Karigar Panchayat should form a sound understanding of policies, laws, projects and schemes affecting the artisans and disseminate them the information that leads to appropriate interventions for the benefit of the artisans, the society and the environment.

Karigar Panchayat at work

• Introduced improved tools • Introduced New Designs and fabrication techniques • Initiated Improved processing for better quality products • Trained tribal artisans in environment friendly technologies 10000 Tribal Honey Hunters trained in non-violent scientific honey extraction

Potters saved from starvation

Success of Magan Sangrahalaya’s reach under its Karigar Panchayat programme saved 200 potters from starvation. The following story illustrates how MSS facilitated preservation of their traditional market.

Ganapati is the most popular god of Maharashtra State (and all of India). The Ganapati festival is celebrated by millions using mud idols of Ganesha. During the last decade, the traditional mud idol of Ganapati had been replaced by the mass produced plaster of paris idols, which not only pollute the rivers and water bodies where they are immersed in large quantities after the festivities but also rob the traditional mud-idol artisans of their livelihood. In Wardha town itself, 200 artisans were on the verge of starvation due to the loss of their traditional source of income. Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti worked closely with these artisan members of the ‘Karigar Panchayat’ movement to mobilize the community, religious groups and governmental infrastructure and local business groups.

Enlightening all stakeholders about the ecologically unsound and indestructible plaster-of-paris idols and encourage the naturally disintegrating and environment-friendly mud idols which have bio-friendly solvent properties, resulting is non-degradation of water bodies during the immersion process. The remarkable achievement led to re-instatement of traditional artisans’ craft and revival of their livelihoods. After the success in Wardha artisans in other part of Maharashtra State that followed this initiative

Marketing the Rural Produce

Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti is promoting and strengthening the market of artisan products, products of women entrepreneurs run rural enterprises and organic farm produce of organic farmers. To support the sale of organic products and Khadi, the institution has opened three sales outlets in Wardha, Sewagram and Seloo. The other marketing channels are the 50 rural outlets in Seloo and Samudrapur blocks owned and run by women SHGs members. The exhibitions organized by CAPART, DRDA, KVIC and other NGOs also serve as a platform for marketing and promoting the products of SHGs and Organic Farmers. Some of the products are finding place in local Yatras, Haats, Bazaars and Melas. Magan Sangrahalaya is presently concentrating on developing a local market for the local produce.

Network with the other NGOs

The institution is closely linked to around 500 National Voluntary Organisation working in the area of Rural Technology, Water, Organic Farming, Village Industries, Khadi, Basic Education and Alternative health.

The Museum

The Museum

The museum showcases various rural industries and depicts the development of Khaki over the years. The Khadi wing showcases forty different kinds of Charkha dating back to year 1930. The Charkhas displayed in the exhibition range from the hand , pedal to solar driven Charkha. It also displays the changing form of Charkha from Sudarshan (Wheel )to kissan (Box) to Ambar charkha and presently the E-Charkha. The display wing hold sections on Khadi, Natural Dye, Silk, Raw-Silk, Wool and Jute mixed Khadi.

Natural Farming

Natural Farming

PROMOTING SELF RELIANCE THROUGH GREEN FARMING

In villages, 90%, water goes for irrigation. In the CAPART watershed project the challenge was enhanced availability of water in the command area. The problem was its excessive use and chemical contamination by farmers. So the focus was shifted from water to Natural Farming- an improved farming and irrigation practice that focuses on soil health; combats water waste and contamination. It focuses on increasing soil humus by scientific introduction of cow dung, cow urine, and biomass. The organic inputs, Indigenous seeds, bio-diversity and multilayer cropping help earthworms, bees, and birds to contribute in controlling pests, enhancing pollination and improving soil health.

    If properly adopted, Natural Farming technology reduces water requirement by 20 to 30%. The Natural Farmer can make his own seeds, pesticides, and manure minimizing the cost of farm input. The uniqueness of this innovation is its acceptability and adaptability by a large number of farmers.

    Natural Farming – It is a farming practice that uses less water, low cost organic agriculture that protects environment, earth, water, bio-diversity, livelihood, and promises sustainability.

    To prevent farmers from polluting and misusing water MSS introduced Natural Farming to 2000 farmers in 20 villages. MSS also wanted to free the farmers from the clutches of money-lenders and banks from whom they had taken heavy debts to purchase hybrid seeds, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

    Unable to cope with constantly rising cost of farm inputs and decreasing crop yield, farmers are unable to pay back their debts and are compelled to commit suicide. In the state of Maharashtra from year 1995, 35,000 farmers have committed suicide. This year 712 farmers of Vidarbha region have committed suicide. Knowing that degree of dependence equals degree of exploitation, Natural Farming frees farmer from dependence on exploitative market and commercial interests. Hence, MSS volunteers initiated an awareness campaign regarding the same.

    In last two years, 60 % to 80 % farmers adopted Natural Farming. Now these farmers are a proud self-reliant community, free from debt, dependence, domination, and disease.

    The 2000 farmers, who shifted from chemical farming to natural farming, did without buying 2.5 Crore rupees worth of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Instead of filling the coffers of corporate sector, this money was recycled back into the village economy. The farm productivity increased and none borrowed money from bank or moneylender. As never before, farmers not only used the water optimally but also prevented it from pollution.

Organic Farmers covered under the project 2000
Villages 20
Total Area under Cultivation 4678.83 acres
Total Area under Natural Farming 700 acres
Crops sown in organic fields Cotton, Tur, Soyabean, Linseed and Gram

BENEFITS OF NATURAL FARMING

    In these villages, 60 to 80 % farmers shifted from chemical farming to Natural Farming.

    Presently, 700 hectare of land is under Natural Farming.

    These farmers use no chemicals and optimally utilize water.

    In the first year, the productivity remained constant whereas in he second year, the production per acre increased by two to seven quintals.

    The soil quality in all the 2000 farms has shown considerable improvement.

    For the first time 50% farmers planted vegetable.

    Initially by the month of January, the water sources use to dry up, which affected the winter crop, whereas now with ample availability of water 92% farmers had bumper crop.

    Instead of one or two crops, 30 % farmers cultivated 10 to 15 varieties of crops.

    All the farmers prepared farm inputs in their own farms, kept away from buying chemical farm inputs from the market, and saved Rupees 25 million.

None of the Natural Farmers borrowed money from Bank or moneylender.

                BULLOCK – OPERATED WATER PUMP

Along with gaining self –sufficiency in farm inputs it was equally important for organic farmers to be self –reliant in terms of energy usage. There fore , to overcome the crisis of long and frequent power cuts, MSS installed a Bullock Water Pump. This bullock –operated pump (with three horse power capcity per hour ) draws 12,000 liters of water from a depth of 30 feet . Elight water sprinklers can operate with this bullock pump. Apart from lifting water, the prime of the pump can also be used for running other machines like a grinder, chaff cutter or generator. This pump is a combined effort of Mr. P. L. Sharma, Sultan Asalam and Mr. Vivek Chaturvedi of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh .