KRAPAVIS ACTIVITIES

KRAPAVIS states as its main objective “the promotion of sustainable livelihoods of rural pastoral communities through “forest (orans)-livestock-agriculture trinity”.This trinity helps in improving livelihoods of rural communities’ and mitigating climate change. In brief, KRAPAVIS operates at three distinct levels, including in its approach to the conservation of Orans:

At the community level, KRAPAVIS is engaged in several outreach initiatives to inform the pastoral communities of Rajasthan about the assistance available for the protection and restoration of Orans’ biodiversity. KRAPAVIS strongly emphasizes a people-led development process, and has stayed true to this ethos in its approach to Oran management, which requires direct involvement of the communities that would be the eventual beneficiaries of the projects. KRAPAVIS, therefore, works to engage the stakeholder communities and to instill within them a conscientious outlook towards their environment, as well as equip them with the necessary knowledge to productively channel their efforts. Another vital element of KRAPAVIS’ work is institution-building. In this context, KRAPAVIS works to promote inclusive institutions to engage the communities. KRAPAVIS also provides an opportunity for people to act for the cause of Orans, and supplies essential instruction to prepare them to become resource persons and advisors in other districts and states of India.

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At the national level, KRAPAVIS promotes the plight of Orans in India’s civil society. It frequently petitions the government, and makes appeals to international actors in the name of environmental preservation and poverty alleviation.

At the grassroots level, KRAPAVIS has over 300 volunteers, who work in the villages to disseminate information, conduct training, and provide assistance on ecological issues such as biodiversity conservation, causes and effects of global warming, water management, plant nurseries, and planting and irrigation methods. Since its founding, the organization has been protecting trees and sowing grass seeds in the Orans, as well as raising saplings in nurseries and then transplanting them into Orans and other community-conserved areas. This has contributed to saving endemic and endangered species of trees, thus bringing about greater livelihood security for the rural poor, who depend on such trees for livestock feed, traditional medicine, marketable commodities and, to a lesser extent, timber. KRAPAVIS also takes into account the changing nature of pastoralism in these areas, and the recent shift towards preference of water buffalo and goats as livestock over cattle, working to ensure that the flora in the Orans is better able to meet the needs of the new livestock. Part of the work done by KRAPAVIS is focused on water conservation within the Orans and surrounding areas. This is imperative due to the serious reliance of local people on the water sources found in Orans, both for their livestock and themselves. This maintenance is realised through the use of water harvesting structures and checks for soil erosion.

Details of different broad activities are as follows:

  • Reviving Orans – both physically and conceptually with community participation
  • Aiding in the construction and repair of Oran taalaabs, water harvesting structures and trenching units on the Orans’ land
  • Raising and maintaining tree nurseries for tree plantation on Orans and common lands
  • Working to enhance the capacity of community members, especially women, to manage and maintain Orans
  • Helping the community develop contextually-sensitive regulation and enforcement systems, and to establish linkages with PRIs (village level institutions) with an emphasis on women’s participation
  • Identifying key motivators from the village and providing them opportunities to offer their services as trainers, consultants or advisors for Oran management in other areas
  • Advocacy: Convincing the government to recognize the importance of Orans by circulating quarterly newsletters and other literature, inviting government officials to training programs and workshops, networking and campaigning with other institutes working on related issues, and exploring the possibility of using legal action to bring about a reclassification of Orans. For this purpose established a forum called “Oran Forum”
  • Facilitating and helping communities in claiming community forest and grazing rights
  • Establishing self-help groups (SHGs), JFMCs/ Van Samitis, Forest Right Committees (FRCs)/ Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs), AHWs cadres and, which have contributed significantly to socio-economic empowerment in the region’s rural communities
  • Brings out quarterly newsletter “Devbani Re Baat”, case studies, articles etc for campaigning for the recognition of Orans as vital socio-economic resources for the rural poor whilst serving as a much-needed intermediary between government groups and the communities themselves
  • Facilitate the distribution of solar lights to those depend on the orans, in order to help to encourage more children to go to school, improve literacy, extend education hours, and make education more enjoyable for children. Also, introducing of solar lighting reduce, in these villages, the demand for fuel wood, thus will be helping to conserve orans and maintain vegetation cover.
  • An another important element of KRAPAVIS’ work is conducting research and survey on Orans in Rajasthan, and developed a database of over 1000 Orans, so far.
  • Facilitate community-based and led conservation of forest ecosystem for sustainable pastoralism
  • Engage in ‘Documentation- Coalition- Lobbying’ for the rights of pastoralists and draw widespread attention to the forest rights Acts
  • Encourage ethno-veterinary practices
  • Enhance capacities of communities for fodder cultivation through; introduction of silvi-pasture and agro-forestry model; introduction of pastoral system i.e. planting fodder- fruit trees; introduction of fodder conservation practices; introduction lopping and rotational grazing options; efforts for reducing open grazing
  • Encourage livestock breed improvement practices with selective breeding of the rich pool of indigenous germ plasm and introduce better breed particularly of buffalo- Murrah
  • Provide medical aid for animals; health, vaccination & infertility care
  • Organizing herders meeting/ orientation camps, competition and training
  • Conducts one month duration residential training course (one every year); with 10 youths drawn from remote interior villages in order to develop a new cadre of Animal Health Workers (AHWs)
  • Networks/ collaboration to exchange and discuss issues on pastoralism and its development.
  • Promotion of sustainable farming and low external input agriculture (e.g. compost, vermin-compost, seeds of local traditional verities, traditional mixed cropping systems, bio-pesticides etc)
  • Identifying farmers and helping them who are taking or have taken initiative(s) to overcome the problem of modern seeds and expensive, destructive chemical inputs (reviving traditional seeds and farming systems)
  • Supporting communities in identifying varieties which are high in fodder, reasonable yield and not intensive in water
  • Facilitate seed sharing amongst farmers; Piloting and modeling on the traditional mixed millet-based cropping systems
  • Establish seed banks and Conduct crop demonstration/ trials from the ‘ seed banks’
  • Capacity building and farmer to farmer and community to community exchanges through organizing training workshops, and exposure visits to appropriate sites where exchange of seeds and knowledge can take place of the interested farmers
  • Helping farmers in ‘Tak’ gully plugging – construction of small check dams (masonry & gabion), Medbandhi/ field bunding, trenching, field levelling, tracing etc on their agriculture fields
  • Establish a network called ‘MINOR’ (Millet Network of Rajasthan)
  • Initiated an effort to help Panchayati Raj Institutions in planning ecological perspective through the mechanism of NREGA
1. Vocational Trainings -

This vocational training is designed for a period of 4 months for 20 women. We conducts 2 batches for 40 women (20 women in each batch), in addition, a satellite centre (in remote a village) with 10 ladies, in a year. Thus a total 50 ladies are trained every year, in the tailoring & embroidery trade, in order to create job opportunities for them and also with a view that they could contribute to the national building program at large. The training includes both in the classrooms in the training centre, and practical work. KRAPAVIS develops learning material and teaching aids which is used while imparting training. In brief, the objectives of the Vocational Trainings are:

  • Developed skills of women from the socially/ economically backward and rural communities through vocational skills in tailoring & embroidery.
  • The beneficiaries started their own tailoring shop individually or in group and/ or placed with different tailoring shops, for earning their livelihood/ supplement family income and lead a better life

After completion the training, KRAPAVIS provides hand holding support to trained women, in starting their own tailoring unit individually or in group. Also, explores possibilities for placement with different tailoring shops for earning their livelihood/ supplement family income. Also, helping in setting up own units etc with their own resources and also would mobilize and gain access to resources, which hitherto were out of their reach like Govt. schemes, grants, services, banks loans, subsidies etc, to help them become self reliant.

2. Para-vets’ training-
KRAPAVIS conducts one month duration residential training course (one every year); with 10 youths drawn from remote interior villages in order to develop a new cadre of Animal Health Workers (AHWs). Broadly, the following topics are covered in the AHW training:

  • Present status of animal husbandry in the project area
  • Dairy farming
  • Diseases of animals-vaccination, primary treatment & aids, prevention
  • Nutrition-feeds and fodder, concentrate ration, hay & silage straw treatment,
  • feeding during pregnancy and growth
  • Breeding
  • Physiology of animals, Digestive system, circulatory system
  • Making the trainees aware about the vaccines and vaccination techniques as practical part
  • Indigenous techniques of treatment e.g. ethno veterinary practices

3. Oran Conservation Training -
This initiative involves the community level training in oran management duties and education in biodiversity conservation measures. In this three day training module, the participants receive basic education in biodiversity conservation, the causes and effects of global warming, water management, nursery management, planting and irrigation methods, in brief, the following five aspects are covered:

  • Historical growth and significance of Orans, its purpose in society earlier and its role now
  • Uses (Grazing, water, ethno-medicine etc.)
  • How they are conserved (local institution, biodiversity hotspots, propagators of biodiversity, gene pools, religion, pride, resistance, located in a socio- cultural and economic milieu etc.)
  • Threats (like relationship between the loss of people's faith in spiritual relevance of the Oran and the way the commercial world works ... role of State in promoting growth of industry without looking at the concerns of local communities and related lack of economic employment in the rural set up, leading people to migrate and hence a loosening of the related socio- cultural and spiritual ties that bind them.)
  • Future, having reiterated the felt need for Orans, urged the coming together of all the various stakeholders to continue spreading this movement far and wide in order to benefit as many village folk as possible.

KRAPAVIS has a well-knit team of different disciplines; of local, committed, and experienced persons, and KRAPAVIS have its own training centre at Bhurasidh in Alwar town and at Bakhtpura village (Alwar Dist) Rajasthan, with modest facilities. The Bakhtpura campus spread over 2 ha land with horticulture plantation & tree nursery activities. Also, it has two four wheeler vehicles, which are used for travelling/ field visits, trainees, trainer and other staff. In addition, KRAPAVIS has a lot of printed material (books, manuals, reports, cases studies etc). Work on water conservation, ETV, a national TV channel, made two documentary films about KRAPAVIS which were broadcast nationwide. A further documentary - "Devbani - Oran Ri Baat" ("Oran Issues") – was made by KRAPAVIS itself. This focused on how management and conservation can be utilized for sensitization purposes, concentrating on advocacy and policy change issues.