More Than 5000 Plants Donated to Indian Villagers
Jeanette Monosoff and Dahvee Haley are resident managers at the TMA/SNET HQ in Nimboli, India (Fire Mountain Retreat Center). They oversaw the purchase and distribution of seedlings to villagers in that area to help start the planting of cash crops. This story cannot be told any better than by the words of Jeanette and Dahvee themselves (from their “India Is Big Love” blog).
On June 25, 2010, they came to Fire Mountain–on foot with tubs on their heads, with bags in their hands, by bicycle, by ox cart and tuk-tuk and truck. The news of the plant give away had spread throughout the valley and the demand for the seedling plants exceeded our imagination. This is our first success.
We had hoped to save some of the plants to create a source of income to cover manufacturing of water filters, but how could we turn these people down? So more than 5000 plants went to the homes and farms of our neighbors in nearby villages.
The village of Kethane has a very active women’s organization and they alone took 300 plants. This is the same nearby village that asked us last year to help them build a community center which was estimated to cost $3000 in materials. We have not been able to help. This year they asked us to help them build a residence for school children whose parents cannot afford to send them to school but instead demand that they stay home and work in the brick-making fields or on farms to earn money for their own food and clothing. Obviously there is such a great need to help these peple get out of poverty. How do we help them help themselves, we ask?
And now here they are accepting our plants to begin to grow their own cash-producing crops. This reminds me of the saying that I believe comes out of Afrca. “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” Here we are teaching our poverty level neighbors to “fish” but by growing a cash crop. This gets us out of the loop as only a provider of cash but gives a means by which the villagers can begin to take care of themselves.
Jeffrey Sachs, advisor to the UN, professor at Columbia University, states in his book, The End of Poverty: How We Can Make It Happen in our Llifetime (2005):
“Certain parts of the world are caught in a downward spiral of impoversihsment, hunger and disease. It does no good to lecture the dying that they should have done better with their lot in life. Rather it is our task to help them onto the ladder of development, at least to gain a foothold on the bootom rung, from which they can proceed to climb on their own.”
TMA and SNET are working to help our neighbors get on this ladder and out of impoverishment. We need your help. Please donate so we may continue our work in this area.