Text and photos contributed by Ajinkya Deshmukh, Program Manager

 

The National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) is an ambitious flagship programme of the Government of India both in terms of its scale and intent. It aims to reduce poverty and increase gainful employment across millions of rural households in India within this decade. A critical piece in the success of an operation of this scale has been human resources. The NRLM has laid strong emphasis on building local capacities of actors to help them implement the programme. Since 2011, digitalGREEN has played a small, yet significant role in skilling various stakeholders such as community members, partner staff in this process.

Case in point: Just last week, I was in Jaipur to help kick-off our partnership with the Rajasthan Grameen Aajeevika Vikas Parishad (RGAVP) the Rajasthan state rural livelihood mission. It was remarkable to see how various state agencies such as RGAVP and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh’s Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) came together to orchestrate NRLM’s mandate. One of the biggest challenges in knowledge-based interventions, such as the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices, is the sheer number of potential audiences.

While SERP helped by sending in its seasoned Community Resource Persons (CRPs) to train local CRPs in Rajasthan, Digital Green conducted a five-day skill development training workshop in video documentation and editing for the field-level CRPs from the districts of Banswara and Tonk. To make the most of this visit, RGAVP graciously hosted a Himachal Pradesh team from the MKSP agency CORD.

By day three of the training workshop, equipped with the skills to script and shoot videos, the CRPs visited a village in Tonk where they shot two videos Рone on the making of the natural fertilizer ghanajeevamrit, and another on the construction of a compost pit for organic manure. Pleasantly, we had peacocks for company while shooting these videos!

With an initial plan to reach 40 villages across the two districts through these videos, we wrapped up the training workshop with high hopes for this new partnership. Over the course of the next year, RGAVP and digitalGREEN will use the audio-visual medium to enhance the skills of CRPs and women from self-help group on topics of agriculture, livestock, and alternate means of livelihoods.