Taragram, Orchha

After reaching Jhansi, my journey started for Orchha with a heart filled with excitement and curiosity about DA. After entering TARAgram Orchha, I witnessed what community collaboration is all about. The number of life skills that the villagers have been practicing in TARAgram Orchha; left me spellbound. I was amased to see how from unproductive material the villagers were making not only productive; but also some mind blowing things.

We first visited the paper recycling unit; where men and women were involved in making sheets of paper from waste clothes. Apart from this, women were also making a lot of other beautiful items from the paper manufactured by them such as dustbins, dairies, bookmarks, boards and photo frames to name some.

Then, we toured the brick making unit, we saw the process of making bricks out of the industrial waste. And lastly the very own Bundelkhand’s Radio Station. This radio station is one of the stations of its kind. This is run controlled and enjoyed by the villagers in and around Bundelkhand. It was fun to see how the RJs from the Community radio presenting their shows, providing information, knowledge in an entertaining manner to their listeners on important issues such as climate change, farming etc.

From Taragram, we went to a village named, Dakoli. This was again a very different experience, where women were equally contributing to the household income and were leading a content life. Women were involved in farming, making small help groups and managing their day to day financial needs by lending money to each other at a very nominal interest. It was also very exciting to see these women talk about their experience of learning Hindi and simple arithmetic.

Lastly my visit to Gowshala was again a very interesting experience. This was a self-sustainable unit which was largely run and managed by the women power of the villages around the Bundelkhand.

On my way back from Orchha to Jhansi, where we were boarding the train for Delhi; I was thinking about the last 2 days which we had spent in Orchha. I got an opportunity to see the activities of DA very closely, which reiterated the fact that by fixing small things, one can achieve BIG results.

Deviya Prabhakar
(Deviya Prabhakar is a Teach for India Fellow Batch 2014, who visited TARAgram, Orchha along with her fellow collegues for their mid-fellowship retreat from 8th-10th January 2015)

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