There is an urgent need to create mechanisms to empower widows in Yavatmal and Vidarbha, and give them the support they need to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward. However, such initiatives are rare. One of the few such projects for the welfare of the helpless women is run by Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) and its sister organization Sampada Trust.
WOTR’s concept of Localization is rooted in the belief that a localized economy is more likely be able to adapt to Climate Change and will simultaneously contribute to reducing carbon emissions by having a smaller carbon footprint. The data from WOTR’s study in some of the villages suggests that over 92% of the resources are drained out of the village, leaving very little to circulate within the villages, leaving the local economy very weak and vulnerable and at the edge of constant risk of external political and market forces. If communities are to be able to cope with and survive the climate crisis and are to be resilient to volatile market shocks, they need to create and find their growth opportunities within their own locales and develop skill-sets that address and satisfy the same.
Livelihoods in the current development paradigm have resulted in a systematic erosion of local skill-sets, while acquiring new ones that cater very little to local demands and needs, which in turn has meant that these demands and needs are met by external expertise. This has spiralled the local populations further and further away from local self-sufficiency to external dependence that have also resulted in skews in the 5 capitals – natural, financial, social, human, physical – developing some to the detriment of others.
WOTR’s livelihood approach attempts to address both these issues simultaneously – by strengthening local demand-supply chains by diversifying livelihoods in a manner that keeps an optimum balance within the 5 capitals. The objective is to optimize entrepreneurial profits and not necessarily maximize profits. By continuously improving the 5 capitals and focusing on optimum profits, this approach helps reduce the leakages (outflow of money) in a sustainable manner, increasing the adaptive capacities and reducing the vulnerability of the communities.
Tools & Frameworks
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- Diversifying for Resilience
- Climate Change: Challenges
- Climate Change: Solutions
- Does it ever rain at this time?
These initiatives and interventions are funded by Swiss Agency for Development Co-operation (SDC).