News from CRUSADE

Adam Dickens 2016 - Salt of the Earth, India - 247.jpg

CRUSADE’s Renovation of a WSHG building in Kaniambakkam, Minjur

CRUSADE formed their first Women’s Self Help Group (WSHG) in Kaniambakkam village in Minjur in 1992. Most of the women involved at the start of the WSHG are still actively involved today.  

In the initial years WSHG groups in Kaniambakkam village did not have a place to meet or to hold training.  With CRUSADE’s support, the WSHGs were granted land by local government. Together, the SHGs built a small building which the local government assisted by installing electricity and the flooring.

During Cyclone Vardah in December 2015, which affected Tamil Nadu, the roof of the building was blown off and the building remained disused. There are now 29 groups in the panchayat with 406 members. The WSHGs approached CRUSADE for the renovation of the building and offered to share the cost. 

CRUSADE, with funding from SOTE’s village sponsorship programme, renovated the building with a concrete roof which was completed in October 2017.

This was much appreciated by the community and the building will again be used for village and local government meetings and to run training workshops. 

Adam Dickens 2016 - Salt of the Earth, India - 153.jpg

Tree Planting and Vegetable Cultivation Work at CRUSADE

In 2017, 600 women have been involved in CRUSADE’s tree planting and vegetable cultivation work. 1620 tree saplings and 2150 packets of vegetable seeds have been distributed which were used by women in their homes. The programme also promoted herbal plants in homesteads and CRUSADE trained women members how to use herbal remedies for minor illnesses. 

Ragini, who is 44 years old, is from Inam Agaram village in Sholavaram block. As a widow, she lives alone. She has a plot of land allocated to her by her family on the outskirts of the village.

Through SOTE’s tree sponsorship scheme, Ragini received 40 packets of vegetable seeds and two coconut saplings from CRUSADE. She planted the coconut seedlings in front of her house and also grew vegetables last season. The vegetables included bottle gourd, snake gourd, bitter gourd, and beans. In her first two months of harvest, after consuming some of the produce, she also earned Rs 500 by selling vegetables to friends.

She is expecting to earn Rs 1500 by the end of the season. As Ragini works in the Government Employment Guarantee scheme, unfortunately her income is irregular and not reliable, so she uses her newfound income for day to day expenses. Ragini is pleased to now be able to grow organic vegetables and have the opportunity to earn an extra income.

Tom Edwards