Paalaguttapalli (Dalitwada) , Pakala Mandalam, Chittoor Dt, AP 517152.
The village is a habitation of largely landless labourers, with about sixty households We moved to the village in 1995, in our twenties, after resigning our jobs, with some readings of Gandhi and a belief in Gram Swaraj. Local concerns here ranged from dalit issues to organic farming and swadeshi efforts. We have engaged in personal capacity as one of the community. We did not want to become an NGO. Various interventions from ayurveda to afforestation to livlihoods have been collectively done with the people
The village has faced recurrent droughts over the last years, and agriculture has slowed down and there is large scale underemployment. People survive by grazing a cow or two, and last year distress sale of cattle also began. We have been working together on addressing the water situation through various rain water harvesting processes, and discussing cropping patterns that need less water – but other livelihood options need to be worked out.
A group of seven women are now stitching and have honed their stitching and screen printing skills to perfection. They work conscientiously, and try to maintain perfection. More women wish to join, as orders increase.