Empowering the local community to manage their own natural resources through active engagement with the Van Panchayats has been one of the important areas of Aarohi’s interventions. Against this backdrop, Aarohi worked extensively to strengthen community forestry, supporting community processes and ecological protection several villages. In each village, it helped revive the otherwise defunct Van Panchayat, and worked with the community to protect and regenerate forest plots. This effort noticeably impacted forest/biomass regeneration and aquifer recharge, through measures as simple as social fencing in village commons. Since Aarohi’s driving aim was to make each Van Panchayat – a ‘people’s institution’ – self-reliant, it has gradually withdrawn from each village once it felt the forest committee was sustainably active and empowered.
However, Aarohi continues to encourage local communities to actively protect their natural resources, forests, in particular.Read our research reports
Traditional chullahs (cooking stoves using wood as fuel) that are most commonly used for cooking in this region, not only consume high quantities of wood, but also cause indoor smoke pollution, leading to respiratory problems. To address this issue, Aarohi has promoted the installation of smokeless chullahs, designed with locally available materials. A study done of the smokeless chullahs for carbon monoxide emissions revealed that emission from the smokeless chullahs was about 60% less as compared to the traditional chullah. Fuel consumption has also reduced by 50% with use of these improved cooking stoves.
On a pilot basis, we introduced the construction of incinerators. Incineration is a process that involves the combustion of waste materials. The heat that is produced by the incinerator is used to heat water and this can be used for daily chores. The menace of plastic litter in rural areas is being efficiently addressed with the help of this technology. The response has been very encouraging so far.
Smokeless chullah and incinerator construction interventions under our Energy initiatives project have been backed by ARTI(Appropriate Rural Technology Institute, Pune)
Our Youth Wing initiative was initiated in 2010, with the objective of promoting better physical and mental health; and generating a stronger feeling of self-worth and appreciation of their surroundings.
Naturally fit for outdoor sport, the youth here have proved incredible finesse and stamina for running, mountain cycling and team sport. While engaging through sport was our initial entry point, Aarohi also introduced interventions in skill development to give youth opportunities for income generation.