Migration from rural to urban has been a rampant phenomenon for the last 3 to 5 decades; lack of basic facilities, limited livelihood opportunities, the problem of water scarcity, reduced agricultural productivity, improper education facilities, and weak healthcare systems are a few of the many reasons for this continuous migration.
Rapid urbanization creates a tradeoff, at the cost of rural downfall. The diminishing rural population and unsustainable livelihood opportunities coupled with cyclical factors such as high agricultural input cost, unfavorable climate conditions, irregular rainfall, the continued marginalization of farmers, and inadequate support for small and medium-scale agricultural activities are fueling the challenges concerning the rural economy as well as ecology.
Vanarai, an NGO working in the field of creating sustainable rural & environmental development for more than 35 years believes that this situation can be effectively addressed. This interconnected problem requires a holistic outlook; the socio-economic stability of rural communities can only happen by creating ecological stability in that region. A two-pronged plan of action; Vanarai with their 3E approach: Ecology, Economy and Empowerment thrives to create synergized growth for the environment as well as the rural economy.
Holistic approach for creating sustainable development
At the core of this approach is the goal of connecting socio-economic development with ecological restoration instead of viewing them as opposites. The ideology of the 3E Approach is configuring change with and through the restoration of ecological balance. The aim is to facilitate holistic socio-economic upliftment by undertaking activities that bear financial benefits as well as contribute to ecological restoration. Making this link leads to empowering local populations, who re-establish the sustainability of their ecological system, engineer the financial upliftment of their village, and breathe life into their unbreakable cultural connection with nature.
While the approach of Vanarai remains resilient, it strives to create a holistic development for rural areas; though sustainability is achieved through long-term efforts and dedication, Vanarai adopts a need-based approach while planning for interventions, where the thematic areas can be classified into 2 major categories; 1. Natural Resource Management, 2. Social Development.
Natural Resource Management covers the following.
- Soil & Water Conservations
- Agriculture & Livestock development
- Afforestation & Ecological Restoration
Social Development can be broken into 2.
- WASH (Health & Sanitation)
- Education & Empowerment
This year, the theme of World Environment Day is ‘Only One Earth’, with a special focus on ‘Living sustainably in harmony with nature’. The 3E Approach is the embodiment of this theme. Vanarai is working at the grass-root level to create a sustainable rural India by implementing this approach through collaborations between the government, CSR initiatives, and most importantly, the local communities and volunteers. This World Environment Day, our ‘People’s Movement for Green India’ continues.
For more information, please visit www.vanarai.org.
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