The Tansa Valley is a unique place on earth. Rich in cultural heritage it boasts one of the hottest springs in Asia. Steeped in a mythological history, attracting yogis for thousands of years, the area remains an important place for the genuine practice of pilgrimage visited by thousands every year. It is nestled in a natural wildlife corridor, part of the WEstern Ghats yet only 70 km from Mumbai. THe area is home to many indigenous people known as the adivasis. They are tribal people who struggle to make ends meet and often end up migrating to Mumbai slums, taking low grade work or end up alcoholics and dying early. With 30% of the women under 30 widows already, livelihood opportunities combined with environmental conservation seem increasingly important.
The valley is an important watershed to the Tansa River basin, which provides water for towns around. With the attraction of the hot springs and pilgrimage, the ecologically fragile area needs solutions for its protection, especially in the face of rapid development.
Local NGO Saha Astitva has been working on one such solution for th east 5 years. Operating a model organic farm on 2 acres and providing employment to 8 local young men while at the same time training them in organic farming techniques and inspired the confidence of the community to give up the pesticides for their 4 month rice crop. Sponsored wells and pumps have give 23 young local adivasis the gift of water and the chance to grow vegetables and extend the growing season beyond monsoon. Employing an experienced and capable young women who helped the success of the adivasis in MOFCA has given the community a boost.
Organic farming can provide ecological protection as there are no harmful pesticides running off into the drinking water and protect th fragile eco system. It brings higher value to the produce and fits with the indigenous people’s traditional relationship with nature. THe eco-system and community need grants and finical assistance to make something of their lands, preserve their culture and grow health food.
We are expanding the programme to bring more farmers on line. Be part of a growing movement to give these men finical assistance, help their families and communities and be part of the long term protection of the Tansa Valley.