IN THE QUEST OF EXCELLENCE ……….<br />M<br />aharashtra Institute of Technology Transfer For Rural Areas (MITTRA) is a development organization promoted by BAIF for undertaking development activities in rural Maharashtra. The Organization has spread its activities to 24 districts. The activities fall in the following broad thematic areas. <br /><ul><li>Livestock Development
Wadi - Tree based farming (Agro Horti-forestry) system and Improved Agriculture
Action Research</li></ul>Achievements of the Organization are as follows: <br /><ul><li>Livestock Development: More than 1.5 lakh inseminations are carried out for breed improvement of cattle and buffaloes in a year through 200 cattle breeding centers. About 22,000 crossbred /upgraded female calves with high potential for milk production are born per year through the breeding activity. A family rearing three crossbred cows earns around Rs. 30, 000 per year from the sale of milk.
Wadi: About 90,000 families have adopted tree based farming on one acre of wasteland. Fruit trees of different species suitable to the location are planted. Plantation of popular fruits like mango (kesar) , cashew and gooseberry is undertaken by the farmers. A wadi plot of one acre can provide an income of Rs. 20-35,000 from sale of fruits from the sixth year of plantation.
Integrated Watershed Development: 250 villages covering an area of 46 thousand hectares have benefited from the activity.
Water Resource Development: Various sources covering an area of 70 thousand hectares have been developed. About 1 lakh sources (ground water, surface water, water utilization structures and drinking water) have been created.
Livelihoods promotion of the landless families: About 7000 families have been supported for various livelihoods activities. The major areas in which livelihoods development is undertaken are: Skills development (masonry, carpentry), services (tea shop), agriculture and livestock based (vegetable cultivation, goat rearing) and trading (grocery shop). The supported families are earning about Rs. 25,000 per year from the enterprise.
Women´s Empowerment: About 5,000 Self Help Groups of women have been promoted. SHGs have been formed. These groups are supported through various schemes of District Rural Development Agency, Tribal Development Department of GoM, Different Milk Federations and various other organizations including NABARD.
Community Health: About 2 lakh families have been benefited from various activities undertaken. Salient achievements include development of 2 lakhs kitchen gardens, de-worming of 88 thousand children, scabies treatment on 66 thousand cases, development of 3000 drinking water schemes and distribution of 6000 mother and child kits. 167 vaidu (traditional health giver) treatment centers have been developed for the benefit of the community in remote tribal villages.
Strengthening People´s Organizations: Activities undertaken for organizing the community fructified with establishing 25 People’s Organizations, of which 17 are unregistered and 8 are registered. The different types of People’s Organizations promoted are self help groups, wadi tukadi, cooperatives (7), pushpa utpadak sangha (4), federations (3) and lead vibhag (9). The People’s Organizations are undertaken varied activities such as milk collection (18), operating bulk milk coolers (6), processing units of cashew and other fruit products (15), agro service centers (2), seed bank (1), vegetable cultivation (1), implementation of government health project (1), marketing of fruits (1) and collection and marketing of flowers (4).
Shikshan Mitra: Opportunities for learning by doing have been provided to students of 53 Ashram Schools. Various activities under Agriculture, health and training are undertaken. A Demonstration Centre on Local Culture has been developed at village Jamana (Block: Dhadgaon, District: Nandurbar) in the premises of Jamana Ashram School
Training: Training Division was established as an independent unit in April 2006. Presently, different types of trainings are held at Jawhar and Peith Training campuses. These cater to the needs of co-learning, capacity building and developing a knowledge base in the context of rural development.
Dissemination: Audio visual films on wadi, community health, Shikshan Mitra programme, interviews of eminent personalities in the field of rural and tribal development have been produced. Recently a documentary film ‘Mor Dekhane Jungle main’ (The peacock trail):on the theme of Rural Development has been released.
Action Research on conservation of indigenous varieties of crops and low cost technologies of paddy cultivation (SRI technique) is underway. </li></ul>MITTRA is proud of its motivated 386 workers working at the grassroots. <br />