Kongathiraiyanpatti, 40kms from Pudukkotai has become a good example on how changing some ways and taking some risks along with some fresh thinking will help a society to thrive.
In Kongathiraiyanpatti, basically a rain-fed area, the farmers grew paddy and groundnut. Around 35 wells in the village catered to both drinking and irrigation needs. But with the monsoon playing hide and seek and a callous local administration, exodus began with people selling their lands for throw away prices. A Swedish based Organisation, Kudumbum, helped this village to radically change their way of living by advising them to change their crops from paddy and groundnut ( which require a lots of water) to millets and pulses ( which are suitable for dry areas). Looks like they faced some initial skepticism from the locals but after some persuasion, the plans started rolling and now they are bearing fruits. The organisation also helped them to plant lots of trees with the consultation of the locals in order to stem water erosion and increase conservation.
Such Stories are very heartwarming and also provide an example of doing something and not blaming the inept government for everything.
Read the full story in this article in The Hindu.