Working with the community:

Inspired from the summary of the Book “Pedagogy of Oppressed” which also says about working with the community. The disparity between “Working for the community” and “Working with the community” is very wide that it could not be narrowed as if the wideness is infinity in nature. When there is a space to work in developmental sector, the first thing that could be thought to be proud of ourselves is something that we are going to impact positively to the society. The above two sentences in the quotation, what differences can it make to the impact which will be embedded in the society. During my job days, I worked for productivity enhancement of paddy. My job routine was giving technical knowledge to the community as the technology was new to them and the goal was that I had to enhance the productivity of the paddy. In this case the ultimate beneficiary was the farmer, saying that more productivity can increase income of the farmer as well as the livelihood. The focus was on the farmers who was adopting SRI method of rice cultivation. There are some technical practices involved but let me don’t bore you people by explaining that. Very simple to say, number of tillers in the rice plant also has its significance in determining the productivity. Every day I could not visit the whole area of operation as so was having schedules to visit each cluster a day from the total area of operation. The cluster which I miss to visit in a particular day, I will make a call to the filed Village Resource Person and I use to ask him in Hindi “Kitne Kalle Hai Ji” (Kalle means tillers in Hindi), which means “How many tillers”. Then the VRP answers me “Pachaas(50) hai Ji or Saath(60) hai Ji” he used to say that he has counted from the field. Harvest time has come, and the harvest was quite good as the productivity was nearly doubled when compared to the normal method of cultivation. I felt that “Yes, I have achieved. The community finally got the profit”. After that there was a voice again and again telling “Yes, I have achieved, Yes, I have achieved”. Actually, that have given me a great enthusiasm to prove something again. But what I will further prove, yes rice cultivation is completed now I will do on Wheat cultivation. Communication came from head office to start wheat cultivation programme in SWI method. One fine day when I was interacting with the community in a fine morning and just asking about their feedback on the SRI, a person who was the neighborhood of the beneficiary came to me and told “Sir, in SRI method of Rice cultivation we transplant one seedling per hill, but it gives this high productivity, so if we plant three to four seedlings then definitely the productivity will increase enormously”. I was shocked immediately… “Oh my god” … Because planting single seedling per hill only gives high yield(Read SRI Paddy if you like and to get more clarity on the crux of the story). I said myself “So, the knowledge transfer has to happen further strongly that the community should understand clearly the technical logic behind any technology”. Immediately I couldn’t hear the voice “I have achieved” in my ears. I support the ambitious attitude still the purpose and the way of executing it has to be always heard in our ears rather than what we have achieved. Working with the community brings many unexpected challenges and the always keeps us alarmed of facing and bringing solutions along with the community.