Friday, April 24, 2015

Kharade : The Story of Houses

The most recent field trip where I had the opportunity to  go on ( as an observer/photo enthusiast) , was to Kharade, Taluka Shahapur, District Thane .  

The students' purpose was to be a part of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) method of  defining and documenting the needs of that specific rural community.  This involves mapping the set up of the village , as if seen by a third party from say, the sky, , a kind of Local-Google-Earth approach.  The students sit together and work with the villagers, to create an information visual map, unique for that village.  Techniques used could be Group dynamics,  Sampling,  Interviewing, and Visualization Oral history as gleaned from the inhabitants , is documented  and diagonal type walks are undertaken  across the mapped area , to understand the development pattern and needs of that particular society.

 Kharade is small village located in Shahapur Taluka of Thane district, Maharashtra with total 242 families residing. The Kharade village has population of 1266 of which 653 are males while 613 are females as per Population Census 2011.  A study reveals that of 752 workers engaged in Main Work (working and earning for more than 6 months in a year)  , 208 were cultivators (owner or co-owner) while 292 were Agricultural labourers.  (In 2015, the numbers may have increased in each category).

While the students of the specific course conducted their assigned PRA work,  I did a photographic essay of the types of residences that I saw in Kharade .  This village was much closer to the National Highway, and so, much different than many villages I saw on earlier field trips such as Amle.  The pattern of housing that I captured may be matched with the work profiles distribution indicated in the previous para.

Ambitious pucca houses possibly for those engaged in Main Work (> 6 months in a year)

                                In the end, it is always about Windows....

                            You know now where Bill Gates got his Logo from

          Possibly a house owned by a cultivator. Traditional house close to the fields.

      Typically ,  a cattle shed adjoining a house.  Must be much cooler than the brick houses....

Could be a dwelling belonging to a combined family of cultivators.   Too big for a single family, but unity being considered as strength.

                                                     House backyards.

                   Yes.  It is all about Windows.  Gates is not happy they are closed.

                                  This is slightly better.  Open Windows.

Like the populace, something new, something old , all residing together . Even on the Papaya Tree.

  The driveway border  is in typical sarkari office style.   But this actually a private residence. Must belong to someone doing Main Work (working > 6 mths in a year)

   Very clearly, the domain of the  agricultural labourer.  The only thing on "show" are the crops .  A cooling green in the hot sun.

      This could be anyone's house. But the boarded up window indicates someone who might have just come up a rung on the societal ladder.....

                   The Perils of progress. The Sumo Wagon and the motorable roads.

                           A house belonging to a "rich"  citizen  . Pucca fence and all.

No. This is not an embroidered carpet. This is standard summer activity for the women, , of making savoury fryables from rice and sabudana, by cooking and drying stuff in the hot sun. These are stored  in containers when dry, and used the year round

Notice the lady sitting with a stick ?  She keeps a keen eye on crows and other birds coming there to do a recce and possibly take off with some of the stuff.  As well as assorted dogs and cattle.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015 : Amle Village, Mokhada Taluka, Thane District

Amle,  a  village  on the banks for Gargai river, in the Mokhada Taluka, of Thane District. Around 300 people live in the tiny tribal village, deep in the forests of the Mokhada nature reserve, only 130 kilometers – a mere 4-hour drive from the financial center of Mumbai, yet fully isolated from civilization.

A day field trip in early 2015,  to study efforts at harnessing solar energy , by the locals, was an excellent opportunity to learn about the people.   The Siemens Company has  a small  PhotoVoltaic  set up here, with engineers monitoring it.  An effort at assisting the locals with their irrigation issues.

                                              Disembarking  for the visit...

                         So far from the noise and pollution, but a long road ahead...

                                                       The Wise Tree                                           

                                        And sometimes, there is magic....

                An actual landscape in Amle.  And you thought it was a painting ?

         Something that never changes. Women at Work.  But amidst so much green..

          Rice ready to be threshed, but stored like this to keep it away from cattle.

                              Some important types, relaxing by the river ....

                                        Confident citizens of tomorrow ....

     Someone, who leads a swinging life amidst trees, as her mother works in the fields...

 The local Zilla Parishad School.  Interestingly, not named after anyone, but called Amchi Shala (Our School)

                      The Village Deities  at the entrance to the village.