An upcoming hero of the tribals – Vikash Das is the System Engineer who has determined Vat Vrikshya!
Being a social corporation, Vat Vrikshya helps tribals in Odisha to provide them with a livelihood upon which they can preserve on without compromising their culture.
As of date, the social enterprise has controlled to efficiently work with 368 families throughout three villages of the tribal belt.
TRIVIA: – Vikash has additionally cofounded and runs a blog known as ‘IndiaSpeaksNow’ along side a few other cofounders.
Based in Bangalore, Vikash belongs to a family wherein his father is a Banker, at the same time as his Mother is a Housewife.
Talking approximately his qualifications; Vikash has finished his Masters in Science from the Manipal University in Software Design & Engineering (2011-13). Additionally, he had additionally finished his Bachelors in Information Science and Engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University as nicely.
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What is Vat Vrikshya?
To begin with; “Vat Vrikshya” are Sanskrit words, which actually suggest a Banyan Tree. For all people who are unaware, Banyan tree is understood to be one of the maximum sacred timber in India and similarly to that, is also the country wide tree of India. A Banyan tree provides refuge to all of the little or huge creatures under it.
On a similar belief; Vat Vrikshya additionally ambitions to bring the forgotten tribal zone of our country under the democracy wing. Their aim is to make certain that the tribals also are profiting from the opportunities which might be seen to be increasing tremendously.
As of now, Vat Vrikshya works with the tribal women to connect them with our mainstream society. These are the girls who historically had been left out, below-resourced, were geographically isolated and are positioned in faraway tribal hamlets and also are pressured to control the expenses in their homes.
They consider (and we can’t agree more too) that, women are the fine retailers of trade in any community and giving them the assets to do their work can exchange the arena. And the employer become additionally commonly setup to assist such girls to come to be energetic dealers in their very own exchange method.
How do they make all the above feasible?
- Offering sustainable livelihood possibilities in distinctive methods
- Understanding and preventing for their financial and social rights
- Instilling tremendous self-worth and self assurance in them
- Training them with vocational, income and advertising techniques
- Helping girls to attend to their sexual and reproductive fitness
- Creating a direct marketplace for tribal products
- Preserving rich tribal tradition and historical past
- Help needy tribal ladies to get loan centers
- Research, advocacy & networking in problems applicable to the tribal context.
What the employer does is that, because the tribal women have reached to an age in which educating them would be extraordinarily hard. Hence, Vat Vrikshya works on their ability development to make them confident enough to take their personal selections. These talents additionally consist of Entrepreneurship as nicely.
The organisation does no longer have an workplace setup but and still holds its nearby councils and meetings underneath their critical factor – Banyan Tree!
What changed into their technique?
Vat Vrikshya follows a Four-pillar method for the improvement of the tribes. These include:-
- Research and needs assessment: – They begin their paintings by way of knowledge the tribe’s lifestyle, issues, network’s wishes, hobby and information, and then therefore carry out a SWOT evaluation to discern out what they are able to offer them.
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- Post this procedure, Vat Vrikshya launches their pilot task which is carried out, examined, and systematised earlier than it is extended on a much wider scale.
- Networking and partnerships: – These tribal ladies are then connected with a hit ladies entrepreneurs from other tribal villages. This is completed to create a community among distinct tribal villages, towns, towns and markets.
- Later, Vat Vrikshya makes an initial contribution of Rs 2000 to ladies of each own family in the village, to which an (X) amount of contribution is also made by using the girl as properly, based totally on their monetary scenario.
Additionally, they're also facilitated with preliminary capital requirements, and also are related with numerous Women’s Social Groups, NGOs and Financial Institutions for destiny assistance on launching their very own arts and crafts establishments.
Vat Vrikshya workforce then intently video display units the activities and development of the new businesses to ensure they function easily.
- Educating and Marketing: – Along with the aforementioned, the tribal girls also get hold of ‘Vocational training’ based totally on their understanding and areas of hobby.
Women are also taught how to market, emblem and percent their products attractively and successfully.
And on the opposite quit, Vat Vrikshya also educates urban customers approximately tribal arts, handicrafts and lifestyle to encourage sales.
- Transparency and Involvement: – As an entire, all of the contributors of the tribal groups are made a part of the functioning of Vat Vrikshya; so as hold a consider factor and transparency.
These tribal girls representatives maintain the information, the Vat Vrikshya fund and also are responsible for arranging the weekly training classes.
Lastly, being a self-maintaining social enterprise enterprise, Vat Vrikshya is specializes in making earnings. These earnings are then used for increasing network welfare, development of fitness and education inside the villages, and additionally to help these ladies with loans to buy modern equipment or device, with out charging any hobby.
How Did The Formation of Vat Vrikshya Take Place?
This tale dates returned to Vikash’s childhood!
When he turned into a baby, he turned into always stopped from playing with the tribal children across the region. What become worse changed into that he became even asked not to touch them or have any sort of food with them.
Later, at the same time as Vikash become on excursion to his fatherland village, he noticed that an vintage tribal lady turned into preserving her grandson begging outside a temple, and while she attempted to enter the temple, she was literally abused and thrown out of the region.
Why? She turned into an Adivasi (Tribal). She turned into taken into consideration impure and unclean.
He constantly questioned why tribal people had been handled with such cruelty by way of our pseudo-city society. They were as human as any people, so then why were they taken into consideration as untouchables?
Anyways! Time surpassed. He grew up. He finished his schooling. Worked for 6 months with HCL Infosystems as a Project Trainee, and then moved directly to work with IBM as an IT consultant as nicely.
Yes, he certainly turned into satisfied with what he had and was getting, however on the other hand the identical vintage thoughts approximately tribals commenced taking over his mind and have been starting to multiply in preference to vanishing.
This additionally set in motion a number of questions that had remained unanswered considering a completely long time. As Vikash likes to put it – “Why turned into he here?” “What turned into his cause on this planet?” “How to measure life?”…and so forth
He wanted to understand, what the reason of his start become and what the motive become, that he changed into supposed to serve on this global.
He constantly desired to do some thing that changed into meaningful to the society, than just sitting within the office the whole day, simply to make an MNC richer.
That is whilst he found out that, despite the fact that he had grown up in close contact with the tribal groups, but there has been never an instance whilst he got a hazard to hook up with them. He constantly had visible their problems via a glass. Yes, he should analyse their troubles, however he couldn’t definitely sense them.
Hence, he decided to end his process, lead a poor lifestyles and stay like them for 2 months in their village.
He saw that the tribals had a wealthy subculture and traditions. But unluckily, the adversities of the tribal communities were endless, and not using a answer or help. Be it – unemployment, illiteracy, malnutrition, geographical isolation, landlessness, health and sanitation, exploitation by middlemen, buyers and money creditors or for that count number non-profitable agriculture, they did not have any support, from the authorities or the general masses.
While at it, he also got a threat to research a lot from that experiment. For the first time in lifestyles, he experienced what deep starvation changed into, and the way devastating and frustrating it may get dwelling in such conditions. He should literally see of their eyes, what their actual issues had been?
Living here, he also understood that fabric possessions don’t guarantee happiness, and we must constantly be glad about what we've.
Vikash continually puzzled why had been there so many troubles and no answer, why wasn’t the society or the governments doing whatever about it!
That is while he got the answer – “Be the Change you want to see inside the international!”
Why can’t we be the exchange we wish to see? Rather than studying, watching or complaining about issues, why can’t we make a contribution to the bigger picture of getting such tribal communities to be a part of the mainstream society?
Having even though that, he determined to take the initiative of doing something for those disadvantaged tribal groups, for starters.
And at the age of 25, Vikash began ‘Vat Vrikshya’!
To being with, his family and pals have been very disappointed with the reality that he become leaving his activity and settling down in a remote village. They concept that something’s wrong with Vikash because he desired to live like a poor to help them. But when they figured what his business version was and how effective it became, they gave in.
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On the opposite cease, for the reason that tribals have been usually in the worry of being exploited via the outsiders, the hardest issue for Vikash at some point of his preliminary degrees was to convince the tribal communities to turn out to be part of this concept of theirs.
It took him a excellent amount of time to make them keep in mind that it changed into for his or her gain and that he was now not there to take gain of them
But once he earned their recognize, exact needs and blessings, they generic him as considered one of them. They now treat him like their very own member of the family, aid him and care for him and he additionally believes that they could do something for him and visit any quantity as properly.
So their functioning turned into pretty simple; first of all Vat Vrikshya donates Rs. 2000 to prospective women of each own family within the village, post which the girls upload (X) amount to that figure based totally on their potential. The organization additionally allows with more funds or getting loans thru banks if required.
After this, in addition they help setting up the business undertaking gratifying every possible want of theirs and also display their functioning in destiny. And in no time, because of the competencies these girls own, they've controlled to make three to 4 times the profit of the initial capital.
From the income they earn, 10% of that is then set apart for the Vat Vrikshya fund. And don’t be fallacious, due to the fact this fund is also maintained by using a number of those tribal ladies only. And that money that is additionally saved for organizing weekly Mahila Sangh (Women Club), which enables these kinds of tribal girls with training of vocational, advertising and marketing of products and expertise sharing strategies, itself.
And forty % of the rest of the profit goes for youngsters and person training in those groups. The relaxation of the income is then divided equally.
Vat Vrikshya at big, additionally helps girls to get advanced machineries, interest loose loans from their fund, free medicines, free books for training, and loads greater.
And the pleasant part is that, they don’t accept donations from any enterprise or humans. They best agree with inside the precept of incomes a living, than charity.
What Are The Developments of The Enterprise?
With such a outstanding version, it goes with out announcing that, Vat Vrikshya has been a success in reaching powerful monetary and social alternate within the communities they've worked with thus far.
They have successfully controlled to instil these women with the ethical raise and self belief, who're now able to drive a couple of times the earnings and have also extended their family profits via to threefold.
They have additionally managed to throw out the middlemen, for this reason making certain them a honest rate for his or her merchandise.
This has helped significantly due to the fact those Artisans no longer need to migrate to other towns or towns on the lookout for jobs.
The improvement and focus due to Vat Vrikshya is such that, these groups are actually much less dependent on agriculture and agricultural income, and therefore, malnutrition and hunger fees have dropped substantially in those sectors.
They have also given them the freedom of no longer being structured at the mercy of money lenders who used to charge them heavy interests charges.
Their effect is such that, with an improved income and better bargaining power, those women at the moment are awakening to call for social, financial and reproductive rights. They are also visible to be raising their voices against age-old social evils like toddler marriage as well.
Going in advance, Vat Vrikshya objectives to scale up their commercial enterprise with the aid of working at the side of the corporate global. They also plan to expand past the variety of Odisha.
They also plan to get all the tribal groups linked to each other by way of growing a globalized traditional tribal craft paintings, if you want to enhance these commercial enterprise networks throughout the tribal communities within the us of a and to promote this sector international.
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They additionally remember the fact that our tribal subculture is wealthy and particular, however on the same time is facing serious risk of cultural extinction. Hence, it is crucial to preserve them.
Keeping that during thoughts, Vat Vrikshya is likewise planning to set up a tribal studies lab in collaboration with the nation government which might sooner or later attract extra college students to research in this area.