As a person heading Monitoring and Evaluation portfolio of ‘Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food sector’ project in India, I frequently travel to project intervention sites across 4 states. Welthungerhilfe (WHH) is one of our partner organisations who works with the concept of ‘Green colleges’ mostly in Eastern states of India. The objective is to cover the extension service gap in agriculture and related sectors in rural areas. Therefore, this submission is about my recent visit to Kolkata and nearby villages as an external person and an observer of how people make their living in the region.
The state’s economy is mostly primary sector driven due to many reasons- congenial environment for farming, less skilled human resource, communist governance, 85-90 % of the population make livelihood from Agriculture and related activities. Due to abundance of water (salt water though) availability in the region, every household is privileged to have a backyard pond!!! And thus, fish rearing and consumption is integral part of their life and diet. Most of the travelling happens on water with diesel engine boats. I have tried to capture the snapshot of their life with my photo series. WHH office is placed within the Rama Krishna Mission campus, a socio-religious organisation with enormous services done to the society and actively involved in developmental activities in country and abroad. I have caught few glimpses of the campus as well. Though it is not an abroad departure and arrival, for a person from South India visiting North/ Eastern India gives a similar experience.