Despite the sun being out, there was pleasant weather in Duttalur on Monday, 2nd of July. There was a gentle breeze blowing to keep the heat at the bay. The inauguration for the Entrepreneurship Development Programme in Rural Non-Farm Livelihoods (July-August 2018) was to take place on the SEEDS (Social Empowerment and Economic Development Society) campus in Duttaluru village, SPSR Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh.
The inauguration began with tea in the newly constructed Faculty block, where the chief guests JSV Prasad IAS, Special Secretary to Government of Andhra Pradesh, Department of Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation, KS Jawahar Reddy, Principal Secretary Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, Mutyala Raju, District Collector and magistrate SPSR Nellore district and Bhaktavatsal Reddy, RDO, Kavali, first arrived.
Following which the guests were shown the campus starting with the main block production unit where 35 women are employed in apparel production. These women received training on the campus during their induction. This was followed by a tour of the computer lab where IT literacy is taught to government school students. Then they were taken to the vision care centre that has been set up in partnership LV Prasad Eye Institute. After which they headed to the Agriculture and Rural Technology Initiative area and were shown the Goatery which houses the one hectare model complete with a dairy farm with buffaloes, cows and calves, a goatery farm that houses 27 goats (21 female and 6 male), a backyard poultry unit which has 80 chickens 66 Kadaknath and 13 desi. It also has a vermi compost unit, a bio gas plant and fodder of three varieties; Hydroponics, Azolla and Co-5 feed.
The purpose of the one hectare model is to impart the technical knowledge to rural youths, so they can successfully replicate it and move away from farming as their only source of income. The model emphasises diversification and provides low cost alternatives to traditional construction set ups as well as maximises utilisation of space to create a self- sustainable system in the long run.
This was followed by JSV Prasad and Mutyala Raju cutting the ribbon to the new production unit that has 20 sewing, four pressing and one collar cutting machine. They, then headed back to the newly built two storey faculty block, to showcase alternate building construction technology. The building block was constructed with Compressed Stabilized Earth Block (CSEB) technology using locally available soil. An architecture team from Auroville designed and constructed the block reflecting the traditional Andhra ethos with science involved in it. The building was red in colour similar to the soil used to make its building blocks, with woodwork integrated into the external design. The building itself has all modern amenities, airconditioning, western toilets, modular kitchen, three bedrooms with the attached bathrooms and balconies. It has a spacious drawing room that receives ventilation from the way the house has been designed. Around 10 local masons were identified and trained during the construction process, resulting in refining of their existing skillsets and thereby improving their market ability status.
There was a quick lighting of the lamp ceremony in the faculty block after which the guests received a demonstration on how the bricks are made from the locally sourced soil. It is a simple and cost effective method that is eco-friendly without being labour or capital intensive.
Following the tour, the chief guests and RCM Reddy, Managing Director of IL&FS Education and Technology took to the dias, as Suresh Ghattamaneni, Chief Executive Officer of SEEDS gave the opening speech. Sabitha Reddy donated three acres of land and contributed towards infrastructure development (land levelling, internal roads, fencing, water supply, electricity and others) valued at a total amount of Rs 1.25 crore.
Then came the Kadiveti Penchala Reddy and Rukminamma scholarship distribution, each scholarship was for a sum of Rs 10,000 and was distributed to 15 meritorious students keeping in mind their socio-economics constraints. The sum of 1.5 lakhs was donated by Sreedhar Reddy for the scholarships of these 15 students and the scholarship were handed out by his parents after whom the scholarship is named.
The scholarship distribution was followed by the appreciation certificates to the masons who were involved in the construction process and the skill champions certificate distribution to the youth that received and excelled in their skill development programme.