Women's Earth & Climate Action Network, International
The Women's Earth & Climate Action Network is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide to take action as powerful stakeholders in climate change and sustainability solutions. For Our Earth and Future Generations A project of Women's Earth and Climate Caucus and its partner eraGlobal Alliance

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GOKULANANDA OJHA

Organization: India Development Project
City/Country: Odisha,India

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GOKULANANDA OJHA GOKULANANDA OJHA GOKULANANDA OJHA

Global Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action was organized by MAA TARINI MAHILA MAHASANGHA,the Federation of Women CBOs(Community Based Organisations )of Keonjhar district at Village Akhupal in Ghatgaon block of Keonjhar district in Odisha,India on 29th September,2015.The programme was financially supported by India Development Project and morally and technically supported by WECAN International and 1Million Women.

The Participants from different member organizations(Women CBOs)from different villages of Keonjhar district arrived at IDP’s Womens’ Training Centre at Akhupal at 11.00 a.m. on 29th September,2015.The programme was formally inaugurated by Mrs.Jyotshnamai Das,the Chairperson of India Development Project by lighting the lamp.The inaugural programme was presided by Mrs.Malati Tanty,the Vice-President of Maa Tarini Mahila Mahasangha.

The Programme started with the Opening EARTH SONG (the Video was obtained from The Bob Brown Foundation,Australia).The President of the inaugural programme has requested Mr.Gokulananda Ojha to give the key note address and the present scenario of Keonjhar district in connection with the Environment and Climatic condition. Mr.Ojha presented a graphic picture of how the Mining Companies are engaged in excavating Mines with modern Machines and technology and how millions of trees and medicinal plants destroyed everyday in the Mining Areas and how the Forest Mafias destroys the rainforest i.e.the ATAI Reserved Forest(the Only Forest in Keonjhar district).He said due to massive deforestation in the adjoining hills ,the alluvium top soil leached out and the Soil lost the water holding capacity. As a result of which the upper part of Keonjhar district is affected with Drought every year and lower part of Anandapur Sub-Division is affected by Flood every year. The average Annual rainfall of Keonjhar district is 1500 mm,but in order to harvest Paddy it requires only 200 mm of rainfall. The rainfall stops in the 2nd week of September every year at the flowering stage of Paddy. Since the Soil has lost the water holding capacity the Paddy dries up and yield became very low and even the farmer could not get the quantity of Paddy he/she has shown in his/her land.

The participants pointed out that due to massive tree felling in the mining areas and deforestation in the adjoining hills and Reserved Forest the ground water table is going deeper and deeper. The bore wells/hand pumps being installed in different villages by the Government Department became defunct in most of the areas and Women suffer a lot since water drawing responsibility of the family is vested upon the Mothers.

Some of the Women members said that a couple of months back they have submitted application to some District level Officials requesting to arrange Cashew Plantation programme but no Official have visited the villages and approved the application even if there is a provision to undertake Plantation in the district and plenty of Funds are available for the purpose.

Last year the member of Maa Tarini Mahila Mahasangha who are residing in Akhupal village have taken up Plantation of Cashew and Accasia species in 40 acres of barren Wastelands belongs to Women stakeholders. The participants visited the field to see the reality. After seeing the success of the Initiative all participants have decided to write a Memorandum to the Chief Minister of Odisha Government requesting to sanction massive plantation programme and help the Women Federation to implement it in order to reduce Global warming at the Global level and keeping the village environment cool at the local level.