SWA-GRAMA is an ambitious community development program inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s dream project ‘Village Swaraj’ for independent modern India. We propose to carry forward Gandhi’s ‘Village Swaraj’ ideas as a mark of 150th year of his birth. There is a greater need for his idealistic ‘Village Swaraj’ concepts implemented in rural India significantly.
The Western Ghats region of Karnataka consists of rural agriculture footprint, which is evolved by its ecology, and the culture is unique to its terrain. The rural farming community underwent at least a couple of relocation circumstances in the last 60 years because of the ongoing hydroelectric and other developmental projects in the region. Primarily for this reason, the local communities have lost their various vital art, craft and other sustainable economic resources. It is high time that concerned people standby rural India so that it can rediscover its sustainable life and reverse its mindless migration to urban India.
SARA Centre, K V Subbanna Ranga Samooha, Naada Chavadi, Janamana Trust Sagara under the platform ‘Ghattadatta Ditta Hejje’ have chosen mainly four villages from Hosanagara taluka with the community’s willingness, to work towards regaining the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing through many initiatives and be model to the rest of the rural counterparts.
ಗಾಂಧಿ ಸಂಸ್ಮರಣೆ ~ ಸ್ವಗ್ರಾಮ ಯೋಜನೆಯು ‘ಘಟ್ಟದತ್ತ ದಿಟ್ಟ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ’ ಬಳಗದ ಮಹತ್ವಾಕಾಂಕ್ಷಿ ಯೋಜನೆ. ಮಹಾತ್ಮ ಗಾಂಧಿಯವರ ಕನಸಿನ ‘ಗ್ರಾಮ ಸ್ವರಾಜ್’ ಎನ್ನುವ ಆದರ್ಶವಾದದಿಂದ ಪ್ರೇರೇಪಿತವಾಗಿದ್ದು ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರ ಭಾರತದ ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಬದುಕಿನ ಒಳಿತಿಗೆ ಇಂದಿಗೂ ಗಾಂಧೀಜಿಯವರ ‘ಗ್ರಾಮ ಸ್ವರಾಜ್’ ನ ಆದರ್ಶವಾದವನ್ನುಕಾರ್ಯರೂಪಕ್ಕೆ ತರುವ ಅವಶ್ಯಕತೆಯಿದೆ. ಕಳಕಳಿಯಿರುವ ಜನಸಮುದಾಯವು ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಬದುಕಿನ ಸುಸ್ಥಿರತೆಯ ಕಾರ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾಗವಹಿಸಿ ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಸಮುದಾಯದ ದಿಕ್ಕಿಲ್ಲದ ವಲಸೆಯನ್ನು ತಡೆಯಬೇಕಿದೆ.
ಪಶ್ಚಿಮ ಘಟ್ಟದ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ವಲಯದ ಬಹು ಭಾಗವು ಕೃಷಿ ಪ್ರಧಾನವಾಗಿದ್ದು ಇಲ್ಲಿಯ ಕೃಷಿ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯು ಘಟ್ಟ ಪ್ರದೇಶದ ನೆಲ, ಜಲ ಜೀವಾವರಣ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯ್ನನು ಅವಲಂಬಿಸಿರುತ್ತದೆ. ಸಾವಿರಾರು ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಗಟ್ಟಿಯಾಗಿ ಬೇರೂರಿದ್ದ ಕೃಷಿ ಪ್ರಧಾನ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯನ್ನೊಳಗೊಂಡ ಪ್ರದೇಶದ ಸಮುದಾಯವು ಕಳೆದ ೭೦ ವರ್ಷಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹಲವು ಬಾರಿ ಸ್ಥಾನಾಂತರಗೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾಯಿತು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ವಿದ್ಯುಚ್ಚಕ್ತಿ ಉತ್ಪಾದನಾ ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆಗಳಿಂದ ನೂರಾರು ಗ್ರಾಮಗಳು, ಹಸಿರು ಕಾಡುಗಳು ನೀರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಳುಗಿದ ಕಾರಣ ಪ್ರದೇಶದ ಜೀವಾವರಣ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯ ಸಮತೋಲನ ಏರುಪೇರಾಯಿತು. ಈ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬೇರುಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡ ಗ್ರಾಮಾಂತರ ಸಮುದಾಯವು ಜೀವನವನ್ನು ಹೊಸದಾಗಿ ಕಟ್ಟಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ತನ್ನದೆ ಆದ ಸುಸ್ಥಿರ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯಿಂದ ದೂರವಾಗಿರುವ ಹಿನ್ನೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ, ‘ಘಟ್ಟದತ್ತ ದಿಟ್ಟಹೆಜ್ಜೆ’ ಬಳಗದ ಸಮೂಹ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳಾದ ಸಾರ ಕೇಂದ್ರ, ಕೆ. ವಿ. ಸುಬ್ಬಣ್ಣ ರಂಗ ಸಮೂಹ, ನಾಡ ಚಾವಡಿ, ಜನಮನ ಟ್ರಸ್ಟ್ ಸಾಗರ, ಹಾಗು ಇನ್ನೂ ಹಲವಾರು ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಸ್ಥಳೀಯ ನಾಲ್ಕು ಗ್ರಾಮಗಳನ್ನು ಆಯಾ ಗ್ರಾಮಸ್ಥರ ಇಚ್ಛೆಯಂತೆ ಆಯ್ಕೆ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡಿವೆ. ಈ ಗ್ರಾಮಗಳು ನೆಲ, ಜಲ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ, ಪ್ರಕೃತಿ, ಸುಸ್ಥಿರ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿಯ ಗುರಿಯತ್ತ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆಯಿಟ್ಟು ಉಳಿದ ಗ್ರಾಮೀಣ ಸಮುದಾಯಗಳಿಗೆ ಮಾದರಿಯಾಗುವಂತೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಬಳಗವು ಕಾರ್ಯಪ್ರವೃತ್ತ ವಾಗಿದೆ.
ಈ ಯೋಜನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹೊಸನಗರ ತಾಲೂಕಿನ ನಾಲ್ಕು ಗ್ರಾಮ ಪಂಚಾಯಿತಿಯಿಂದ ನಾಲ್ಕು ಗ್ರಾಮವನ್ನು ಆಯ್ದುಕೊಳ್ಳಲಾಗಿದೆ.
Villages under SWAGRAMA project -2019-20 ಸ್ವಗ್ರಾಮ ಯೋಜನೆಯಡಿಯ ಗ್ರಾಮಗಳು -೨೦೧೯-೨೦
1, Muttala ಮುತ್ತಲ 2. Majvana ಮಾಜ್ವಾನ 3. Hale Baniga ಹಳೆ ಬಾಣಿಗ 4. Nanjavalli ನಂಜವಳ್ಳಿ
Hale Baniga ಹಳೆ ಬಾಣಿಗ
Art and Social Responsibility, a workshop took place from 6th -10th June 2019 at SARA Centre. The workshop was conducted by many distinguished experts over five days and mainly benefitted by the local youth, school teachers and many others: Shri Vijay Bagodi, senior artist, a professor in printmaking from Faculty of Fine Arts Baroda; Smt Mamata Sagar, a professor in Media and communication Srishti School of Art Bengaluru; Shri Shyam Sunder, academician, Senior artist from Bengaluru; conducted the workshop of useful printmaking method woodcut for image-making on social issues with powerful messages.
Shri Prasanna, a well-known writer, theatre expert and Gandhian; Shri Chidambar Rao Jambe, a renowned theatre expert and thinker; Shared their thoughts and experience on Art and Social Responsibility. Shri Shankar Sharma, a well-known, expert on Energy and Environment, shared his thoughts on the present environmental crisis with the participants.
Shri Rajanaik and Shri Basavaraj, well known social activists and inspirators motivated the youth to develop their social leadership skills.
Shri Nada Mani Nalkuru, a well-known performer, singer, inspired the participants with his powerful, socio-political songs with a unique way of singing in the dark.
2019 -Convergence ಸಂಗಮ An Artist Residency 1- 7, January 2019
An art workshop to bring together some of the Living traditions such as folk, tribal art forms and young contemporary artists of India was held at SARA Centre premises Dombekoppa. It was organised by SARA Centre in partnership with Art for Concern Institution Bangalore.
As desired by the host institutions SARA Centre, the workshop was attended by over thousands of local people, schools children got to interact with the participating artists across many states, witnessed the art-making process and got an opportunity to compare with different art forms existed in other parts of the country. There were 18 of 20 listed artists and one guest artist Mr Anand Shenoy participated in this workshop,
1. Mrs Gauri Chandrashekar Hase Chitra art form, Western Ghats region of Karnataka.
2. Ms Kusuma Annappa Hase Chitra art form, Western Ghats region of Karnataka.
3. Ms Laxmamma Gademane Hase Chitra art form, Western Ghats region of Karnataka.
4. Ms Leelavati Kannappa Bagilu Hase Chitra, Kugve Western Ghats region of Karnataka.
5. Ms Ladu Gond, Madhya Pradesh.
6. Ms Choti Tekam, Bhil art form, Madhya Pradesh.
7. Mr Saantosh Tekam, Bhil art form, Madhya Pradesh.
8. Ms Poonam Devi, Madhubani / Mithila art form, Bihar.
9. Mr Saroj Kumar, Madhubani / Mithila art form, Bihar.
10. Mr Rajesh Gaju mahala, Warli art form, Northern Western region of Dadra Nagar Haveli.
11. Mr Sandip Nausu Gowli, Warli art form, Northern Western region of Dadra Nagar Haveli.
Contemporary young artists around the country
1. Abhijeet Saikia Assam/ Delhi.
2. Aishwaryan K Bengaluru Karnataka.
3. Manish Sharma Jaipur Rajasthan.
4. Shailesh B R Sagara/ Delhi
5. Ritika Sharma New Delhi.
6. Kanika Shah Baroda Gujarat.
7. Artist, Workshop Coordinator Somu Desai Gujarat.
SARA Centre’s Community Action Program Western Ghats Eco Walk 2018 was held from June 5 – 8, 2018. The walk covered a 90 km stretch from Keladi, Sagara to Issuru, Shikaripura, Karnataka, India. The walk traveled through around 50 villages and towns and engaged approximately 10,000 school children from 60 schools and the local community by involving more than 40 local organisations. Here are some images from the Eco-Walk:
A two-day seminar, Environment, Bio-diversity: Conservation and Challenges, was held at SARA Centre on 27-28th April 2018. Environmentalist practitioners, activists, scholars, filmmakers, artists, theatre activists, and teachers from across Karnataka and other parts of the country were part of the seminar. Various issues related to the local ecology and challenges were discussed, and detailed memorandum of action plans to the problems was prepared to follow up with the government agencies. Noted Gandhian Sri Prasanna, well-known power analyst Sri Shankar Sharma, National award filmmaker Sri Ashok Ahuja, film actor Sri Kishor, Sri Prakash Bhat, Sri Shreedhar Kallahalla, Sri Niranjana Vanalli, Srimati Saroja Prakash, Sri Dinesh Holla, Sri Ajay Kumar Sharma and many others were among the speakers and participants.
SARA Centre’s Community Action Program Western Ghats Eco Walk 2017 was held from June 5 – 10, 2017. The walk covered a 157 km stretch from The Jog Falls to Shivamogga. Karnataka, India. The walk travelled through 40 villages and towns; and engaged approximately 25,000 school children from 85 schools and the local community. Here are some excerpts from the Eco Walk:
Day 1, 5th June 2017
2016 – Green Ambassadors
In June 2016 the SARA Centre organised ‘Green Ambassadors’ an Environment Awareness Workshop for School Students of The Shimoga Region. eighty students from 10 schools participated in this three-day event held on the 10, 11 and 12th June 2016.
The workshop included a number of presentations by environmentalists, journalists, writers, artists and theatre personalities. The activities included talks, lectures, film screenings, painting workshops, a theatre production and collaborative mural painting:
- Inspiring children to imagine and prepare for an ideal sustainable living atmosphere.
- Educating children on the need for maintaining a healthy ecological balance, eco-conscious lifestyle and a healthy co-existence with flora and fauna.
- Inspiring them to work towards the regeneration of the lost biodiversity of the ecosystem.
- Likeminded resourceful persons from the fields of environmental sciences, governance and the arts collaborated in creating an engaging learning experience for the participant groups of school children.
- Prominent local writers, senior members of the society, people from state governing agencies like Gram Panchayats, and Forest Departments were invited to interact with the participants, share information and to converse with student groups via q&a sessions.
- The idea was to gather a sizeable number of children from various schools in Shimoga district for the three day proceedings.
- 5-6 girls and boys from 10 schools were invited to participate and thereby take the awareness campaign forward further into the region as ‘green ambassadors’.
- The proceedings of the workshop were documented and produced a docu-film for screening thereafter in all regional schools.
Organisers & Volunteers
- The main organiser of the workshop was Delhi based artist and SARA Centre Director Arunkumar H G.
- Environmentalists Subbanna Aneguli and Akhilesh Chippali gave talks and slide presentations about local flora and fauna, and also discussed pressing environmental issues with the participant groups.
- Theatre Activists from the K V Subbanna Ranga Samooha Theatre Group and Nada Chavadi Theatre Group Yesu Prakash Heggodu, Prasanna Hunasekoppa, Shreepad Bhagavath Chikka Honnesara and Gurumoorthy Varadamoola played a pivotal in conducting the sessions by creating engaging and interactive events tailored for the school children via song, dance and theatre.
- Artists Bakulesh Joshi and Avinash Gondalia engaged the children in participatory painting and wall mural workshops.
- Artist and curator Himanshu Desai oversaw the documentation of proceedings and also provided additional advisory support to the SARA Centre Management.
- Photographer Shilpa Joshi conducted the photographic documentation of the entire workshop.
- After the conclusion of the workshop, volunteers took the initiative to implement the action plans that emerged out of the workshop such as – awareness marches, plastic and pollutant collection polythene actions, afforestation campaigns etc. Around 2000 diverse species of plants were planted and distributed throughout the month of July 2016.
- The docu-film of the workshop was screened in about 15 different schools and other venues reaching up to 2000 individuals including parent communities etc.
Here are a few testimonials and ongoing activities that have emerged out of the workshop:
2015 -One Child One Plant – SARA Centre Pilot Project
This project was one of the first introductions given by the SARA Centre to the local student community of the region. The project was centred around giving out information on the relevance of biodiversity. 1200 students from 22 schools were engaged in planting a variety of plants across the school campuses and surrounding environs. Students were encouraged to take ownership of at least one plant and to care for it in the future. Students were also given plants to take home and plant in their locality. In all over 2000 plants were distributed through this initiative.