Transformation of Traditional Baireni Village into Eco Village Baireni at Udayapur, Nepal
Ecovillage Baireni has been inhabited by indigenous Danuwar people. Bairini is a typical Danuwar village in Udayapur district located 5 km west from Gaighat, the headquarters of the district. There are altogether 60 households of which 56 households belong to Indigenous Danuwar and 4 households to so called high caste Brahmin ethnicity. There are total 210 individuals residing in the Bairini village, out of which 112 are female and 98 male. However, all of the sampled population spoke Nepali language as a means of communication. Out of the total population of the Bairini village 55 percent have attended formal education while 45 percent are uneducated: 15.3 percent attending primary education; 15.8 percent enrolled in lower secondary; 17.2 percent in secondary; 5.1 percent in higher secondary and 1.9 percent attending higher education. Agriculture is the mainstay of majority of the respondent.
According to the survey, 89 percent of the population stated that they own the home they are living in, while 9 per cent of the population made home in other's land and remaining are living in the village block. Two third of the respondents own a one storey home made up of wooden planks, and remaining households live in huts. Agriculture is the main occupation of majority of the households. Only 7 percent of the respondents are earning their livelihoods through labour work. Small business and foreign employment are the major sources of income for 2 percent of the population.
Majority of the respondent, 95 percent, own land. Major crops cultivated by the population of the Barini village are rice, wheat and maize. Majority of the respondents own livestock like goats, cows, buffaloes, and poultry. About 44 percent of the respondents stated that from agricultural production and income generated there from, they can meet their basic need on food and other livelihood requirements for a year, while 21 percent of the households can hardly do that for six months, and 13 percent for three or less months. It is noteworthy that only 11 percent of the total households can support their livelihoods needs and have some surplus income every year from agricultural activities.
During the food insufficiency period loan is the best option for 42 percent of the respondent, 26 percent of them opt for labour work and return home in the evening, 19 percent ask foods from relatives in the form of gift, 10 percent of them migrate in search of job while remaining 3 percent of the respondent sell their livestock.
2. Health status
According to the survey, 75 percent of the respondents stated that they had suffered from illness in some way or other during the period of one year. The different types of health problems reported were: Diarrhoea, Dysentry, Mild Fever, Gastritis, Headache, Stomachache, Jaundice, Pneumonia, Kidney problem, Lower Abdominal Pain, Respiratory problem, and Asthma. According to the data, 83percent of the respondent reported that they go to the health post for checkup, while 11.1 percent of the respondent preferred to use medicinal herbs, 5.6percent of the respondent still opt for traditional practices from traditional healers, while 3percent of the respondents have never visited health post.
3. Business centre
According to the survey, Rajabash and Gaighat bazaar is the major market area for buying food grains and vegetables for the population residing in the Bairini village, however, food grains like paddy, cereals are cultivated by the majority of the population themselves. Other commodities like sugar/ tea, clothes and utensils are usually bought from Gaighat bazaar. According to the data, majority of the respondent, 24 percent, realizes the need of a vegetable shop in the village, 20 percent each for pharmacy and agro vet, 16 percent for cooperative, 10 percent for bank. The major source of energy for the residents of Bairini village is wood and electricity.
4. Development infrastructure
According to the survey, 78 percent of the household have access to all the development facilities. In case of different types of toilet used, only 32 percent are using a closed type of toilet while the same percentage, 32 percent of the household use open field or a near by river. According to the data, it seems that sanitation is the reason that people in the Bairini village suffer mainly from Diarrhea and Dysentery.
According to the data, 93 percent of the respondent use hand pump/leg pump as a source of water while reaming use well. It takes no more than 10 minutes for the residents of Barini village to fetch gallon of water. Majority of the households use wood and sticks for cooking purpose, while few are using Bio- gas. It was reported that 80 percent of the female head are supposed to collect wood from the community forest that they all have access to it and that they have to pay tax of Rs25 per year. It takes an average of 3-4 hrs for wood collection.
5. Social and Political Justice
According to the survey, the average income per day from the labour work varies from Rs100-150. 70 percent of the respondents reported that their still exist discrimination on the wage earning of men and women. According to the data, 83 percent of the respondents have ownership over their land. It was reported that almost all the respondent participated in the constitutional assembly elected. Almost all the respondents participated in the constitutional assembly election; 90 percent of the respondents participated as voter and remaining 10 percent as a candidate for the constitutional assembly election. It was found that 77 percent of the respondents are involved in one or other groups like women groups, child groups, income generating groups and youth groups. The Women groups are Danuwar Mahila Samuha, Chahri Samuha, Laligurash Janjati Samuha, Pichadiyeka Jati Mahila Samuha, Namuna Mahila Samuha, Shrijansil Mahila Samuha; Child groups like Bal Samuha; income generating groups like Buffalo farming group, Goat farming group, Janjagaran Bhaisi Palan; Youth groups like Shivashakti Yuva Club and others like Staniya Bikash Kosh and Panchkanya Samudahik. Majority of these organizations are formed in support of one or other organization like Adhibasi Janjati Mahasangh, Ban Bikash Samithi, Danuwar Janjati Mahila Samuha, D.V.O, Janjati Sangh, Jilla Bikash Samithi, UNICEF, and WOREC. Majority of them are involved as a member in the group, some of them are in advisor, secretarial, presidential, treasurer position, and however those are in insignificant numbers. According to the data, 92 percent of the respondent reported that they are invited for the meeting or discussions that take place in the community level.
6. Only for women???
According to the survey, 87 percent of the women reported that they can travel to places they would like to go to. It was found that around half of the women in the Bairini village feel that dowry system should be in practice and that majority of the women, 84 percent, do not believe that women are witch.
7. Discriminatory practices
According to the survey, it was found that 81 percent of the respondents do not discriminate among dalits and that they use common source of water and that there discrimination is not practiced while bringing woods from forest. It was also found that 96 percent of the households have not witnessed violence on caste based issues. It could be said that caste based discrimination is not a issue in the Bairini village however, it is still in practice to some extent.
According to the data, 47 percent of the respondents stated that they have taken trainings and are also interested in trainings like commercial vegetable farming, income generating training like (sewing, mat making), on how to carry out business and also on group formation.