Mr. Adarsh Aralugowdana Chandraju

India

Coorg Organization for Rural Development

Tribe or Ethnic Identity     Indian

Native Language      Kannada

Religion     Hindu

Education     University of Mysore

Work Position     Community Organizer

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Work

“Since agriculture is the main occupation of our community, we respect earth, water, nature, time. In Huthari all the family members offer Pooja (worship) to crops grown in our fields. Later we take the new rice from the field to prepare sweets called Payasam and we enjoy the whole night. This shows our thanks to God for letting us to grow our own food in a sustainable way.”

As a community organizer, Mr. Adarsh Chandraju works among the indigenous tribes of the Kodagu District. He explains, “I visit different Adivasi Hadis and organize them under their associations as well as empowering them to take decisions for themselves and solving some of the day to day issues that they face. As the part of the programme I focus on giving awareness on the climate change crisis and the importance of organic farming.” Mr. Chandraju has chosen to work among the Adivasi people because “the Adivasi traditions of the need for preservation of the earth and its ecological balance are the only way to save earth. With the entrance of global forces and the race for domination and competition for growth, the Adivasi’s are being displaced from their primitive habitat, the forest. It is this existing situation that has drawn me to work with the Adivasi community.” Furthermore, he states, “It gives me joy to see them sharing, making sacrifices. Their honesty is something which can hardly be found in today’s society. However it takes much time, patience and determination to see them understand what is best for them.”

Sustainable farming is important to Mr. Chandraju because rice cultivation has been a tradition in his family: “Whilst working with my father in the field I have continued to learn different methods to cultivate paddy. Daily crops and vegetables give us income throughout the year. Hence I prefer to do sustainable farming.”

Sending Organization

Coorg Organization for Rural Development (CORD) is a secular and apolitical organization established in 1981. Its purpose is emancipation and empowerment of the poor and underprivileged in the society, namely the Adivasi (indigenous) population and women and children in particular. Its programs include non-formal education, development of community leadership, promotion of sustainable agriculture, initiation and strengthening of self-help groups with women, support for formal education for children, and environmental and biodiversity conservation.