SALT visit to Indian Pineapple village

SALT visit to Molvom village
Molvom village is known as Indian Pineapple village which is nearly 30km from Dimapur in Nagaland. ACP facilitators’ team was invited by Mr Haolai for a SALT visit to his village on 5th Nov 2009. The team was given a warm welcome when they reached at 7pm.

Immediately after arrival, an announcement was made through the public address system and men, women and youth gathered even though they had just arrived from the farm.

The team members had discussion with them in separate groups and they shared their common concerns including alcohol, drug abuse and HIV, inability to procure good prices for pineapple for women, youth’s future, lack of scientific knowledge regarding HIV amongst elders and the conservative nature of elders. During the discussion we found that the village has deep concern regarding their issues, since they have already lost many young people to drug, alcohol and HIV.

The team was motivated by hearing the initiatives already taken by the community to address their concerns. They have formed a youth association, women committee and elders village authority to prevent the inflow of drug and alcohol into village and to reduce the infection rate. They have also conducted gospel camps, numerous counseling sessions and several other initiatives to stop drug use.

The community shared their hopes for the village - no new infections in the near future, young people leading a healthy lifestyle, no drugs, and alcohol inflow into village and infected people leading a normal life within the village.

During the visit we found they have a strong caring leadership ‘Gaun Buran’ (Leader) and elders (over 60 years old) who actively participated through out the sessions, they are disciplined, hardworking very cooperative, organised and willing to learn despite having rich life experience.

After the discussion, the community provided dinner and pineapples for the SALT team with great love.

When we were ready to go back to Dimapur, they reminded us and requested to come again the very next day to continue the discussion.
On the second day on 5/11/2009 there was increased numbers and enthusiasm in all the three groups - leaders, women and youth. These groups separately discussed and created their dream for the village.

After many training and attempting many methods, we still lost 15 drug users in the village and changing their behaviour is a struggle – elders. The community is using forceful ways to make the drug users to stop their habits, but no drug users change their behaviour and the community is frustrated that it was a waste of effort. The community surrendered, their efforts and they just waited for the drug users to die.

Youth desired that elders adapt with the changing times and increasing education and receive the youth with care and change the system of expressing love. They hope to not find any new cases of infection and drug use in the community.

The team member shared a story how the love, care and support have influenced the life of people in other parts of India. “I realized the meaning of story and if I would have known this story few months before, love and care would have saved my son and he would have alive today” a father whose son had died due the drug use

This was followed by a self assessment which then led to action plan to achieve the dream.

ACP provided a space to fill the generation gap and created a series of hopes for Molvom village. The powerful positive stories from outsiders have encouraged and stimulated them to use different tactics and strategies to deal with issues. The group learned that the ACP process provides a place for both the facilitators and the village community, stimulates thinking process and enhances our analytical skills to addressing the issues.

We hope their hope will come true very soon because they have capacity, potential strength to bring change and influence on other parts of Indian community.

“Power of sharing positive stories and SALT visits leads to change in attitude.” -. Dr. Joyce
“ACP is a part of our life – we can know each other and about ACP through SALT visits, community strength, and support”- Avela
“Leadership quality of Molvom village is something which we learned” - Bijoya
“I have been preaching about SALT in the bible for the past 5 months. It is good to discuss about hope. I had problem about anxiety, but now I feel better”- Sandeep: a preacher.

“ACP is not only about work, but part of our daily life by which we see changes in ourselves and community”

Bhery Marappa Rangappa – ACP Facilitator, Samraksha, Bangalore

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Comment by J.Kallappa on November 30, 2009 at 4:08pm
Thank for yuor valuveble sharing
Comment by Laurence Gilliot on November 30, 2009 at 8:25am
Dear Bhery,

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story.

I wanted to share with you the story of Ban Pang Lao, a village in the North of Thailand. A few years ago, people in the village had to deal with drug use and trafficking. The main thing they did was to bring together the drug users/vendors and all the people who suffered from this like their families and other members of the community. They sat down together and shared, listened deeply to each other to understand the situation. Not to judge or blame but to come to a deeper understanding of the situation.

People understood that drug users were doing this mainly because of a lack of income. Together, they looked for solutions like creating job opportunities and a savings fund etc. They were quite firm as well with the drug users. But eventually the situation improved a lot and now they live in peace.

So, pineapple village is not alone on this journey. I have the hope that they can change their own situation.

Laurence
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on November 27, 2009 at 8:37pm
Dear Bheri,

Thanks for this beautiful posting on Molvom, a place very close to my heart.

You mention that ACP provided a space to fill the generation gap and created a series of hopes for Molvom village. It is a critical achievement. When I was last in Molvom about six months ago we had to divide women in two groups the elderly and young as women felt that different age groups had different issues. I recently read an article which talks about Margaret Mead's theory that the best societal learning occurs when three generations come together in contexts of discovery and valuing -- the child, the elder, and the middle adult.

How did the process of self-assessment go? During my last visit it had not been done.

Hope to hear more stories from your work with Samraksha.

Warm regards,

Rituu
Comment by Gaston on November 26, 2009 at 8:30am
wonderful sharing Bhery. I was in Molvom village earlier this year and I am happy to hear this progress. Thanks for this.

Can you share a bit more about Sandeep who said: "I have been preaching about SALT in the bible for the last 5 months". How did Sandeep link the bible to SALT? We are exploring this at the moment within several contexts and are interesting to hear more on this.

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