Society of Sisters of St. Ann, Luzern in Vijayawada are working for upliftment of unmarried mothers, women, youth, landless and small farmers of marginalized communities since last 7 decades and have observed the catastrophe in the region. Sister Suguna Francis realized an urgent requirement of self sustainability programs, awareness, education and sustainable agriculture practices are required on a massive scale for these population to withstand impacts of climate change.
Climate change has emerged as the most pressing global challenge of the 21st century. Being a developing country India is both a major greenhouse gas emitter and one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to projected climate change. A decline in monsoon rainfall since the 1950s has already been observed. The country is experiencing changes in climate and the impacts of climate change such as water stress, heat waves and drought, severe storms and flash floods, and associated negative consequences on agriculture, food security, water scarcity, deforestation, health and livelihood. With a 1.2 billion but growing population and dependence on agriculture, India is severely impacted by continuing climate change. Uncertainties in monsoon is affecting farmers’ choices about which crops to plant and the timing of planting impacting reducing productivities.
In a country so prone to natural hazards, the welfare of those who are affected and who have limited means to recover will loom large under climate change. About a quarter of the population lives on less than Rs 50 a day; at least one-third face poverty, lack of educational opportunities and 60 percent are dependent upon agriculture for their livelihoods. Those who lack financial resources and adequate education and who depend on agriculture for sustenance and livelihood will be disadvantaged under climate change because they have few choices but continued dependence on shrinking or uncertain resources. An urgent demand of relief programs, awareness, education and skill development is required on a massive scale for these population to enable withstand impacts of climate change.
A pro women multi-sectorial, risk informed and shock responsive approach is designed to strengthen marginalized community and villages. An integrated program for food security, land management, water management and sanitation for better health through rural advisory services and farmer field education to equip women and youth with capabilities to tackle climate change. Foundation with 200 saplings have been laid on 3 acre land to develop it as bio-reserve.
Women of marginalized community were trained and involved in various integrated interactive sustainable practices and activities to enhance their knowledge and leadership qualities. These women, youth are to be promoted and supported to take leading role in enhancing lives of vulnerable communities members.