Enriched by the perspectives assimilated during a 2.5 year journey across rural India, ProtoVillage was founded in the August of 2010 to co-create the prototype of a Resilient rural community in a remote village called Tekulodu in the second driest and one of the poorest districts in India (Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh) where evensubsistence farming in on the edge of collapse.
During the first year in the village, the focus of the team was to observe and learn the ways of life in the village and also to find any opportunities to be useful. We worked on drinking water de-fluoridation and afforestation among other things in the first year, besides making over 300 friends in the village! The first year also taught the team that villagers found it easier to adapt to changes that are demonstrated rather than preached.
So the ProtoVillage team chose to focus on one single farm in the Tekulodu village and turn it into the prototype of an Resilient family. The farm family, with an annual income of INR 7,000 ($ 150) was about to migrate out of the village for lack of opportunities.
Working with the farm family, the team have been able to ensure that the family earns INR 14,000 per month besides becoming self-reliant in terms of its most basic needs .
The experience enriched the team with perspectives on rural life in this part of the world, it taught them the essentiality of Interdependence – It is only when individual families establish traditions of respectful interdependence that the community as a whole can enjoy Resilience.
ProtoVillage has since purchased 12.5 acres of land within the same village cluster towards the development of a role model rural community – a centre for learning, practice and dissemination of knowledge on how any community in this region canorganize itself for Resilience.