Our planted forest in Nadukuppam, as well as being at the heart of our social and environmental activities in South India, has over the years taken on a secondary, unofficial function – as a place of deep rest and relaxation for us at Pitchandikulam Forest and our friends.
In the forest, we can build small and simple huts for people to retreat and search their souls for adding value to life. The rich environs of a growing forest, water bodies, birds and butterflies to give company, will be the best backdrop to the retreat.
Embodying ethical tourism, this kind of retreat can enable one to explore the region with a gentle footprint.There is great potential to explore the complexities and richness of rural Tamil Nadu – to engage with the village community, to learn about the Kazhuveli water bodies, a rich wetland ecosystem that is currently greatly vulnerable to human interference.
If one likes some activities and wants to contribute there are nurseries, compost and organic farms to work in. A Bali House with a small library and music is a common place to meet with other friends.
Pitchandikulam has been working in the Nadukuppam area since 2003. Since then, it has grown into a major part of our work: covering everything from teachers in local schools, indigenous forest planting, traditional water management, organic farming, rural enterprise for women and a wide range of training. To date, we have helped to set up five rural women’s enterprises in the area, and would like to be able to help even more women setting out in the world of cooperative enterprise.
To consolidate over a decade’s worth of work, our dream is to set up a dedicated centre for women’s training, which will act as a traditional knowledge hub for the Kazhuveli bio-region and its natural and cultural integrity, and allow women to explore new ways in which they can blend different knowledge systems. We can share our experience with other women’s development programmes across India, invite participants and volunteers from our network in India and abroad, and create a centre of excellence in rural enterprise training for women.
We want to build an ecologically friendly place for the trainees to stay, so that all participants can live in a rural environment while learning and sharing their stories. We envisage a sustainable livelihoods learning centre – backed by our experience with the Sustainable Livelihood Institute – with practical demonstrations, activities, intensive education programmes and a regular programme of trainings each month.
Please contact us to find out more, or contribute to our account below.