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Progress Report on Barkheda (April 2011- Dec.2011)

A hearty Namaskar and welcome to our first progress report.
With your support and efforts, we have made substantial progress at Barkheda especially in last one year. From now on we hope to send
quarterly reports (every Jan, April, July and Oct) every year to all members informing them of the status of various activities that are being undertaken at Barkheda. We solicit your active participation as well.

Progress upto March 2011:  More than 160 acres of land owners have agreed to be part of this movement called ‘Sreejan’. Based on the concept of zero run-off, more than 70 acres of water bodies (which were not there when we purchased) have been built in last 5 years.

Abundant water which is the basic and fundamental necessity in such project is already a reality. Our water bodies get filled just with 30% of average rainfall. We can easily take 2 crops right now. We have tripled the biomass production in last 5 years. More than 220 varieties of herbs naturally grow here. Lots of birds & animals have migrated here & even the tiger & leopard have been sighted. We also have a ‘gaushala’ with 50 odd stay cows. These cows eventually could provide the cow dung and cow urine so essential for organic farming.

April 2011 to Dec 2011:

1) Society Formation: We have registered a society in the name of “Sreejan’s Endowment for Evolutionary and Developmental Society” or in short SEED. The name sounds very heavy but we could not come up with a simpler name which conveyed our intent and objective and could
meet the expectations at the registrar’s office at the same time! Anyway, the following seven members volunteered to become office bearers in the first round:

a. Rajinder Raina-Chairman

b. Dr Monika Gupta-Vice Chairman

c. Deepak Suchde-Secretary

d. Dr Ranjana Garg- Ad Secretary

e. Ashish Agarwal-Treasurer

f. Dr Vimarsh Raina-member

g. Dr Ashutosh Singh-member

2) Team on the ground:  A dedicated and honest team was missing at Barkheda in the past. This would create a lot of inconvenience to manage remotely. Luckily we have been able to recruit a young and trustworthy site incharge Mr Ravi Kushwa and he is assisted by 4 permanent workers (Sunil, Bhopali who doubles up as a cook, Lilakishen and Santosh). All of them stay on campus and are being provided lodging and boarding by us. The
establishment is costing us about 30k per month but it has livened up the place and brought in a sense of rhythm, control and discipline. It does not look like a deserted place anymore but gives an impression of a proper campus where people live on a regular basis. Ravi is very passionate
and excited to be in Barkheda and is planning to make it his permanent home.

3) Living Infrastructure on the ground:  In last one year we have built a modest but ‘pucca’ campus with residential facilities, 2 baths/2toilets, kitchen and a beautiful green and manicured lawn with lots of flowers. We are fully equipped with all kitchen utensils, gas stove, crockery, bedding and linen etc. and have hosted a team of more than 22 people at a time on a couple of occasions. Since we don’t have the grid, our lighting load is taken by an 800W solar panel system (built at the cost of over 2.5 lacs).

4) Farming Infrastructure on the ground: Over the years we have built a reasonably good asset base with 1 New Holland tractor (worth 7 lacs), refurbished old tractor to pump 3” water pipe from the main reservoir, mechanized ploughs, water pumps, engines etc. We are equipped to
farm at least 30 acres of land with the assets that we have built and can do more with very little additional investment.

5) Land Development: During the summer of 2011 we deployed JCB’s and removed the fertile soil and silt that had deposited in the beds of our water bodies and we spread it as a 6/12 inch layer on about 15 acres of our land. The intention was to start rejuvenate our land to make it ready for farming so that the team and the trainees living at our campus could be self sufficient in growing their own food. Although the investment of 5 lacs looks high today, but it will yield returns over the years.

6) Intent at Barkheda: The intent of Sreejan including its objectives, goals, tangible outputs and purpose have been documented in a concept paper titled “Sreejan_The_Concept”. Most of the documents and papers published regarding our project and various activities and schemes are
available at Members are invited to participate and contribute ideas and suggestions for the same.

7) Management control: As some of you know Rajinder Raina has started living in the campus for 7 days every month since Aug 2011 and Rajesh Gupta has been visiting as usual almost all weekends and holidays. This along with the full time presence of Ravi Kushwa has brought in a lot of control and discipline in the day to day working.

8) Investments: To be able to move towards our goals we invested more than 16 lacs in this financial year so far (till Dec 2011) and the major heads where money has been spent is given below. We have not borrowed or taken any loans and all money has either been contributed by some members or it has been collected from new members as land development charges. 

 Head Amt. (Rs. Lacs)
 Land Development                 5.37
 New Construction 2.99
 Cap Equipment 2.48
 Equip Repairs 0.61
 Agri Inputs 1.35
 Diesel 0.64
 Staff Salary 1.30
 Labor 0.47
 Transport 0.15
 Furniture & Fixture 0.50
 Kitchen 0.12