A Situation Analyses of   vulnerabilities and impacts of climate change and environmental degradation  on the lives of 2000 tribal families of village, Shekhpur,Taluka Mahuwa district Surat, State of Gujarat by Saritsa Foundation from January to August 2011
Tribal Women, Children and aged of 2000 tribal families of village Shekhpur, Taluka Mahuwa district Surat, State of Gujarat are on the front lines of severe impacts of climate change.  They are very vulnerable to impacts of climate change and environmental degradation and suffer the most.   No environmentalist or persons guiding tribal people for adaptation to climate change have reached to them so far. 
   Keeping in view the growing concern about climate change and its impacts on the   livelihood of tribal people - particularly women and children- it has become more important to understand the importance of mainstreaming them in the process of adaptation to climate change and making use of their traditional knowledge and experience to minimize its impact.

 The above factors guided the team of Saritsa Foundation led by Colonel N.M. Verma Director General of Saritsa Foundation, Shri. N.P Pavagadhi, IAS (Retired) Director of Gujarat for Saritsa Foundation  who is a tribal himself  and two team members  to carry out an analyses and a study to assess impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on the lives and livelihood of tribal people of this village. They conducted this study of the relevant problems to find a way to minimize risks and   inspire them to be partners in this process. Saritsa Foundation identified a group of 200 women, children and youth to be Change Makers  by being Trainers  and Motivators to  a group of 10 families each of their village to guide them to adapt to climate change and risks caused by environmental degradation.

The Photos below speak the suffering by tribal people due to impacts of climate change  which guides us to  approach the issue realistically to evolve useable tools and mechanisms to guide them  to make the initiative tribal women, children and  youth centered  and owned.


Mrs. Kamaei Ben, an 82 year old tribal women who is suffering from ashtama, and multiple health problems caused due to exposure to increased quantities of toxic smoke inhaled during open chullah (Stove) cooking since age of 12 years.

Mrs. Mithi Ben a 76 years old tribal women faces the similar health problems as faced by Mrs. Kamaei Ben, an 82 year old.

Asmita Ben 22 years old uses wood for her chullah (Stove) for cooking for 10 members of her families and uses about 20 kgs of wood and inhales toxic smoke equal to smoking of 20 cigarettes a day. Soon she may be suffering from Asthma, and other diseases like Mrs. Kamaei Ben. All other women in the village survive under similar circumstances. Tribal women of 2000 families of Village Sheikhpur may be using about 40,000 kgs of wood every day. The forest resourses are receding . No one thinks to plant a new trees and guides and inspires to do so.

The tree cutting for wood is part of living for tribal.

There are one or two conventional wells are mostly source of water. The water level in the wells are falling fast. In some areas there are hand pumps which do not function properly. Water level of these pumps in use is falling. Women collect water from these sources and have to walk 3 to 5 kilometers depending of the location of the house.

How to clean utensils? There is little water.

A house of bamboo plastered with mud and cow dung. This traditional life is no where near luxuries of urban house.

Tribal people, Their cattle, goats and portray lives together enhancing threats of infectious animal born diseases.

Portray is a source of Income as well as meals.

Malnutrition Tribal Children Steeping for their future.

Their lives depend on agriculture is measure source of livelihood. There are no land’s men. Agriculture product is erratic due to raising temperature, paucity of water.

Rivers, Streams, and seasonal water sources are drying up with a challenge to provide water to their cattle, goats, and agricultural needs.

Selling milk is a source of income. Yield of milk of cows, Buffalos and Goats is receding due to adequate fodder, and gracing areas.

Collection of Medicinal plant is one of the ways of livelihood. These plants are getting affected by severe heat due to raising temperature, more rains or no rains.

Elders are inspired to share their experience and expertise.

Elders are inspired to share their experience and expertise.

Women Chnge Makers

Women and girls as Change Makers

Youth and children as Change Makers.


 The study is a substantial outcome to build resilience of women, children and aged to protect and sustain eco –system and cope with multiple challenges to their lives and livelihood. The project is planned to take immediate care and develop adaptive mechanisms by preparing 200 women Change Makers to guide 2000 women for the following:-

  • Minimize use of open Chullahs ( Stoves) by women who generally use about 20 kgs of wood every day for cooking and inhale toxic smoke equal to smoking 20 cigarettes  every day  causing serious respiratory problems as well as  cutting trees causing deforestation.
  • Inspire them to plant trees and look after them.
  • Coping measures to  adapt to  water availability for agriculture and human supply. Water harvesting in traditional ways.
  •  Plan to find solutions for dealing with droughts, more heat waves and cyclonic winds.
  • Human health is impacted with air borne pathogens in dust, water quality, increasing temperatures, malaria, floods and other health related issues.
  • Land use and related practices, using good quality seeds which needs lesser water, healthy fodder for cattle and goats and sheep.
  • Invasiveness and their impacts /effects on availability of medicinal plants, surface erosion and enhancing frequency of fires.
  • Impact on use of traditional- observation of people now and over time, experiences, traditions and oral histories.
  • Integration of traditional knowledge in to current scientific studies.
  • There is vast amount of truly valuable information related to plants, animals, poultry, rock soils, erosion, precipitation and many other aspects of climate change that have been clearly observed by tribal elders and  other  practicing members.
  • Minimizing use of fire wood with modified efficient smokeless Chullahs (stoves) and protecting health of women as well make contribution to lessen global warming.
  • Agricultural products, cash crops, vegetables, grazing of cattle, cattle health, poultry and goats.

         The project provisions to provide people of tribal community an   independent voice of their own with guidance by their own people as Trainers and Motivators to equip them to cope with impacts of climate change and risks from disasters with shared experience and expertise. 200 women chance makers will be empowered to guide 2000 women of 2000 tribal family groups to develop skills to adapt to climate change.

Saritsa Foundation needs partnership and financial support from donors and like minded organizations as under ;-

  • Organization of 8 workshops for 200 Change Makers-  and field education 0f 2000 women representative of each family for one year. Cost Rs  10,00 000.00 us$  25000


  • Provision of 500 Chullas (smokeless Stove) in Phase 1 of 4 Phases. Cost of installation 500 smokeless stove Rs. 4000 X 500 stoves = Rs. 20,00,000  equivalent to USD 50000

You may kindly contact Saritsa Charity  Trust ( Saritsa Foundation) at e-mail – Saritsa@vsnl.net  saritsafoundationindia.in@gmail.com

Tel No. 91- 22 -24366370 Fax 91-22 -24370138

You may kindly send your donations or support for this project on the name of Saritsa Charity Trust (Saritsa Foundation)