Universal Versatile Society

Focus: Rural Development, Children and Youth, Education, Environment, Livelihoods

WITH the aim to halt the tragic suicide epidemic debilitating Maharashtra’s agrarian population, Universal Versatile Society work closely with these communities on projects to promote sustainable development.

A 2018 study of 67 developed and emerging nations has ranked India as the most vulnerable country to the effects of climate change, based on its sensitivity to extreme weather and ability to respond to such events. And, with more than 58% of India’s rural households dependent on some form of agriculture as a livelihood, this is a huge danger.

Consequences of climate change have drastically reduced incomes of farmers, particularly in areas hardest hit by rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall. A more serious concern is the rising suicide rate within the agronomic sector.

More than 12,000 suicides have been reported every year since 2013. There are many reasons behind this trend, many of which directly result from climate change stressors, including monsoon failure, lack of awareness of sustainable farming methods, water crises and disputes, amongst others.

Maharashtra is the state most adversely affected by these suicides, which is why UVS aim to prevent the plight of farmers in the state’s Vidarbha region through awareness-raising activities, basic climate change education, skills building, and helping families develop small, sustainable income-generating enterprises.

UVS also uses computer education to teach youth in 12 rural schools about environmental and cultural concerns through project-based learning. Students also participate in essay and drawing competitions, camps, and poster making to foster education and catalyse action against climate change.

UVS try to raise awareness on government schemes, such as the national missions on solar, enhanced energy efficiency, sustainable habitats, water, ‘Green India’, and others. They also use these campaigns to warn farmers against the effects of the excessive use of fertilisers and pesticides and demonstrate the necessity of water and soil conservation, water harvesting and organic farming.

Help UVS as they strive to develop and mobilise a community of young changemakers committed to the fight against the perils of climate change, and give them your support so they may reach this goal.

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