It used to take the villagers of K.Maruvapalli more than half a day to obtain basic provisions. Dependent as they were on the nearest town, Hindupur, they needed to spend money on transport just to get there. Hindupur itself was not the most fortunate of places. With scarce groundwater, prices of essential commodities are usually higher, especially for villagers without any other options.
The SEDS village organization realized that a local solution was required. They started setting up their own shops to make basic provisions easily accessible to the villagers and thus, ensure food security for the rural community.
SEDS helped the village organizations manage the shops. The women were given training in accounts, book-keeping and how to forecast and plan for purchases in advance. Not only did the villagers savings on transportation costs, but the advantage of buying wholesale actually gave them access to goods at a lower cost than before.
The local village shop model fits into the sustainability principles of localization of economy. Today, there are three shops running in the area, with plans for several more.
[The article originally written by Amit Manikoth, for SEDS's 30 years celebration. This is simply a reproduction.]