Lifelong Learning for Livelihood Promotion: A Rural Experiment in the Madurai District of Tamil Nadu
Agriculture is the primary sector for the Indian economy. It is economically and socially vital for India as it contributes 23 per cent to GDP, feeds a billion people and employs 66 per cent of the workforce. However the status of the vast majority of the farming communities is filled with misery. Illiteracy, socio-economic backwardness, vagaries of monsoon, increasing input costs, lack of timely credit and unfavorable market conditions has deprived them of their livelihood securities. Added to it, arable land is shrinking as urban expansion, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), corporatization of agriculture has gobbled up thousands of acres of farmland and has eroded the livelihood resources of the poor farmers. This unfavorable trend and livelihood threats needs to be halted and efforts must be made to expand farmer’s access to livelihood resources. By enabling farmers to have increased access to resources (physical, natural, human, social and financial) the present situation can be remedied. As Chakraborty, et al., (2009) argued, people should be made responsible for their own development in this process. Sustainable livelihood approach envisaged that people should not merely participate, but be in charge of their own development. Life Long Learning attempts to provide this expanded access to livelihood resources by adopting this livelihood approach.
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