Kidi Devi lives in the small mountain village of Maun in northern India. She has been a member of WAFD since 2011 and in 2013 volunteered for the village organization. Although Kidi Devi does not own much land, she can still use the technologies that WAFD has introduced her to. She obtained through organic WAFD an organic compost in her kitchen garden, and she was pleasantly surprised that the compost yields three times as much as the amount of muck she usually uses on her soil. She also tells that her crops are now better. The plants are larger than before and the kitchen garden is in bloom. There has been a doubling of the yield from the garden and therefore also from Kidi Devi's earnings on the products.
In 2015, WAFD installed a biogas plant in her garden and she can now cook using biogas. Every day she starts the bio-gasification process by pouring 25 kg of muck and 25 liters of water into the slurry tank of the biogas plant in which it is mixed. She owns one cow and uses the mow from it to feed the plant. The slurry tank requires the storage tank in which the fermentation of the slurry takes place and in this way the biogas is produced. The biogas then runs through the pipeline and adds fuel to the gas stove in Kidi Devi's kitchen. The outlet tank collects the used slurry, which is taken out and dried. This she uses in her farming. The biogas plant now meets most of her cooking requirements. The only thing she doesn't use biogas for is to make chapatis as the taste is different. She is no longer as exposed to smoke as before. Due to the biogas plant, it is now only about 90 minutes a day. She also doesn't rely on gas LPG cylinders because the biogas plant produces most of what she needs to cook.
The biogas plant has changed a lot for Kidi Devi, but being a volunteer in the village has transformed her. She says she has become more open and is now approaching people to start a conversation. In the past, she didn't talk much, but when she volunteered, she needed to be more open. She motivates others to introduce the technologies that WAFD introduces so that they can benefit from them as well. She explains how a certain situation changed something in her. She felt unfairly treated and therefore agreed to resign. She says: “Men and women had been hired to build a wall at a building in the village. The only thing the men had to do was put cement on the bricks, whereas the women had to do the hard work which included carrying the materials for the construction. The men were paid 350 rupees while the women were paid only 200 rupees. When I found that there was such a big difference between men's and women's wages, I told the employer that we would only work what was worth 200 rupees ”. Kidi Devi says that women were looked down on earlier if they made an appearance. “But now all the men and the elderly in the village have become accustomed to listening to our opinions, and some of them appreciate it too. Now we feel that we have a voice in society ”.
The project has given Kidi Devi confidence and courage. In addition, she enjoys her biogas plant and disseminates information about the eco-village technologies so that others can benefit from the project.
Read more about DIB's eco-village project here.