The residents of Thimmaiyanadoddi in some ways live the life of a typical village community and in other ways, they are unique.
The main occupation of the village is basket weaving. They use bamboo from the nearby forests to make the baskets and then sell them in other villages for Rs.40-50. The village folk are also farmers who grow ragi which is used mainly for their own consumption. Some of the families cultivate magali beru, a medicinal root as an additional source of income
Men and women marry young and families are nuclear and live in their own homes. They maintain a well-balanced home and family life. Children attend primary school, but most don’t continue beyond the age of ten. The women in the family tend to the fields, manage their homes and look after cattle. The villagers celebrate a few festivals, some of which they celebrate together with neighbouring villages.
Despite a sense of simplistic contentment in the village, there are some shortcomings. The family eat two meals a day, but their diet seems to lack sufficient nutrients. This is probably due to an inadequate intake of vegetables and dairy products. The children are unkempt and people are unaware of basic cleanliness habits. No one in the village has completed any secondary education and none of the women are employed elsewhere.
In order to address some of the issues, the team chose a social worker to bring out some community and lifestyle awareness among the people. Someone who would teach the people, advise them on lifestyle improvements in the context of nutrition, hygiene, education and vocational skills would be a critical asset to the project.
Such a person was chosen and over the course of the year, she would form a close bond with the people, understanding their ways of life and slowly helping them to strive towards positive change.