Kukkalavaripalem is a coastal village consisting of 148 families located at the eastern end of Prakasam District adjacent to Bay of Bengal. When ASSIST conducted its needs survey, we found that eighty-three families owned small pieces of land, though they could barely cultivate one crop a year, due to water scarcity. The remaining families were landless, and depended on menial jobs, which are few and far away. Nearly all families were living in small huts, and a small open well was the only source of drinking water and domestic water for the entire community.
Educational facilities were so poor that children either had to go elsewhere to attend school, or – more often the case – discontinued their studies altogether. In general, we found a completely neglected village, without minimal infrastructural facilities and basic amenities, so we decided to take up a comprehensive community development initiative.
Now all people in Kukkalavaripalem live in concrete houses with basic amenities and proper sanitation. Sufficient (safe) water is available for all villagers and the livelihood and health of all families have improved considerably. Last, but not least, all children are now going to school.