An important objective of the DLDP was to positively effect the unjust and low wage structure prevailing in the taluk’s peasant economy. Against the then government prescribed minimum wage of Rs 8.25 the prevailing wage in the villages was Rs 3. The DLDP proposed to pay an average daily wage of Rs 9 for five months a year for 3 years plus give Rs 100 worth of tools and implements to each and every Member Coolie family in 87 CSUs.
We also knew that the mere implementation of such a large project would require the development of conceptual, planning and managerial skills in each and every one of the 3,000 member Coolies, the 87 CSUs and the 16 Cluster Meets. That was why we had, in our application to NOVIB, stated that while ADATS would be the legal project holder, the CSUs, Cluster Meets and the BAGEPALLI COOLIE SANGHA would be the implementing agency.
And lastly, quite naturally, ADATS was attracted by the possibility to alleviate the hardships caused by a cycle of recurring drought and famine in a region like Bagepalli. To provide gainful employment on an assured basis for five months every year for three years, to prevent Coolies from migrating every summer like herds in search of pasture, to help Coolies stay in their homes with dignity and on par with the Ryots, all had a certain appeal to ADATS’ compassion to and identification with the Coolies of Bagepalli.