Very Much on the Map: The Timbaktu Revolution

By Ashish Kothari on Feb. 9, 2014

In the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh, close to the town of Penukonda, the Timbaktu Collective is an initiative to empower villagers (particularly the poorest amongst them) to take charge of their own future. And the future of their land and natural resources. It began as a tiny effort by Mary Vattamattam and C.K. (‘Bablu’) Ganguly, a couple tired of a constant agitationist mode they were involved in as part of the Young India Project (organizing farm labour), to do constructive work in a few villages. Aided by a few other individuals such as John D’Souza (one of the founders of the well-known Centre for Education and Documentation), in 1989, they bought some land near Chennekothapalli village, in the middle of an area where deforestation and land mismanagement had converted the hills into barren rock and the soil unproductive. It was a bold, almost foolish attempt at doing something in an area that had been given up as a gone case, both by the government and by many of the villagers themselves...

Read/Download: Very Much on the Map: The Timbaktu Revolution.

Read a Case Study Very Much on the Map: the Timbaktu Collective which focuses on organic farming, and farmers’ producer cooperative initiated by the Timbaktu Collective.

View video films made by Timbaktu Collective.

Read "I Want to Change Things!" the story of Mutyalamma B. who has been associated with The Timbaktu Collective.

Read Kavitha Kuruganti's article - Drawing inspiration from Dharani (Organic) Coop, supported by Timbaktu Collective

Story Tags: livelihoods, timbaktu collective, Andhra Pradesh, Anantpur, women empowerment


  • Pentti Okkonen 1 year, 6 months ago

    Please, you were so kind and tell me if I could use these photos and translate the informationtext to our Demeter-magazine, which we publish in June this year in Finland. I heard and saw the presentation in Dornach of Timbaktu Collective last February.
    • Anuradha - VS team 1 year, 6 months ago
      Yes, you can translate the article giving due credit.
      In the Terms of Service ( it has been stated that
      'Any uses or re-production of this material should be accompanied by acknowledgement of the original source.'
      Pl. do send us a link to the published article.
      The work being done by the Timbaktu Collective is worthy of much appreciation.

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