A ‘piggy’ bank has been built for a couple of people living in Kerala’s Kerala Coastal Range, and the family who built it have been dubbed the ‘piggies’.
The couple, who are from a family of fishermen, say that the piggy bank is the result of their own determination to protect their home from encroachment.
“We started building the pigy bank as we wanted to protect our home from a encroachment,” says Dinesh, a resident of Thakkur in Kerala Coastal region.
He and his wife have been planning the pig-shaped building for about a year.
They have a large pond in the backyard where they have planted rice and vegetable seeds, but the couple decided to build the pig bank to save their home.
“The piggy was constructed with a single plank of bamboo,” says Suresh, who is a student of engineering at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Mumbai.
“In a few years, the pond is now covered with rice and vegetables.
We plan to keep the pig at the pond,” he says.
They are not the only ones who have decided to construct a piggy in their backyard.
In the past two years, three people have started to build similar structures in their backyards.
“They are just a couple.
But this project is not only about building piggy banks,” says Kavita Ravi, a community activist from Kerala.
“It is also about protecting our environment from encroaching development,” she adds.
A local farmer has been building a pigsty in his backyard for the last five years.
He hopes that by building the structure, he will save some money.
“I don’t want to build piggy houses but it’s the only way I can protect my land from encroachers,” he told The Times Of India.
This piggy has been installed on the back of the house.
A couple of other people have also been planning piggy projects in their neighbourhood.
“This project is to save some resources and make money.
People who come here, will help us save our land,” says Pranak.
In fact, the couple is building the building in partnership with local farmers who are using the nearby rice fields as a pig farm.
“Our main goal is to help them save their land,” said Dineshi.
This family also started a farm to save land.
Dinesha, Dineshan and Pranaks have been working together with farmers in the neighbourhood and building pigsty structures to save the area.
“If it takes a few months, we will start building pigsy houses,” says the couple.
A few years ago, Dinehs family had built a pigsy on their own land and installed a mobile home in the middle of it.
It was not until the encroachment of encroaching construction began to affect their livelihoods that they started to look into constructing a pig house.
“Since then, we have built four pig houses and two piggy boats.
Now we are trying to build a house that can be moved by tractor,” said Pranag.
A piggy house with a mobile house on it.
Dineh says that he hopes to save his family’s livelihoods from encroached development by building a structure that is sturdy enough to withstand the encroaching environment.
“What we need is a structure with a roof.
I think it would be good to save a bit of money,” he said.
The structure has been designed by Kavitha Ravi.
“A piggy is the only thing that can withstand the impact of encroachment and it is a perfect shelter for animals,” says Ravi of the organisation.
“There are a lot of people in Kerala who are planning to build such structures,” says Vidyasagar, a local farmer.
“But now, we need to think of their livelihood.
If we do not protect our land, we might be pushed out of the area,” he added.
The piggy structure that the couple built is being used by other farmers in neighbouring states, like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, to build structures.
The structures are being used for various purposes, including building houses and roads, but are also being used as shelters.
Ravi hopes that a pig bank can help the local people to save money and also to provide livelihoods for the local villagers.