Building Self Reliant Rural Communities in India

 
£3,809
£148,910
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Dear Friends,

Kavaa is a farmer living in the remote village of Udaipur district, in the dry region of the hilly terrains of Aravali Mountain Range where water is very difficult to fetch for irrigation purposes.

The villagers put forward this problem in the Village development meeting. After researching the need and feasibility, Seva Mandir, with the help of villagers installed a lift to fetch water from the nearby water source (Som River) to the fields.

Today, 22 families of the village are utilizing this installed lift to irrigate their field. Earlier they were able to grow only wheat that would last for one time in every 6 months starting from November till March (until rains start). And for rest of the year farmers grow Maze and get Public Distribution System (PDS) at low cost to feed their families.

With the improved irrigation facilities and close by water resource, Kavaa with other villagers are now able to grow foodgrains, Legumes-Lentils, Lemons, Indian Gooseberries, Mangos, Pomegranate, etc in their fields throughout the year and hence been able to sell the surplus production. For example: Kavaa  is currently growing 60Kgs Legumes-Lentils in his farmland which is $ 79 to $100 worth.

The village development committee has fixed $1 per hour from the beneficiaries to meet the electricity bills and other maintenance charges.

Today, farmers are able to grow sufficient food grains throughout the year and hence don’t have to migrate to work to different cities as a laborer.

Thank you so much friends for your continuous support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

Please follow us on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

Dear Friends,

In the village of Rohimala- Chief Minister Awas Yojana (government social welfare program) was introduced to provide housing for rural poor along with several activities such as well deepening, construction of boundary wall, saffron spraying in pastureland, plantation, etc.

For this, families Below Poverty Line (BPL) are provided with a subsidy of Rs. 50,000 for house construction.

Recently, few cases have emerged out from the village itself which made Seva Mandir presence a must as there is lack of appropriate government monitoring towards this type of BPL schemes.

In past, over 90% families in the village have been struggling out with a major issue of cross-level corruption with its own Mini Bank worker who is reportedly taking bribe from the villagers to provide them funds which govt. allots them.

 

CASES:

Kalu, treasurer of the Village Development Fund, was the first man standing to raise the issue with the BPL families who have not been getting funds from the banks. He reported to the Panchayat (local govt. body) that he was told by 18 people of 5 different villages that people from the bank were asking for a share in the grant provided under the scheme. The Mini Bank worker took a bribe of Rs. 500 each. He complained that the families believe that as they are receiving “free money” from the government, they do not mind giving a portion to the bank agents.

Also, Sardar who is another beneficiary of the government scheme was granted Rs. 50,000 through Mini Bank installments for house construction. He is illiterate so when verified that although Rs. 15,000 was registered as first installment, he only received Rs. 14,500; in addition, instead of Rs. 9,000 as second installment, he only received Rs. 8,000. In total, he has paid Rs. 1,500 as bribe. As a reason for not reporting to the authorities he said that he was afraid that he might not receive future installments.

Heer, another villager entitled to this scheme, denied to pay Rs. 500 bribe demanded by Mini bank worker. But later he had to negotiate and pay Rs.100 to the bank worker. As told by villagers, it was mentioned that both the Sarpanch (Head of the village) and Panchayat secretary are receiving Rs. 500 as bribe to sanction approvals for the construction of houses. 

After reviewing all these corruption cases Seva Mandir stepped in and took charge of the situation by uniting the villagers to lodge one formal joint complaint to the higher legal authorities such as BDO and SDM. As a result, both Sardar and Heer agreed to sign the application only if everyone is participating.

 

Seva Mandir since then is helping the villagers by joining hands with them to fight against strong challenge of cross-level corruption, by making them aware about their rights and also by organizing street programs, circulating timely information through brochures and trainings at regular periods.

Thank you so much for your continuous support to our program.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

Please do follow us on https://www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

Dear Friend,

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Since 1968, Seva Mandir has worked with 360,000 people across 700 villages in south­ern Rajasthan, one of the world’s poorest regions, where people live on an average of USD 0.35 a day, to build cohesive and inclu­sive communities whose members are able to participate actively in the local decision-making which affects their daily lives.

Fostering democratic participation in the affairs of the community is the foundation for all of Seva Mandir’s interventions in the region and is a key element of its success in supporting deprived rural communities.

Seva Mandir has worked in partnership with these people, not only to improve their material well-being, but to build stronger and more ethical communities. Through its programs on governance, health, education, sustainable use of natural resources, women’s empowerment, youth development, child care and social enterprise, Seva Mandir makes a tangible and transformative impact. 

At Seva Mandir, very modest amounts of money go a very long way toward improving people’s lives, and our success has been recognized through a long list of awards and partnerships with distinguished funders and the Indian government.

We wish to thank you for your continued support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

Please do follow us on https://www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

'FARMERS CAN NOW FARM MORE THAN SIX TIMES AS MUCH LAND SINCE THE WATER CAN BE PUMPED UP TO THE HIGHER AREAS'

Narayan from a village in Kotra block had a well in his field, which he let the other farmers use to irrigate their adjoining fields. They paid him for the fuel used to pump the water to the surface and a third of their revenue at harvest time. He was proud that his well could be used to help the rural community. But the area is undulating and the farmers could only irrigate the land that the water could reach through gravity. This meant that for most of the year 85% of their land could not be cultivated.

With Seva Mandir's help, the well was made deeper and a lift pump was installed, with both electric and diesel machines so it could operate even during the numerous power cuts. The farmers now no longer pay fuel costs but give Narayan a quarter of their total production, out of which he pays for diesel and electricity, contributes 50% of the remainder to the village fund, and uses the rest for maintenance of the well and the machinery. So now, thanks to the lift well, they can farm all of their land (more than six times as much as before) as the water can be pumped up to the higher areas.
‘I am very proud that, by allowing my neighbors to use the lift mechanism in my well, I have helped the whole community to be much more prosperous. Seva Mandir has helped us all to live better.’

Thank you Friends for your support to this program.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

Links:

Dear Friends,

Here is a story of the initiative of village development committee against corruption in Kaucha village:

Kaucha is situated in the Kotra block. Pastureland work is ongoing in Kaucha under MGNREGA (a government scheme). Names of 22 laborers—12 women and 10 men—were enlisted in the muster rolls for pit digging activity. After completion of the fortnight the measurement was taken by the engineer but the wage rate came to only Rs. 75 per day, which is much less than the stipulated minimum wage. Each laborer’s payment came to Rs. 750. The postmaster of the local post office was authorized to pay the laborers their wage. He gave each laborer Rs. 700 and kept Rs. 50 for himself as his own commission. The postmaster had no right taking a Rs. 50 commission from each laborer’s wage.

When the GVC (Village Development Committee) heard of the matter, they approached Seva Mandir’s Zonal Worker. Together with the Zonal Worker, the GVC leaders approached the postmaster who in the beginning denied having siphoned off Rs. 50 from each labor. Subsequently, the Zonal worker as well as the GVC leaders informed the post master that they would have to take up with matter to higher officials. It was in this instance that the postmaster, perhaps out of fear as well as guilt, owned up to his mistake and returned Rs. 50 to each of the laborers. The laborers were very thankful to the GVC and Seva Mandir and as a token of their gratitude and as way to reinforce their faith in the institution, decided to contribute Rs. 50 to their Village Development Fund.

Thank you so much friends for your continuous support to this program.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

Links:

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Organization

Seva Mandir

Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
http://www.sevamandir.org

Project Leader

Priyanka Singh

Executive Director
Udaipur, Rajasthan India

Where is this project located?

Map of Building Self Reliant Rural Communities in India