Building Self Reliant Rural Communities in India

 
£3,568
£149,151
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Nov 5, 2014

One Farmer Helping The Whole Community

'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:

Aug 5, 2014

Initiative against corruption: Kaucha

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:

May 7, 2014

Success Story of Malpur Village... Thank You

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir.

Today I would like to share with you the story of Malpur village where a veterinary hospital was constructed with the help of our village development committee.

The construction of Malpur’s Veterinary hospital:

In Malpur village of Jhadol block, a building for veterinary hospital was approved with the objective of becoming central cattle treatment point for other 4 neighboring villages. The problem started when the Panchayat (Village government body), Sarpanch (Head of the village) and Secretary for these 5 villages took the decision to build the veterinary hospital in Chandwas village instead of in Malpur because of political reasons, as the people were supporters of a different political party. Despite the opposition of the people in Malpur, the veterinary hospital building started to be constructed in Chandwas.

This matter was raised initially at GVC (Village Development Committee) level and was taken to the village meeting. The GVC members along with the villagers went to the panchayat and government officials and placed a complaint application, however, no action was taken and negligence persisted. The GVC and its secretary Nanalal decided to go to the District Collector, to stop the construction work in Chandwas village. After that the panchayat was made liable to pay the amount of the total costs of the construction undertaken so far.

The constant efforts of the GVC in mobilizing the people of the whole village and providing guidance and support to the people of Malpur village contributed ultimately, to have the veterinary hospital being constructed in the right place, in their village. The GVC played a pivotal role in mobilizing the people of Malpur village to fight for their right, for the construction of the veterinary hospital in their village.

In Malpur, the GVC was formed 10 years ago and numerous projects were conducted to improve the village conditions. The GVK (Village Development Fund) has been used for different purposes, such as the construction of a community centre for the villagers, the opening of a Non-formal Education centre (NFE) for children between 6-14 years old, the deepening of water well for the villagers, the supply of good quality seeds, tree plantations (such as goose berries) in the village which helped to generate income between Rs. 40,000-45,000 on a yearly basis. The GVC has also been instrumental in raising the awareness of people on the different government schemes such as widow pension, CM Indira Awas Yojana and MNREGA labour work.

Due to the efforts of the GVC, the village community has become stronger in the last decade and this has overall, enhanced the unity and cooperation among villagers, which now are also more aware of their rights and duties.

Thank you for your support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

Links:

Feb 5, 2014

Your Help is Changing Lives

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir

Today I want to share with you two cases. These two cases show the efforts of Seva Mandir in bringing the change in so many lives.

CASE I

The initiative of GVC (Village Development Committee) against corruption: Kaucha

Kaucha is situated in the Kotra block. Pastureland work is ongoing in Kaucha under MGNREGA (a government scheme). On the first fortnight of May, 22 laborers’ names—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 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.

 

CASE II

Struggle of Gram Samuh (village group) for legal rights: Peepad Village

Village Development Group, Peepad gave proposal for pastureland development by Seva Mandir as an implementing agency in MGNREGA (a government scheme). The work was sanctioned and Seva Mandir became the implementing agency. Previously Village Panchayat (a local government body) and Forest department had done the work of plantation and wall construction on the site. But a mines owner encroached upon the pastureland and started mining activities there. Village people told him to remove the encroachment but he adamantly told denied doing so and started throwing debris in pastureland.

A big meeting held at village in which all people from village participated and they decided to fight with the mines owner. Villagers blocked the road and did not allow labour and vehicle of mining person to enter the village. Simultaneously, villagers had various level of talks with Gram Panchayat, Patwari, Rajasthan State Mining and Minerals Ltd., BDO and Forest department and got clearance at all levels that mining in that area is totally illegal. Then again a big meeting was held at Peepad village and this time they invited mines owner for talk. First he refused to come in the meeting but later attended it when villagers warned to be ready for next action.

Villagers had talk with mines owner and told him to remove encroachment from pastureland which he finally agreed and removed the encroachment from village pastureland.

Presently, wall repairing and plantation work has been done by Seva Mandir. Now pastureland is totally secure and 2 people from village, guard the pastureland and they get paid through villagers’ contribution.

 

Thank you so much for supporting this program. With your support these communities are raising concerns and dealing with social problems.

We are grateful for your donation and hope to receive a continuous support from you in the future too.

Warm Regards

Atul Lekhra

Links:

Nov 6, 2013

Your Contribution Strengthen Women Confidence

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir.

 Today I thought of sharing with you the story of how in the village of Kaloda, the sense of community fostered with the help of Seva Mandir support.

Kaloda village comprises mix caste population. Villagers are in contact with Seva Mandir since last one year and they have proposed Pastureland Development work in village meeting, making Seva Mandir as the implementing agency.

Seva Mandir started the work of pastureland development as an implementing agency under MGNREGA (a government program). Initially there were many encroachments of local villagers in pastureland site so the village group (with the help of Seva Mandir) had several meetings and got the encroachments removed after many efforts. After 2 weeks some villagers again encroached on some part of pastureland. This time village women came forward and fought with the encroachers. The womenfolk of the village not only removed the encroachment but also they got completed MGNREGA work (application, wall construction, plantation etc.) on time with quality. Maximum labour on MGNREGA work on this site were women only.

It was women’s effort that they removed encroachments and completed the pastureland work. Women asked Seva Mandir to start women saving group in their village. On their request, Village Development Group was formed in Kaloda village with a current membership of 85 households. Committee elections will be held in the village once the membership is complete. Through the efforts made by women, the pastureland is now safe and one person from village has been appointed by villagers to guard it. 

As you can see, this has been an incredibly success for the villagers. Every donation helps Seva Mandir provide training and workshops so that these communities can learn how to effectively manage their own development. With your help, these communities are not simply passive recipients of aid; they are taking matters into their own hands.

Thank you so much for your help and support.

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