As Seva Mandir has now helped establish over 700 village groups, this is an historical year for us. We thank you dearly for helping us get this far, and hope you will remain by our side as we continue to grow. Below is an update on our Village Institution Program, and the progress we have made in the past year (April 2012 - March 2013).
The Village Institution Program of Seva Mandir aims to create and nurture alternative and autonomous platforms through which the communities can take responsibility for their own development. The need for this program arose as a result of the limited capacity of panchayats (the most local level of the formal government) to effectively respond to community needs, fragmentation of communities over a wide variety of issues, and the lack of a developmental outlook at the village level. This program intends to create an atmosphere where the positive forces of cooperation, transparency, equity, justice, and responsible autonomy within the community can help in leading towards an overall development of their villages.
The Village Institutions Program has three components:
In brief, here are some of the main highlights from this year:
As you can see, this has been an incredibly successful year for the program. 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.
"Sangthan me takathai" (The sense of community is powerful). This month, we bring you the story of how in the village of Jamun, the sense of community fostered with the help of Seva Mandir support is very powerful. Jamun is situated in the dense forests of Aravali region and comes under Jhadol Tehsil of Udaipur district.
After participating in Seva Mandir trainings and workshops, Jamun village organized their own elected governance council. The villagers have developed a Joint Forest Management (JFM) program to protect the important forests of Jamun village. They have come to understand how important this resource is to maintain and preserve. Recently, Jamun GVC (village development committee) got information that some neighboring villagers from Umaria, Madla, Bijli and other villages were regularly cutting wet wood from forest - something which goes against the JFM regulations. Through the GVC, the village mobilized. On January 4th, the village GVC called a meeting where members explained their concern over this matter and the group made the decision to stop this illegal activity with penalty. The villagers of Jamun caught around 70 people of neighboring villages red handed while cutting wet wood. Over 70 bundles of wood were captured and taken back in the custody of GVC members. Along with this, a clear warning was issued to the caught individuals to follow the JFM rules otherwise legal action would have to be taken against them.
Seva Mandir's GVC program gives villages the tools to mobilize their community and protect the resources that are so important to their community and livelihoods. The GVC helped Jamun advocate for themselves by strongly demonstrating that breaking of JFM regulations would not be allowed. As individual members of the community, these villagers might not have had the power to protect the precious forests.
Thanks to your continued support of this program, Jamun village's message of "save the forest" can be heard widely by surrounding villages. Thank you for your help in empowering the people of Jamun village to advocate for themselves.
I am here again to share with you happiness, light and tranquility on this Diwali from all the 55,000 families you are helping through this project.
Diwali is a festival of lights and candles. It symbolizes the fact that there is more good in us than bad and that we all have to keep working on it. This is what you have been doing for all these families. The problems in this world are endless, the struggles break us down everyday and yet we all come together to support each other. This is the message we bring from these communities for you on this Diwali whose life is filled with happiness and light with all your support.
Happy Diwali to all of you and we also wish you a great year ahead.
With warm regards,
P..S. Find more about Diwali here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali
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We would like to thank you for your extending support to our project. This year, the project “Building Self Reliant Rural Communities in India” has seen many incredible triumphs and we wish to share some of these with you. Please find attached our Annual progress report for 2012 and a brief summary below. We hope you find it exciting.
During the reporting period, you helped Seva Mandir to facilitate the following successes:
- Total membership of the project has increased by 1,433 persons, now totalling at 55,653.
- Ten new Village Committees have been founded, bringing us to 523.
- Nine new Village Funds have been established, equalling now a total of 626. 539 of which, have bank accounts.
- 60 villagers have been selected to take on a new role as Cluster Accountants. They will be trained to oversee five to six village funds, ensuring that they are managed efficiently and responsibly.
- 7,382 villagers have participated in our Group Strengthening training sessions, and 2,307 have been trained in Capacity Building. These strengthen unity and awareness among villagers, informing them of their rights and teaching the logistical skills needed to initiate and maintain local development projects of their own.
REAL SUSTAINABLE CHANGE….
- Village Committees have organised and paid for the repairing of four community centres
- The village of Madlah has revived a failing village school through employing local educated youth as teachers. The school is now recognised as one of the best in all Tehsil.
- In Helpiya village, residents have used their common fund to purchase a thresher which will help 69 farmers extract grains of Wheat Kernel. It is predicted that this will increase their annual turnover by Rs. 200,000
We would like to thank you once again for your faith in our work. We truly appreciate every donation.
We would like to thank you once again for your continuing support and faith in our work! Your valuable donations have been crucial in helping us make a great difference in people’s lives here in Rajasthan.
We are thrilled to announce that one of our photos has been selected to feature in the Photo Contest 2012 organized by Global Giving. Voting began on August 1, 2012 and will end on August 15, 2012.
Why we want you to Vote for our Photo:
We believe the photo captures the pure spirit of the project ‘Send a Child in India to School for a Year’, and reflects the possibilities that lie ahead. With 3 Clicks, you can help us to win the Photo Contest and the Bonus Cash Prize of $1,000!
How 3 Clicks will Help:
Why this Project:
Children (6-14 years old) in villages of Udaipur, India lack access to quality education for a number of reasons. In some cases they belong to very poor families whose per capita consumption is a little more than Rs. 500/-. Often these children support their family incomes by either working as laborers or performing household chores or looking after younger siblings.
With your vote to this project, the Bonus Cash Prize will help us fund an entire rural school to provide quality education to 25 out-of-school and working children for a year. To learn more about one of our schools, please see the enclosed photo story.
With you at our side, our work is made a little less difficult, and our efforts stretch a whole lot further. We therefore, invite you to support us with 3 clicks. Please share your thoughts on this report.
With many thanks,
Your friends at Seva Mandir
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