One more project successfully got installed under the Clean Tech Initiative of Sewa International. This time, a 5KW solar power plant with 5 hours battery back up got installed at Jaleshpata Kanya Ashram, situated in Kandhamaal district of Odisha. Most inhabitants in the district belong to the Kandha (Khonds) tribes. Keeping the overall situation in mind Late Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati started ashram for girl students near the bank of Rahul Nadi Shiva Pith. It is the place of Jaleswar Mahadev. Swamiji established Jaleshpata Shankaracharya Kanyashrama in 1988. Currently, 240 students are residing and studying there.
The current project aims at providing uninterrupted power to the girl students during night time and also lighting the campus during the night for the safety of the students. This system will produce around 20KW of power every day. The school was facing erratic power supply with a poor voltage level. The problem is resolved now with the installation of the 5KW solar power plant.
DONATION OF MOBILE MEDICAL VAN IN WAYANAD, KERALA
Sewa International donated the mobile medical van to Sri Vivekananda Medical Mission, Muttil, Kerala, on 15 Dec 2016. The inauguration is done by the Shri P N Harikrishnan, Pranth Pracharak Kerala. The keys of the vehicle were handed over to Dr. P Narayanan Nair, President of the Mission. The mobile medical van is equipped with basic equipment. The van would serve in the area surrounding the Wayanad district, especially the tribal colonies. It would also be used to conduct medical camps in the region. The health facilities available in the tribal colonies are negligible and there is a lot of scope for development of the health services in the region. The mission along with the help of Sewa International, plans to create awareness about the health issues faced by the region like malnutrition in the tribal children. In the last 3 years around 350 children died due to malnutrition in the tribal colonies, which also created a huge uproar. The region is facing several issues like this, and Sewa International along with SVMM is working towards a healthier tomorrow, one day at a time.
MAHAKAUTHIG FAIR IN INDIRAPURAM, GHAZIABAD
Sewa Uttarakhand participated in 3-day exhibition “Mahakauthig” in Indirapuram Ghaziabad, Delhi NCR region. The exhibition was organised in Ramleela Ground from 16-18 Dec 2016. The exhibition was organised to showcase and honour the Uttarakhand arts and culture. This year the theme was “Industrial development, Tourism, and Culture of the state of Uttarakhand”. Sewa International put up a stall in the exhibition and showcased the products made by the women under the Sewa Srujan program. The products showcased were organic produce and woollen wear made by the various SHGs under the program. The organic products exhibited includes pulses and beans like kidney beans, toor daal, lobia and gehat etc. The hand knitted woollens were popular among the customers, and they appreciated the project as well. The response generated among the visitors is a source of encouragement and we would like to scale the production in the coming time.
SUCCESS STORY - SANJU DEVI
Sanju Devi Goswami, 41, is the village Pradhan. A mother of two, unassuming and ever smiling, Sanju devi is popular among the village folks. She enjoys taking visitors around her home and land holding. After all, it is a perfectly run mixed farm – conventional grains are harvested seasonally along with a variety of vegetables, and flowers. She observes, “I remember when I had come to this village after marriage, farming was the mainstay of most families. Unfortunately, the changing environment and weather have become a threat to our way of life. On my part, I am determined to overcome this challenge.” She is also part of the Haat village’s Self Help Group named Shivshankar swayam sahayata samooh. From dawn to dusk Sanju Goswami is a busy woman. Says she, “The life of hill women is extremely difficult and in families where the men don’t have permanent jobs they shoulder all burden as wives, mothers, and even farmers. A farmer’s life is intrinsically connected to nature – too little or too much sun, rain or snowfall is always bad for the land. Sewa International has helped us many ways, my yield is better and through the SHG, I am saving money every month now.” She has successfully demonstrated how, given the right support, people can effectively adapt to changing conditions and transform their lives. According to her, the time has come for farmers to take all the help they can get and adapt to newer, better ways of making farming feasible. Sewa International is committed to the cause of, not only the farmers but also empowering the fabulous and hardworking women of Uttarakhand.
DEV DIWALI CELEBRATIONS: WELCOMING THE HOLY AND ALMIGHTY IN OUR HEART AND HOMES
Sewa International celebrated “Dev Diwali”, on 14 Nov 2016, at Balua ghat in Ramnagar, Varanasi. It was celebrated as a part of larger “Ramnagar Dev Dipawali Mahotsav”. Sewa International expressing the solidarity with beleaguered weaver community, conducted this cultural event. Dev Diwali is observed after fourteen days of Diwali, it marks a tribute to river Ganga. In the honour of goddess Ganga, locals paint their homes in vivid paintings and light earthen lamps. The cultural event supported underlying themes of Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Namami Gange and Education for all.
Among the dignitaries present were, Shri Mukesh Aggarwal (Trustee, Sewa International); Shri Deoroop Teemal (Senior Executive, Vishva Vibhag), who came all the way from Trinidad & Tobago; Smt Jaye Ramanan (Project Director,Sewa Kirana). All of them praised the holistic development initiative, "Swacch, Kushal, Shikshit Kashi", of Sewa International in Varanasi led by Dr. Govind Singh, and urged for the more support from the community. The local artists performed at the event and enthralled the audience. More than 5000 earthen lamps were lit on the ghat, at the end of the event. The lamps were lit in the honor and memory of martyred soldiers.
ANOTHER FIRST: SEWA UTTARAKHAND'S FIRST EVER EXHIBITION BY SHGs
The auspicious occasion of Diwali also marks the fruition of our women empowerment initiatives. Sewa International participated in the Augustyamuni mela (A GoI platform for the marketing of rural products), at Augustyamuni grounds in Rudraprayag district, from 6-10 Nov 2016. Some of the salient features of the stall were as follows:
We exhibited organic agri-products including cereals, spices, pulses, knitted goods.
Everything was produced locally, by our SHGs at our SKVK centers.
100% of the sale proceeds would go for expanding the women empowerment program.
Most popular selling products were toor dal and gahat.
It was very satisfying to see the response of the visitors, which was the result of efforts of our Sewa Uttarakhand team. Demonetization affected the sell at the stalls, but we are keeping our spirits high, in order to achieve our goals. We promise to better the benchmarks each time.
SRI MADMAHESHWAR MELA : AN AGRI-RURAL EXHIBITION IN KARNAPRAYAG DISTRICT
During the festival season, GoI organises various festivals and melas, supporting and creating the marketplace for the rural products, arts, and crafts. Sewa International participates in these exhibitions, one such occasion was Sri Madmaheshwar Mela, Ukhimath, Karnaprayag, from 24-26 Nov 2016. Sewa International put up a stall at the exhibition for selling agri- based products mainly. These products were prepared and packaged by the women working in our agriculture and SHGs initiatives in Uttarakhand viz. Sewa Krishi and Sewa Shrujan respectively. The Chief Minister of the state Mr Harish Rawat visited our stall and perused through the stall. He appreciated the Sewa International's efforts towards women empowerment through skill- based training and market linkages. He encouraged the workers of Sewa International to continue the good work.
OPENING OF 5 TAILORING CENTERS IN TRIPURA
Sewa international has been working for the upliftment of Reang (Bru) tribals, living in the refugee camps of Tripura. This month as part of our skill development initiative, we have opened 5 tailoring centers in Tripura. These centers are opened up in the following places:
In these centers women will be provided training in sewing apparels, cloth cutting, garment drafting and basic hand stitches. It’s a 3-month training program. At all the 5 centers, 10 women each have enrolled in the training program. In the future we are looking forward to scaling our efforts in the area.
SKILL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING IN TRIPURA
You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills. The Reang tribals have been living in refugee camps for 20 years in deplorable conditions. Hence Sewa International has provided two skill development training in Oct-Nov 2016. One is “3 month Ladies Tailoring Training Program” and other is “Bamboo Handicraft Development Program”. The bamboo training was organised from 1-20 Nov 2016, in Naisinghpara. During the training, men were taught how to make furniture and artifacts. A total of 10 men had enrolled and completed the 20 day training program. The tailoring training is specially designed for women, and is currently going on at 5 centers viz. Kaskaupara, Khakchang- Damcherra, Hamsapara center- Khedacherra, Ashapara center- Dasda, Naisaupara center. A total of 50 women are undergoing this training in the mentioned centers. Although their sufferings are immeasurable, these people have taken a step towards future. Their actions would inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, paving a way for a better tomorrow.
FIRST AID KIT DISTRIBUTION TO SEWA SAKHIS IN UTTARAKHAND
This month, under the health initiative of Sewa Uttarakhand, Sewa Swasthya, we havedistributed first aid kits to the Sewa Sakhis, on 18 and 22 Nov 2016. The kits were distributed in Nagli, Dhamkar, Badgaon, Bhalsoan, Devar, Pokhri villages in Chamoli district. These Sewa Sakhis received training in first aid, last month from health professionals in Chandrapuri, organized by Sewa International. The first aid kits would help in providing better healthcare in the remotest areas of the state. Sewa International is committed to bringing the basic healthcare to the doorstep of the people of the state. This is first of many steps in this journey towards a healthy Uttarakhand.
DISTRIBUTION OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN UTTARAKHAND
Musical Instruments were distributed among the women SHGs in Pokhari and Devar villages of Chamoli district, on 22 Nov 2016. The contribution was made by Mr Ashok Goyal. Apart from their assigned activities, these women SHGs work as the frontline in many of our initiatives in the state. They have monthly meetings and usual routine of the meeting involves the start and closing with the singing of bhajans and folk songs. One of the songs ‘’Myar Pahad” explains the hopes and aspirations of the people living in mountains, one of the line translates in to ”our mountains have clean air, flora, and fauna, so why can’t our mountains have the amenities of big cities?”. This small ritual carries with it a deeper message of solidarity and brotherhood, one of the objectives of SHGs in a nutshell.
Sewa Sandesh team wishes its readers and well wishers a happy and prosperous Deepawali.
SOLOR POWER PLANT AT SANKARACHARYA KANYA ASHRAM
Sewa International has been supporting the Sankaracharya Kanya Ashram, Jaleshpata, Kandhamal, Odisha. It is a Girls’ school cum hostel facility, housing 190 students. The school was facing the problem of severe power cuts. Due to that, after sunset all the activities would sieze. The students were not able to study, more than two hours after the sunset, and this restricted their personal study hours, after schools. Sewa International has decided to support the school, and install a hybrid solar power plant in the school. The proposed plant is of 5kWP capacity, which is to be installed on the rooftop of the school. Although the school has the capacity to be installed with 60kWP power plant but, the current requirement, is way less than this capacity. Hybrid Solar plant is a good option because it is a one- time investment, it is viable in remote and inaccessible areas, emits zero Greenhouse gases, no pollution of air, water or soil. It also provides reliable power supply in all climatic conditions- whether it is hot or cold, and zero wastage. After its installations, students can have longer study hours, students could be provided with electric fans, computers and it would improve the security conditions as well. It will also power the water and water purifier which will provide the students with clean and uninterrupted drinking water supply.
5.Swasthya Sahayogi Sewa:
•25 villages in two districts were finalized for operationalization of health initiative by Sewa International, Uttarakhand.
•Team formation was completed for Swasthya Sahayogi Sewa.
•Meeting conducted with Rotary Club, Dehradun regarding organizing of Health Camps and techno managerial support.
•Meeting held with Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMO, Chamoli) for getting permission as well as for getting technical support to start health initiave by Sewa International, Uttarakhand.
•Base line Information collected on selected health indicators form the project villages.
•2 days training for ASHAs on First Aid was completed for 15 villages of Chamoli district.
•Orientation of Swasthya Sakhis (Field Worker, Health Initiative) done twice during the month.
•First formal departmental meeting was held at the stipulated date as per the reporting protocol for finalization of next month’s action plan, preparation of departmental budget, preparation of departmental report and discussion held on other relevant issues.
Swasthya Sahayogi Sewa
25 villages in two districts were finalized for operationalization of health initiative by Sewa International, Uttarakhand.
Team formation was completed for Swasthya Sahayogi Sewa.
Meeting conducted with Rotary Club, Dehradun regarding organizing of Health Camps andtechno-managerial support.
Meeting held with Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Chamoli for getting permission as well as for getting technical support to start healthinitiative by Sewa International, Uttarakhand.
Baseline Information collected on select health indicators from the project villages.
2 days training for ASHAs on First Aid was completed for 15 villages of Chamoli district.
Orientation of Swasthya Sakhis (Field Worker, Health Initiative) done twice during the month.
First formal departmental meeting was held at the stipulated date as per the reporting protocol for finalization of next month’s action plan, preparation of the departmental budget, preparation of departmental report and discussion held on other relevant issues.
The CEO of Sewa International Mr. Nishant Aggarwal visited, Shanti Niketan Hostel in Dagshai(HP), on 24 Sep 2016. The students of the hostel were given hand-knitted winter caps. These caps were prepared and donated by our Sewa International USA donors through their Knit for Sewa initiative. The team in the USA had worked tirelessly for a month to get hand-woven knitted woollens in time for the needy kids.
Dagshai is a sleepy town at 5700 ft above, near Solan, Himachal with the history dating to the 19th century when it used to be a major cantonment town, famous for its now defunct wholesale market. It retains little of the colonial history but for our hostel. Shanti Niketan hostel building, which was donated by Shri Krishan Aggarwal, is more than a century old and still retains its old-world charm.
Currently, it houses 29 children who study in Classes 3rd to 8th, from various rural/slum areas of districts Shimla, Mandi, Chamba, Solan etc. Most of these children have only one parent (either mother or father) and very little by the way of care, food or schooling opportunities at their home. When they join the hostel, they are admitted to nearby Govt Middle School, Dagshai for regular schooling. In the hostel, they get nutritious food, help in doing homework, lots of physical games and moral/ethical education. Most of the students have represented their school at State Level events in Athletics, Volleyball & Badminton.
The school lacks in Digital Education, science lab, and computer lab. The school could also use an evening learning center. The capacity of the hostel can also be doubled but lacks resources. Sewa International continues to serve the need of the students and cause of education around the globe.
EXHIBITION EPICENTER, GURGAON
Sewa International has participated in 7th Epicenter Diwali Mela, from 14-16 Oct 2016, at Epicenter Gurgaon, Delhi-NCR region. Sewa International has put up a stall showcasing our, “Kashi to Kutch” products. In this 3 day exhibition, the stall mainly showcased the bags of different styles and trendy scarves and stoles. There were different variety of bags viz. clutches, handbags, mobile pouches, sling bags of various sizes and passport holders etc. Being the shopping season, the exhibition generated a lot of enthusiasm, and had ample footfalls. Stoles made by the artisan women of Kutch, attracted the younger crowd of both girls and boys, and were a popular choice among the exhibited products. The products were made by the association of artisans working with Sewa Varanasi and Kutch Kala Sewa Trust.
Sewa International has been supporting the artisans and traditional arts and crafts of the country. “Kashi to Kutch” is a unique project of Sewa International, where Sewa International takes clothes woven by the Banaras weavers and give it to Kutchi artisan women, who would then do, intricate Kutchi embroidery and tie& dye on the cloth, to produce a beautiful and one of its kind product in the world.
MR. SRIKANT KONDA VISITS KASHI-TO-KUTCH PROJECT IN VARANASI (UP)
Mr. Srikant Konda, Trustee of the Sewa International, Bharat, along with his family, visited the Varanasi project on the eve of Dusshera, 11 Oct 2016. Sewa International has been working towards the support and upliftment of the weavers, in Varanasi. Mr. Konda inspected the various initiatives undertaken by the organization, like weaver’s training, cleanliness drives and awareness campaigns, and education etc. He met with the weavers, who took training under the Sewa International training program, and inquired about the difference, training has made in their lives, and craft. He paid the visit to the 5 evening learning centers in Ramnagar area, which is currently, catering to 200 children. He also saw the recently installed 30 toilets in the Ramnagar area, and made valuable suggestions, for the cleanliness initiative of Sewa International. He appreciated the project, and wished luck for the fulfillment of the goals set by the organization.
3 new Self Help Groups were formed with a total number of 33 members.
Bank linkage done for one Self Help Group.
Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) & Focussed Group Discussion (FGD) conducted in selected villages of all the mandals for need assessment and identification of alternative livelihood opportunities.
Certificates were provided to 48 members of SHGs of Tapovan mandalregarding Fruit Processing Training.
Training on Nursery preparation was provided to 18 members of 3 SHGs at Chandrapuri mandal in collaboration with Sewa Krishi team.
SKVK centre, Pokhari was inaugurated with 55 members of 17 SHGs .
First formal departmental meeting was held at the stipulated date as per the reporting protocol for finalization of next month’s action plan, preparation of departmental budget, preparation of departmental report and discussion held on other relevant issues.
Success Story of A Handicraft Trainee
Gunador is a 46 year old Reang tribesman, who lives in Naisingpara refugee camp, in North Tripura. The living conditions in refugee camps are deplorable, and there is no source of income. Sewa International has taken initiative, to improve this situation. We have started skill development programs for the youths in the camp. Earlier we have donated computers for the computer center in the refugee camps. This year we organised, a “Bamboo Handicraft Training Program”, at Naisingpara Refugee Camp, in Aug 2016. The training has been taken by two professional handicrafts trainer, and 11 youth from the camp have attended the training. Gunador is one of the trainees, prior to training, Gunador was struggling to make the ends meet. But after the training, he can produce beautifully crafted furniture from Bamboo. He now earns more than 3500 per month. His hard work and need have been channelized into a constructive activity, and he is able to generate livelihood out of the skill he acquired in the training camp. He thanks, Sewa International immensely, and says that more such camps should be held, every year benefitting the refugees living in the camp.
Arogya Mitra are the community health workers, under Seva Bharati Purbanchal, they are trained in basic health care to be able to serve in the remote and inaccessible areas, especially remote villages in North- East. The training was held for these Arogya Mitras, at Titabor village in Jorhat district of Assam from 2 Sep- 10 Sep 2016. This 9-days training was attended by 25 Arogya Mitras. During the training they were taught about basic first-aid, health diagnostics, pre/neo natal issues handling. They were also given the training in the alternate medicine aid like Homeopathy and Ayurveda. After the training, they would attend a month-long medical camp, providing services to the underprivileged and needy people, in various parts of the country. They form a much needed health support, in the areas with little or non-existent health infrastructure. Their work in the Northeastern states of India is phenomenal. More than 50,000 Arogya Mitras have been trained, since the inception and 14,000 Arogya Mitras are serving in various parts of the country.
Sewa International is committed to the cause of artisans. It is supporting the Kutchi artisans and weavers, through its project Sewa Kala Shrushti Private Limited, Kutch, Gujarat. In order to showcase its products, made by the Kutchi artisans, Sewa International participates in various arts and crafts exhibitions around the year. This month we are exhibiting at, Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, for the Dastkaari Crafts Bazaar organised by Dastkaari Haat Samiti from 24 Sep- 2 Oct 2016. We are honoured to have the opportunity to expose the talent, the authenticity and the stories of our artisans. This exhibition is going to specially showcase our, Kashi-to-Kutchproject. Under the project, we take the cloth woven by weavers of the Banaras, and send this cloth to Kutch, where Sewa Kutch’s artisan women do intricate Kutchi embroidery. The outcome is a beautiful and one of its kind product in the world. Joining two traditions, centuries- old, and culturally ingressed in the region, by threads of cloth. We are going to exhibit products like bags, stoles, dupattas, kurtis in the exhibition.
SEWA SAAHAS: YOUTH ORIENTATION WORKSHOP
A one day ‘Youth orientation workshop’ was organised in PG College at, Augustyamuni and Pokhri, by Sewa Saahas, a livelihood generation initiative of Sewa Uttarakhand. The main focus of the orientation workshop was- volunteerism, career in tourism and disaster management. The workshop was attended by 100 youths. After the completion of the workshop, 40 youths have registered with Sewa Saahas, to volunteer and attend the further training.
Sewa Uttarakhand is the Uttarakhand Chapter of Sewa International, doing rehabilitation after the disastrous floods of 2013. Sewa Uttarkhand is working in the key areas of agriculture, health, skill development, livelihood generation, and women empowerment. Sewa Saahas is the livelihood generation initiative of Sewa Uttarakhand, under which we train youth as guides to tap into the immense tourism potential of the Uttarakhand. The scenic beauty of Uttarakhand attracts many tourists from around the world. The tourism industry has ample scope of growth in the state, this should benefit the local people, specially the youth of the state. We train them in the basics of tourist guides, and the combination of their indigenous knowledge and training, they should be able to generate a livelihood out of it.
CHENNAI MOBILE MEDICAL UNIT
A mobile medical unit was inaugurated on 22 Aug 2016, in Chennai by Seva Bharathi Tamil Nadu. The Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) is equipped with all the basic facilities of a dispensary level equipment. The MMU is to provide services in the areas of Chennai, where generally there are no dispensaries or other medical health facilities are available. Currently, the MMU is operating at 2 locations daily, 6 days a week. It is serving 40-45 patients per day, at each location. MMU is working under the mentorship of Dr. Hariharan, who has been associated with Seva Bharathi for many years now. Due to limited permit, the MMU is operating at 2 locations, but the citywide permit is awaited. After gaining the city permit, the MMU is expected to serve 500-900 families, making an impact in the slum and other areas of the city with dilapidated medical facilities.
Constructed 30 toilets in Ramnagar Village, Varanasi
‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, is one of the biggest projects ever conceived on the subject of cleanliness. One important aspect of ‘Swachch Bharat Abhiyan’ is to make, India open defecation free by 2019. Sewa International in support and furtherance of this government initiative, constructed 30 toilets, in Bhiti village, Ramnagar, Varanasi. Some of the beneficiaries, of the program were Rajkumar Sonkar, Sitara Devi, Omkar, Upkar, Jyoti, Gunja Devi and Rajesh Patel. They expressed immense gratitude towards the organization after the construction of the toilets in their houses.
Open defecation free India, would be not only a cleaner India but, it would be a dignified India. In the villages, women face the worst case scenarios, for not being able to use the loo. There are many cases, where women are abducted, assaulted during the morning hours only, while on their way to make the loo. There are cases of men and women being poached upon by the wild animals, during the morning hours. So, by providing toilets in the home, would have a multiple effect on the society. Sewa International with the help of its benevolent donors is working towards a clean India- dignified India.
Sewa Uttarakhand Bulletin:
This month Sewa Kaushal Vikas Kendra, was inaugurated in Pokhri district of Uttarakhand. Sewa Kaushal Vikas Kendra is a CoE, a multi-skill development center, at district and block level to ensure institutional service delivery mechanism for the long-term benefit of the region. The specific objective of the project is to create an employable and entrepreneur community, that measurably contributes to the improvement of rural livelihoods and provides farmers, artisans, women and youth with the resources necessary to initiate sustainable livelihood activities, in the disaster prone and hilly areas of Uttarakhand.
Training in Narayankoti: As a part of support and promotion of the organic farming, women farmers were given training in organic farming and organic pesticides preparation.
Sewa International realises that participation of local people ensures the better and impactful developmental activities. Sewa Uttarakhand insists on the local participation in the developmental activities. In accordance to this PRA exercise has been carried out in Badgaon, Haat, and Pokhari villages. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is the approach aims to incorporate the knowledge and opinions of rural people in the planning and management of development projects and programmes.
Sewa Krishi Demo Center in Chandrapuri is the hub of activities all the year round. This month women farmers from the Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts, were given training in preparation of nursery and vegetable bed preparation.
Due to heavy rains and consequent floods, health situation is worsening in UP, especially in Allahabad and Varanasi areas. Keeping this in mind, Sewa International organized a Free Health Camp at Bhiti village near Ram Nagar, Kashi on Aug 21 2016, with the help of specialist doctors from BHU in association with NMO. A total of 9 specialist doctors, including paediatrician, gynaecologist, skin specialist, checked up over 340 patientsand gave free medicines to them. Sewa International would like to graciously thank these doctors who gave their valuable time for the voluntary service. At the camp it was realized that the need for more of such camps is immense, but resources for arranging doctors, medicines, camp expenses etc, are limited. Sewa International would like to run more such camps and needs resources for that.
AWARENESS WORKSHOP ON SILKMARK AND HANDLOOM MARK
Weavers were excited to be part of the day-long,"Awareness Workshop on SilkMark and Handloom Mark" and to learn about various benefits associated with these brands.The camp was organized by Sewa International on 23 Aug 2016. Shri Ramesh Chandra, Senior Executive (SilkMark), and Shri Brijesh Kumar Shukla, QA Officer (Handloom Mark), graciously agreed to provide thier valuable guidance to weaver community. A total of 82 weavers participated in the camp and asked a lot of questions regarding benefits, processes associated with these brands as well as told the difficulties faced by them. Sewa International's Kashi project is already registered with SilkMark and plans to empower weavers by guiding them to produce quality garments.
Beautiful creations were produced as a result of the fusion of Kashi brocade and Kutchi bandhini design forms. Created as part of Sewa International Bharat's Kashi-to-Kutch weavers and artisans empowerment program, these products have received great response so far and we hope to get the support of our donors and well-wishers to ensure survival of these exquisite art-forms.
DISTRIBUTING SCHOOL KITS WITH SWEETS TO 200 SCHOOL CHILDREN AT RAM NAGAR, KASHI
Experiencing the True Joy of Giving, Sewa International's valued supporter from the Caribbean, Mrs Indrani Rampersad collected funds from her friends/family for distributing School kits with Sweets to 200 school children at Ram Nagar in Kashi, UP on Aug 11 2016.
As part of Sewa International's "Read Kashi Read India" campaign, we are running 5 evening educational centres in villages of Varanasi with the help of Seva Kirana (Bangalore) for supplementary education to disadvantaged kids. About 200 children aged 6-14 years, come everyday to learn outside of the cramped govt schools, assisted by motivated youths who volunteer to teach them everyday.
At the end of event, it was difficult to find out who was more happy, Mrs. Indrani for Joy of Giving or the ever so excited kids on getting new pencil box and copies!
SOLAR LESSONS THROUGH SEWA
Being one of the tribal districts in Odisha, Kalahandi has been enlisted to be one of the most backward regions of the state. Keeping the deplorable condition of the district, Siksha Vikash Samiti initiated a proposal to run a residential school for the inhabitants of the region as they conformed the fact that the root cause of grief was the lack of education. As per the Plan, the school was established in the early 90's at Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi. This is a tribal populated block inhabited by tribes mostly Kutia Kandha and Damba. The river Indravati starts flowing from Thuamul and most trusted and popularly worshipped goddess of Kalahandi District Maa Manikeswari first appeared on the same place. The residential school plays home to about 163 students and 17 members of staff.
It provides its wards with hostel accommodation and three square meals each day, but the scarcity of power and clean drinking water was a major hurdle for their education and livelihood. With no electricity, students depended on kerosene lamps which had negative impact on their health as well as study routine. The only source of water was from the adjacent river of Indravati that often tends to dry up. With the shortage of water, toilets, bathrooms and suitable sanitation arrangements were not completely installed.To address these obstacles of the school, Sewa International that finds credence in the value of a good education came forward to help the school. Under the Clean Tech Initiative, Sewa International promotes and implements clean tech energy solutions in remote and inaccessible areas of India where power through conventional modes has not yet reached. A survey was conducted by Crux Power Private Limited that resulted in the proposal for the 5kWp Solar Power Plant to operate all major loads including fans, CFL Lights and Computer, Television provision in the hostel and school.As per the proposal, the construction of power plant was completed by the end of April, 2016. The lighting and electrical power support for classrooms and hostel were provided through a 5kWp off- Grid rooftop solar power plant. Secondly, an RO based water Purification system of 1000 Liters Per Hour was set up to cater the needs of the students and also the resident villagers nearby. Along with it, an overhead tank was constructed to meet the sanitation need of the students. The 5kWP Solar Power plant is tentatively generating an average of 20 kWh electricity units per day.Sewa International believes this project would help developing an ecofriendly and disease free environment for the students and staff at the residential school in the Kalahandi district. Further it will be a model project for other residential schools in Odisha.
(Excerpted from "Organizer" July 31 2016 article by Swayam Prakash Baral)
TRAINING FOR HAND-KNITTING MACHINES IN UTTARAKHAND
While running the Knitting Centres in Uttarakhand, Sewa International found repairing of the hand-knitting machines (mostly from Ludhiana) to be quite a task due to lack of knowledge and training on their maintenance. This resulted in quite a few machines needing to be sent to Ludhiana or even decommissioned. To overcome these problems, Sewa International organized a training for better care, maintenance and repair of the hand-knitting/card machines in its centres. Mr. Alam Singh, who is an expert in this field and runs his ownknitting based business, provided the much needed training at Sewa International's Chandrapuri (Rudraprayag) Knitting Centre to the excited trainees; who were all very happy to know more about the working of their tools.
BAMBOO HANDICRAFT TRAINING for REANG REFUGEES AT TRIPURA/MIZORAM BORDER
Sewa International as part of its Skill India initiative, organized a Bamboo Handicraft Training Program, at Naisingpara Refugee Camp,Tripura for Reang Tribes, in association with BTDS. It was a 10-days training program from 28 Jul- 6 Aug 2016, in which 2 professional handicraft makers from Haflong, Assam provided training to 11 youths, for making high-quality handicraft products from Bamboo.
Sewa International has been working for the development of the Reang (Bru) tribal community living in refugee camps in Tripura. It aims to empower them and provide them with useful life-skills for the livelihood generation.
LIVELIHOD TRAINING ON FOOD PROCESSING FOR SHG MEMBERS IN TAPOVAN
Sewa International organized a 4 day training workshop from 7th Aug - 10th Aug, for our SHG members from 8 villages in Tapovan mandal of Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. This training saw active participation of 48 women SHG members who learnt about making processed foods out of the locally available fruits. The workshop involved training on procedures for preparing jams, jelly, squash, chutney, pickles from apples, apricots, pears, mango. Trainees were very happy to learn about the processes involved to ensure the quality and taste of the final processed product. There was special emphasis on cleanliness and quality control. After the training, the trainees are going to make processed food products and sell in the local market to start with and later expand to other areas. Sewa International believes that enabling farmers by providing livelihood training on locally sourced goods is the best way for economic prosperity and sustainability. It plans to organize such trainings on a regular basis in Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts for empowerment of our women.