From the Editor's Desk
Change in India has to come from the grassroots level and that too from the rural front. All the talk of India’s development seems to be urban centric presently. Real Bharat lives through the villages. A band of 130 odd volunteers met in Varanasi, the earliest city of the world and the seat of Kashi Vishwanath Baba, to deliberate on integrated village development. These are the people who are directly involved in developing some villages. Experts on water conservations, organic agriculture, village industry or cottage industry, social forestry, environmental issues, alternative energy generation, etc. These areas are the real challenges for the development of villages and we are glad that the group is now established and more so because they are all enthusiastic about the job on hand. Sewa International supports all these activities for bringing in the change for that would lead to making Bharat a developed nation.
SEWA BHARATI KAKINADA GETS A PAT FROM ADMINISTRATION
The services being rendered to the needy people by Kakinada unit of the Sewa Bharati under East Godawari district of Andhra Pradesh have received appreciation from the district administration. The district collector, East Godawari District Shri Subramanyam presented a certificate of appreciation and a memento to the Sewa Bharati. Shri T.S.V. Aditya Sarma, president of the Sewa Bharati, Kakinada unit received them. Shri Venu, East Godawari District Council Chairman, Shri Sriniwas, superintendent of police and Shri Seshreddy, MLC were also present on the occasion.
VANAVASI KALYAN PARISHAD:
REACHING OUT TO THE UNREACHED VANAVASIS
To create social, economic and cultural opportunities for the Vanavasis and enable them to catch up with the more fortunate countrymen of Bharat, a nationalistic tribal welfare organization called Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram was established in 1952 at Jashpurnagar of Chattisgarh state. Kalyan Ashram has taken education to the masses even to the remote places with the ‘one-teacher’ concept and has started hostels to nurture the students and Samskar Kendras to give the impressionable young minds life-long values.
Kalyan Ashram strives to make the Vanavasis aware of their lawful rights with respect to Jal, Jungle & Jamin that is water, forest and land and also their social rights.
The picture of tribal life in India, from Arunachal Pradesh in the East to Gujarat in the West and from Laddakh in the North to Kerala or Nicobar in the South is one of utter isolation, centuries of stark neglect and hence of deprivation.
A vanavasi may be less educated, unhealthy but he is noble with a generous heart, a core of honesty and love, with a sound knowledge of nature, animals, plants, herbs and with superb skills in singing, dancing and handicrafts. He is a combination of
Simple exterior and pleasing interior
Outward indifference and inner devotion.
Lack of exposure and latent talents.
In a nutshell he is a hidden mine – 8% of Indian population i.e. 80 million are tribals.
Out of 650 tribes 75 are primitive.
Literacy rate among tribals is 29.6% (female literacy is only 18.2%).
There are 1,17000 vanavasi hamlets spread over 22 states.
Many tribes do not have access to roads, electricity, schools, health centres etc.
Problems of the Tribes: Unfortunately the fruits of the modern age and our country’s independence have not reached them. Poverty and ignorance still attract a number of exploitative forces and other extremist movements, which have destroyed their social fabric and alienated them from the socio-cultural mainstream. In India, these forces have been working under three garbs viz., Religion, Politics and Business.
Economic Development: Among the various problems, lack of economic development as a result of poor agricultural equipment and techniques, irrigation facilities, transportation problems are the major ones faced by the tribals. Self-employment schemes do not reach them.
Education, Health and Hygiene: Basic education is the dream of millions of vanavasis. Lack of education is leading to exploitation and poor economic development of the community. At the same time, health and hygiene of the tribals is at stake. Even for small diseases, the tribal have to cover miles together for a simple treatment. As a result, infant mortality is very high in tribal area.
What is the Remedy?: For most of the problems faced by the tribes the remedy is well-organized, integrated all-round development. The development activity should be based on their own internal and integral strength, religion, culture and traditions and also by fostering the feeling of social harmony.
Ø Improve standard of living.
Ø Create awareness among tribals about the glory of their own culture.
Ø Increase awareness regarding welfare schemes of the Government.
Ø Protect traditional rights on jungle, land and water.
Ø Safeguard against economic and religions exploitation.
Aims and objectives of the Kalyan Ashram: With the sole purpose of all round development and upliftment of Vanavasis, the Ashram has the following aims and objectives:
Fostering the internal strength of organized society.
Awakening of its “Heritage”, self-respect based on religion, culture and tradition.
Developing a selfless, nationalistic social leadership.
Brining harmony among all the constituents of the society.
Projects At A Glance: As on 5 October, 2007
Projects at Glance
a) Middle & High School
b) Primary School
c) Pre-Primary School
d) Ekal Vidyalaya/Non-formal school
e) Balwadi/Vidya Mandir
f) Bal Sanskar Kendra – Daily
g) Night School
h) Free Coaching Classes
i) Library & Reading Rooms
A) Agriculture Development Centre
B) Vocational Training Center
C) Self Help Group – Places
D) Any other
c) Aarogya Rakshak (Mobile Health Centre)
e) Medical Camp
KHELKUD CENTRES (SPORTS)
Lok Kala Mandal
TOTAL PROJECT PLACES
SEWA INTERNAITONAL AGREED TO SUPPORT
FOLLOWING PROJECTS FOR 2008
1) Supporting Retired Persons In Kenya: Ageless Retired Persons Concerns is a registered Non-Govt organisation in Kenya. It was established to address the critical challenges that face old people in retirement, focusing mainly on ways of enhancing their incomes in the post-retirement phase. It was decided to pay ₤10,000 for this project to buy walking tractors for retired persons in Kenya to provide services that enhance the capacity of retirees and other older persons to undertake sustainable income generating activities for their economic and social welfare.
2) Naihati Dishari School Project: This is a non formal school project in West Bengal in India. The children of villagers are socially isolated and do not get access to the school due to their economic background. It is expected that 60-70 children will be attending the school each day. The parents and families of the school children will also benefit from the project by involving them in different types of activities. Fund of ₤2000 was agreed to pay for this project to provide basic education/cultural activities and basic needs eg. refreshment, uniforms, educational materials for the children throughout the year.
3) Manob Kalyankami Anathalaya: This orphanage Ashram in Bangladesh for the minority Hindu community provides shelter for boys and girls and takes responsibilities for their welfare. Sewa International has provided some funds last year to this orphanage Ashram. Women living and supporting their families singlehanded have had their houses destroyed following the recent floods in Bangladesh due to powerful rain storms. The women are suffering terribly as they do not have a breadwinner in the household and can afford to construct the houses due to lack of finances. Sewa has decided to provide fund of ₤10,000 for constructing the house buildings.
4) Emergency Relief Aid For Kenya: Sewa International is very concerned about the situation in Kenya and quite a lot of people have lost their jobs. Prices of essential goods have gone up quite considerably. People have resorted to trying to sell looted goods at very little prices for lack of money. Sewa International U.K. has approved ₤5000 for emergency relief aid work in Kenya to assist the present programmes.
NEXT LADDAKH TREK SCHEDULED FOR
29TH AUGUST TO 14TH SEPTEMBER 2008
Laddakh Trek 2008 is scheduled for 29th August to 14Th September 2008. The total cost of the trip including flights is approximately ₤1000 (to be funded by participants personally). It is hoped that all vibhags will be represented on the trek this year.
ABALASHRAMA: A UNIQUE REHABILITATION CENTER
Abalashrama, a rehabilitation home for orphaned and abandoned girls, women in their prime who have been rendered homeless and indigent and young widows without life-support, was established in 1905 at Bangalroe. It has now completed nearly a century of dedicated service to society. Soon as the need was felt to expand the service activity, Abalashrama started functioning as a full-fledged institution. On 3rd September 1911 it moved to its own premises on Dr. D.V.G. Road where it is still situtated.
A Long Record of Service: The Ashrama has rendered sincere and uninterrupted service during the past nine decades. This has been possible by the magnificence of the philanthropic-minded and also the loving collaboration of countless individuals who gave generously of their time, energy and skills to the day-to-day running of the institution. Abalashrama is one of the oldest institutions of this kind in Karnataka.
A Challenging Task: Anyone familiar with grassroots social work would realize how formidable the running of such an institution is. Raising the required funds, admitting the inmates, the varied arrangements needed, continuous supervision, a congenial atmosphere to make the inmates feel loved and at home, inculcating moral values, timely and periodically medical care, providing the required training enabling the inmates to earn an honourable living., liaison with organizations to find suitable job placements, arranging for the marriage of the inmates when that feasibility presents itself, maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and enlarging the scope of activities to cover such requirements as in house vocational training of these tasks presents unique challenges.
Range of Activities: Abalashrama not only provides succor but also strives to build character, nourish artistic and other talents and capabilities inherent in the inmates. It encourages them to pursue college education upto dimploma and degree level. In addition, depending upon individual aptitudes and interests, the Ashrama provides training in crafts such as tailoring, screen printing, book-binding, typeset composing, nursing and computer operations. The Ashrama also has a marketing outlet wherein products made by the inmates are sold to the public. All these have helped the inmates to become self-reliant.
Maternal Care: Essentially, Abalashrama aims to provide maternal care and support to those who had to face adverse circumstances in life. The Ashrama feels gratified that it has played an instrumental role in rehabilitating hundreds of women and girls over the years. The inmates are provided with medical aid, legal assistance, counseling services and vocational guidance whenever needed. There are programmes to enhance physical well-being, to enlarge medical horizons and to infuse moral values into the inmates. The Ashrama has also been able to arrange the marriage for many of its inmates.
YUVA FOR SEWA 2008 APPEAL
Are you looking for something worthwhile to do this summer?
Are you interested in volunteering?
Are you looking for short projects where you can make a difference?
Then you are looking for the Yuva For Sewa (YFS) program!
Sewa International is providing youth from ages 18-30 with an incredible volunteer opportunity through their Yuva For Sewa (YFS) program. YFS has chosen projects of one to three months duration available in the United States, the Caribbean, and in India. The projects are designed for the youth to channel their talent, energy and enthusiasm and helping them in making a difference for the communities they volunteer in. There are projects available in various fields such as Basic Education, Technical Education, Self Employment, Women Empowerment, Healthcare, and others that will match your interest.
Some of the comments received from last year's volunteers were "Life changing experience", "I would do it all over again", "I am glad I could make such an impact on people's lives", "I have made friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime". See what our volunteers did last year on http://www.sewausa.org/yuva-sewa/view-latest-yuva-sewa-videos
For more details about the volunteering opportunities, you can go the YFS website at http://www.sewausa.org/yuva-for-sewa
Please feel free to send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
A Society becomes great by moulding its youths, brining unity among all sections of the society and inculcating a sense of patriotism and discipline among its members. Rendering service to the society is not only helpful to the society but also elevating to the doer. – Prof. Rajendra Singh (Rajju Bhaiyya)
SEWA INTERNATIONAL DELHI PUBLICATION