SEWA INTERNATIONAL PROMOTING EDUCATION THROUGH “READ INDIA – READ KASHI”.
Education plays a central role in an individual’s development and has a cross cutting impact on all the aspects of human lives. With right to education reaching far and wide in India, the dropout rate cuts the effectiveness of the program. India has a school dropout rate of 40% and it’s a precarious situation.
Sewa International has opened 3 education centres in Ramnagar, Varanasi under its “Read India-Read Kashi” program. These centres are opened up with a view to help children in their studies, provide them additional guidance in their problem areas and in turn arresting the dropout rate of these kids. They are evening centres run with the support of Seva Kirana. Initially centres were opened to support the school going kids of the weavers of Varanasi, but other kids from the area have also started dropping in to the centres.
Currently, more than 100 children are taking benefit of these centres. All the children come to centre regularly and their favourite part are the recreational activities planned by the mentors. Personality development activities are also organised at the centres. In the centres:
- They are being assisted in the problem areas of their studies
- Kids who are lagging behind in class are provided with special guidance
- They are given assistance in completing their daily home works and projects etc.
These kids are mentored by the local youths who have completed their graduation and want to contribute to their community.
HOW AN AROGYA MITRA SAVES LIFE
– Dr Mukund Karmalkar
A medical camp—fixed in Chindanaar Village of Naxalite dominated Abujmarh region of south Bastar—was threatened to be cancelled for certain intra-village rivalry. It was December 12, 2015. A space was requested in a nearby goverment school. I could feel a tensed up Dr Ram Godbole. In a staff room temporarily cleared up for patients’ checkup and testing, a dusty lady walked in with her little son saying that her son takes frequent breaks, while playing and had a frail health. As fear rose in my mind, I nervously put my hand on his chest, and felt the blood rushing through causing chest movement. I called in Dr Ram Godbole and he could also hear the murmur of blood flow. We decided to investigate further. But, it was difficult to explain the parents. The suspicion was that the child had a Congenital Heart Disease but it required to confirm the diagnosis. For that imaging studies were required to be done. We took the address of the child and the Arogya Mitra, Jitu went with parents to his home so that he could be followed up.
Next was the challenge before us about how to image his heart. We requested for a meeting with Dantewada Collector and asked him for permission to use the ultrasound machine at the district hospital of Dantewada. He immediately accepted the proposal but said that I need to conduct a medical camp at the hospital open for all in Dantewada. We decided to accept it as otherwise the patients have to be shifted to a very distant place just to come to a diagnosis.
Dr Ram Godbole worked hard in explaining to the parents the need to take the child to district hospital and which was at last accepted when Jitu told that he will pickup and also drop back the child after the test. …All this took a couple of months to achieve, which indicates the challenge required to be faced to advance each small step in this area, sometimes making you feel why at all we need to struggle? And for whom?
On an evening of February when I was scanning after a hectic medical camp schedule, Jitu walked in with the child into the echo room. Dr. Ram Godbole was there. As I put the probe on his chest it clearly showed that there was defect in the wall dividing upper part of his heart called ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) so the pure and impure blood got mixed up before it was pumped into circulation. It meant that there was no pure blood in his circulation so obviously his capacity to exert was less and development was stunted. ...Dr Ram Godbole was worried as I told him this needs to be corrected as early as possible as the life of child was at stake.
It was a impossible for the family to afford an ICR (Intracardiac Repair) at a distant place. But, fortunately Koparkarji of Pune had told us about an institution in Raipur, about 500 miles off this village–Sai Sanjeevani—which undertook such surgeries.
We took the cue and Koparkar helped us in getting an appointment with the paediatric cardiologist Dr Yogesh Sathe. We travelled to Raipur in April and met him and had a very warm yet robust interaction. As, everything was set and all threads woven the child was shifted with his sister to Raipur by Jitu. Dr Godbole stayed put at Raipur as the diagnosis was confirmed at Sai Sanjeevani. Doctors decided to immediately conduct the surgery on the child and Raju Nag was successfully operated on April 26, 2016. He had got a new life. With a quick and good postoperative recovery.
Raju Nag has been discharged and is normal child now. Koparkarji's Krudatnyata Trust, Pune; Vanvasi Vikas Samiti, Chhattisgarh and Sai Sanjeevani Hospital, Raipur, bore all the expenses. It is a success story of organised effort to which Dr Godbole played a central role.
It is a success story of an Arogya Mitra called Jitu Bek. It is a story of weaving a garland for our motherland called Bharat and an experience in national integration. There are many such Raju Nags waiting for us to locate and touch.
SRI LANKA FLOOD RELIEF APPEAL
Heavy rains produced by the deadly cyclone in Sri Lanka displaced more than 3,00,000 people and resulted in massive landslides causing at least 40 confirmed deaths and hundreds more feared buried.
Sewa International engaged with its partner Seva International Foundation, Sri Lanka to provide immediate assistance to the affected people. Following relief activities wereplanned-
Distributing Relief‐Kits composing of clothes, lantern, umbrella, blankets, mosquito repellent, sanitation kit etc.
Food supplies consisting of ready‐to‐eat packs, flour, drinking water, milk, pulses, biscuits etc.
Medical camps across country in the shelters for displaced people.
Free day‐long kitchens for the affected people.
Your support in this hour of need will be greatly appreciated!!
Sewa International is registered under FCRA and also has Income Tax exemption under IT Act 80G for domestic donors.
For Foreign Donations-
Account No.- 10080533326
Jhandewala Extn Branch (Delhi)
State Bank of India
Branch Code- 9371
Swift Code- SBININBB550
IFS Code - SBIN0009371
For Local Donations-
Account No.- 10080533304
Jhandewala Extn Branch (Delhi)
State Bank of India
Branch Code - 9371
IFS Code - SBIN0009371
NOTE: It is mandatory for every donor to inform his/her identity like name address, contact number & mail id, PAN Number and the cause towards which this is being donated like “Sri Lanka Flood Relief”.
DEVASTATION IN CHAKMA VILLAGES DUE TO FLOODS
Widespread devastation was caused in Chakma villages of Arunachal in the cyclone and floods that hit the State on April 28 rendering thousands of people homeless and killing two teenagers. Property worth crores of rupees including orchards, standing crops and livestokes were destroyed. Even though the local administration and voluntray organisations have provided some relief to the victims, much needs to be done.
SWAYAMSEVAKS DISTRIBUTE FODDER TO FARMERS
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh workers distributed nearly 65 tonnes of cattle fodder at different drought hit villages of Northern Karnataka on May 6 as a part of the drought relief campaign. Prant Sahkaryavah Sridhar Nadgir distributed the fodder to farmers at Kundagola. Karnataka Uttar Prant Sah Sanghachalak Shri Aravinda Rao Deshapande and Karnataka Uttara Prant Sah Karyavah Sridhar Nadgir visited few villages along with other local functionaries and joined the RSS teams distributing fodder. “So far we have distributed nearly 65 tonnes of fodder in six districts of northern Karnataka. It will serve nearly 2,500 cows. Through RSS relief campaign we could reach almost 1/3rd of farmers of these 6 districts” said Sridhar Nadgir. Hadalagi Village of Alanda Taluk of Gulbarga District, Bharamakhodi Village of Athani Taluk of Belagavi District, Kodliwada Village of Kundagola Taluk in Dharwad District, Chikli, Matkhed, Dabka and Ganeshpur villages of Aurad Taluk, few villages of Bhalki and Basavakalyana Taluk of Bidar District were among the villages where fodder was distributed.
CD RELEASED ON UTTRAKHAND FLOODS
A CD highlighting the sewa activities carried out by Sangh swayamsevaks during Uttarakhand floods was released on May 10. The CD, Badhate Jana Re highlights the sewa rendered by the swayamsevaks during the natural calamities. The 47 minutes CD has been produced by Uttaranchal Daiviya Apada Peedit Sahayat Samiti and Vishwa Samvad Kendra Dehradun. Releasing the CD BJP Rajya Sabha MP Shri RK Sinha said the work rendered by the swayamsevaks was very challenging and they did that with perfection. “Only the Sangh swayamsevaks can do such a work without government help. I salute the courage of the swaymsevaks,” he said. Dr Virendra Singh Negi, associate professor in Delhi University, Smt Gita Bhata, associate professor, Shri Madan Singh Chauhan, general secretary of Uttaranchal Daiviya Apada Peedit Sahayat Samiti were also present on the occasion.
DEALING WITH DROUGHT: REVIVING THE RIVER
Latur is in the news for stories on water scarcity. An initiative by various organisations and political leaders cutting across party lines along with RSS workers to desilt 18-km long Manjara River is a story of turnaround with collective efforts
At the time when about 10 states of the country are reeling under severe drought and the government agencies are struggling hard to ensure drinking water, the people in Latur city of Maharasthra have collectively initiated to resolve the water crisis permanently. By collecting funds they have started desilting Manjara River, the lifeline of the city. They have collected Rs five crore for the project, which is estimated to cost around Rs 7.58 lakh. Interestingly, the government agencies had estimated Rs 80 crore, about ten times more, for this work. One more interesting fact is that majority of the social, cultural, religious, educational, market organisations as well as the political leaders belonging to different political parties including the Congress and Samajwadis have joined hands with the RSS swayamsevaks. Veteran RSS leader and founder of Latur Vivekanand Hospital Dr Ashok Rao Kukade was unanimously appointed chairman of the Samiti to execute the desilting project. Shri Makarand Jadhav of Art of Living Foundation is secretary of the Samiti.
A total of 12 districts of Maharashtra are facing the severest kind of drought. 20,000 villages have been declared drought affected. 10,000 of them are in Marathwada region alone. Apart from it, one district of Vidarbha and four districts of Western Maharashtra are also severely affected. The Southern Marathwada region records very low rain i.e. below 50% of the average rainfall. But for the last three years, it has been recording the lowest rainfall i.e. below 40% of the usual rainfall. Injudicious use of water by local people and also the farmers made the problem more complex. “Now the people are worried about the crop pattern that they have been following for a long time. They will have to rethink whether to grow sugarcane or not as it requires more water. The Kharif crop recorded hardly 40 per cent yield. The condition of Rabi crop too is highly pathetic as it could not be even sowed in majority of the areas due to no rainfall. Even in the areas where it was somehow sowed, the yield is hardly 30 per cent this time. As a result there is no fodder for the cattle,” says Shri Arun Danke, Sah Karyavah of RSS Jankalyan Samiti Maharashtra, which is actively involved in the fight against drought in Latur and Marathwada region.
Check Dam Wado Bhai
According to reports, Latur, Beed and Usmanabad districts in Southern Marathwada are severely affected. Both the barrages and the only dam have totally dried becoming play ground for children. All water bodies including the rivers and ponds have dried. Drinking water is somehow being arranged from other areas. It is sure that nobody will die in want of water, but it is also equally sure that nobody gets it easily. Not only the government, but the people too are struggling hard for every drop of water.
The population of Latur is about five lakh. Out of it, about one lakh —around 50,000 labourers and 50,000 students--have migrated due to water scarcity. Latur is an education hub. The Collector has declared that no class or exam will be conducted between March 15 and June 15. The municipal corporation is somehow struggling to ensure 200 liters of water to every family per week. One can imagine what a family will do in 200 liters water in a week. Apart from drinking, they also need water for bathing and washing clothes. “There is huge publicity that water is being transported through trains. But the fact is that those efforts are not going to resolve the problem. Though, we sincerely thank the Railways Minister for this help. It needs some other efforts also,” adds Shri Danke.
Fighting drought with tree plantation
Keeping in view all these facts, the RSS Jankalyan Samiti, the Sewa Wing of RSS in Maharashtra, has started work in all the drought affected districts. They have planned to start at least two projects for water conservation in each district. “The cost of each project has been estimated to be between Rs 15 to 30 lakh. There are also efforts to arrange fodder for the cattle. Now six fodder banks have already been started in Latur, Beed and Usmanabad districts. Six more are to be started as the funds are arranged,” says Shri Danke.
The biggest project in the form of Public Initiative, which has caught the attention of people all over the country is desilting of the Manjara River in Latur. It is about 10 km away from the city. There are two barrages on it—Nagjheri and Sai—to store water. Separate pipelines have been laid to supply water to Latur. There is a major irrigation dam on the same river about 40 km away from Latur. A pipeline also comes from that dam for drinking water. Unfortunately, now all these three sources have fully dried.
The only permanent solution is revival of the Manjara River so that both the barrages and the dam can store sufficient water. “Now we are desilting the River bad 3 meter deep, 80 meter wide and 18 km long. If this happens, the river will be able to store sufficient water. The people of the city have decided to do it collectively. Good thing is that people cutting across political lines have come forward to resolve this problem. An 11 member Samiti, Sarvajanik Jalyukta Latur Vyavasthapan Samiti, has been formed involving people from all sections,” says Shri Danke.
Prominent among those who are part of the Samiti include Shri Tryambakdas Zanvar, who has been very close to former CM Vilasrao Deshmukh and is former Congress district president, veteran Samajwadi leader Shri Manohar Gomare, private sugar factory owner and renowned personality of cooperative sector Shri BB Thombre, etc.
The work began on Varsh Pratipada day i.e. April 8. Following call from the Samiti for contribution, on first day itself Rs two crore were announced by various people as contribution. “Till now the contribution of more than Rs five crore has been declared. About 50 per cent of that amount has been received by the Samiti,” points out Shri Danke.
Seeing the active public initiative the local Collector and also the State government have extended full support. They have deputed three officers and some pokland machines. “We have come to know that some amount has been approved by Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadanvis, but the Samiti has decided not to take any government help for this project. All educational institutions, market associations, medical association, Bar Council, etc have come forward with generous support. Many people come to our office with financial help everyday,” Shri Danke adds.
At the moment 27 pokland machines and 40 Hyvas are working on the site. “We need more Hyva machines to transport the silt. Normally, there should be at least five Hyvas with a Pokland machine, but we have only 1.5 Hyva per pokland. For it, we have requested the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who has assured full support,” adds Shri Danke.
Till now Chief Secretary of Maharasthra Swadhin Kshatriya, Minister Pankaja Munde, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Devgiri Prant Sanghachalak Dada Pawar, Paschim Kshetra Sah Kshetra Pracharak Shri Vijayrao Puranik, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sewa Pramukh Shri Suhasrao Hiremath, RSS Jankalyan Samiti Maharashtra organising secretary Shri Sharad Khadilkar and Jalpurush Rajendra Singh have visited the site and appreciated the efforts of the people. Till now about five km long river has been desilted. The entire work has to be finished within next 40 to 50 days i.e. before the start of the monsoon. Film star Shri Reteish Deshmukh, son of former Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh who belongs to Latur, has contributed Rs 25 lakh for the project. He also agreed to be the brand ambassador of the initiative. His elder brother Shri Amit Deshmukh, who is also a MLA, also announced Rs 75 lakh for it. Despite being a Congress leader he praised the RSS leader Dr Ashokrao Kukade for his honesty, dedication and commitment to the task despite growing age.
The collective endeavour by the people of Latur for resolving their water problem has set a good precedent, which may act as a trendsetter for the entire country.
TEMPORARY GOUSHALA BY SWAYAMSEVAKS TO CONSERVE CATTLE IN SINDHANOOR
As part of the drought relief campaign, RSS swayamsevaks started a temporary Goushala at Gudihala Village in SindhanoorTaluk of Raichur District in Karnataka in last week of April. Prant Sah Karyavah Sridhar Nadgir inaugurated the Gaushala. Tirumala Rao Deshpande, noted farmer of Gudihala Village, temporarily donated his farmland for the Goushala.
Due to severe drought, hundreds of farmers of North Karnataka districts are facing severe problems while taking care of their cattle. Farmers have been urged to bring their cattle at the goushala, where they will be taken care of with fodder and shelter till the rainy season begins. “It is free service; any farmer can make use of this facility at the Goushala,” said RSS Prant Karyavah Shri Raghavendra Kagavad. The swayamsevaks have also initiated free-drinking water supply at several drought hit places of Raichur District. They also initiated free cattle feed distribution centre at Ankalagi Village of Kalaburagi District.
STRENGTHENING COOPERATIVES IS THE NEED OF THE HOUR: SATISH MARATHE
Veteran cooperative thinker and national convener of Sahakar Bharati Shri Satish Marathe said strengthening the cooperative sector is the need of the hour for balanced economic development of the country. Inaugurating Chittorgarh Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd in Chittorgarh on May 14 he said after the failure of Capitalism and Marketism the Cooperative Sector has emerged as an alternative model for economic development. He pointed out that many power and water distribution projects are successfully being run through cooperatives in the world. He said the cooperative banks are very helpful to the urban people and such banks should be granted licences on a large scale. He said the nationalised banks are today afflicted with the problem of huge Non Performing Assets (NPA) whereas the cooperative banks NPA is comparatively less. Local MP Shri CP Joshi said the technological support has strengthened the cooperative sector. Local MLA Shri Chandrabhan Singh Akya also spoke on the occasion.
SEWA PATH KNITTING CENTRE CERTIFICATE AWARDING CEREMONY
On 25 May 2016 2nd Batch of Sewa Path Knitting centre, Chandrapuri, completed its 4 months training. 20 women were awarded with certificate at the completion of the training. Sewa Path Knitting centre is an Skill Development initiative of Sewa International in non-farming sector. In Sewa Path Knitting Centres women are trained to knit on the machine and teach them various patterns, colour combinations etc, in order to be able to earn a livelihood based on these skills. A little income generation would add hugely to the self esteem of these women and bring prosperity to not only their household but to the whole region. So far, 47 women have taken the training in Sewa Path Knitting Centre, Chandrapuri.
ENSURE CHEAPER MEDICINES TO ALL: SJM
National Council Meeting of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, organised from May 21 to 22 in Bhopal, stressed the need of access to cheaper medicines and medical facilities to all. In a resolution adopted at the meeting, the Manch said as the diseases are increasing due to change in lifestyle and India sharing 21 per cent of global disease burden, the people do not have access to health facilities or medicines at affordable prices. The resolution said the medicines are getting costlier due to changes in the 2005 Patent Act, which needs to be amended again according to the changing needs. The SJM said the generic medicines should be promoted. The Manch also said that apart from increasing health budget health facilities should be expanded to the remote areas.
In another resolution the Manch urged the general public to cooperate fully with the public and private initiatives for water conservation, rain water harvesting, prevention of water wastage and water misuse, forest conservation, tree planting and such other measures, which are urgently required for our very survival. Forest conservation and water conservation should be treated by one and all as developmental activities. In another resolution the Manch demanded the Government of India to withdraw its decision allowing 100 per cent FDI in e-commerce, food processing and marketing to protect the interest of the small traders, industries and the farmers.
MASS MARRIAGE BY SEWA BHARATI IN JAIPUR
Jaipur unit of Sewa Bharati organised mass marriage of all communities on May 14. A total of 51 pairs belonging to 19 castes tied the knot. During the last six years, the Sewa Bharati has performed many such ceremonies where a total of 992 pairs tied the knot. Similar functions were organised in Bhawani Mandi on May 15 and Lakheri (Bundi) on May 20. Many people from Jaipur City were present at the function to bless the newly wedded couples.