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.