Aarohi

The word 'Aarohi' means ascendance or growth; the growth of thought, creativity and harmony. Aarohi was established in the year 1992 "with a view to create opportunities for rural communities in the hills to lead a more self-dependent existence, reduce poverty and live in harmony with their environment." Aarohi's mission is to create development opportunities for rural Himalayan communities through quality healthcare and education, enterprise promotion, women's empowerment, sustainable natural resource use, and the revival of traditional culture.

Aarohi
Satoli Village, P.O. Peora
District Nainital, Uttarakhand 236138
India
919412045137
http://www.aarohi.org

Board of Directors

Sushil Sharma, Pradeep Gupta

Project Leaders

Sara Tiffany
Sheeba Sen

Mission

The word 'Aarohi' means ascendance or growth; the growth of thought, creativity and harmony. Aarohi was established in the year 1992 "with a view to create opportunities for rural communities in the hills to lead a more self-dependent existence, reduce poverty and live in harmony with their environment." Aarohi's mission is to create development opportunities for rural Himalayan communities through quality healthcare and education, enterprise promotion, women's empowerment, sustainable natural resource use, and the revival of traditional culture.

Programs

Aarohi's work has reached over 100 villages in four mountain districts of Uttarakhand, which have benefited approximately 50,000 people to date. Many issues of poverty have been addressed through activities related to Forest Management, Health Care, Livelihoods, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Women's Development and Education. Aarohi has a current membership of 295 and staff strength of 70 people. Core activities: The core activities of Aarohi have been designed after close consultation with the community and are at the heart of the development needs of the area. Health The community health program has focused on training of village midwives and raising levels in awareness of critical health issues with women's groups, adolescents and children. The aim has been to reduce child and maternal morbidity and mortality as well as improve the access of rural communities to health services. These community health services are backed by a rural cottage hospital, equipped with modern diagnostic equipment, an operation theater and voluntary services of specialist doctors from all over the country. Averages of 4,000 patients are treated every year at the health center. Aarohi also reaches out to remote villages through mobile camps. Education The Aarohi Bal Sansar or ABS, a middle school consists of 160 children from 12 villages. The school is an effort to impart meaningful education to children in order to give them the confidence to earn their livelihood as well as be responsible citizens of their society. Resources at ABS and the larger education program of Aarohi benefit an additional 1500 children and youth from surrounding 30 government schools and colleges through health and environmental education, computer literacy, English language learning, sports and educational tours, fairs, and preservation of traditional Kumaoni culture and heritage. The Scholarship Programs run by Aarohi include: 1) The Bal Sansar Scholarship provides opportunity to children of poorer families to study in ABS 2) The Ilya Scholarship enables talented children to pursue their interests as well as broaden their horizons by traveling to different parts of the country and 3) The Room to Grow Girls Scholarship program aims at continuing education for girls till at least class 12. 4) Koormanchal Scholarships for meritorious students passing out from Aarohi Bal Sansar to continue and complete school education in English medium in schools running in nearby cities. 5) Seema Nazareth Girls Graduate Scholarship program that enables girls to go for higher education leading them to vocations and employment. Livelihoods Small-scale rural economic enterprises that are in harmony with the environment and provide supplementary income to farmers of the area include the Apricot and the Herb growers' initiatives. The popularity of these natural products such as apricot oil, scrub and soap, culinary herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley etc. have given these enterprises the boost to be more profitable and reach out to hundreds of small farmers in remote villages of the Himalayas. A Nature Shop, located at the manufacturing facility of Aarohi in Satoli, offers premium natural and handcrafted products of voluntary organizations, artisans and local entrepreneurs to tourists and visitors. The Grameen Himalayan Haat, an annual event started by Aarohi in 2001 is held in the month of October every year after the harvest season. The Haat is a delightful meeting ground for farmers, artisans and talented rural performers. It provides a platform to showcase talent and encourage entrepreneurship development. Natural Resource Management Assisting village communities in upgrading their common lands through various activities of plantation, protection and regeneration of forests has been a major area of focus under the program of natural resource management. Inputs provided by Aarohi towards scientific forest management have enabled village communities to build their funds through equitable distribution and sale of forest produce. The money thus generated is utilized for common village needs such as purchase of community assets and repair of temples. To cope with acute water scarcity problems, Aarohi has, in the past, collaborated with the State Government and implemented the 'Swajal' project, bringing water to many a rural household, saving hours of precious time of women and children. The program provided technical and financial assistance to village communities for a range of options such as rainwater harvesting tanks, up gradation of traditional spring sources, construction of hand pumps and pipelines. Over twelve hundred toilets have been constructed and radically improved the sanitary situation in these villages. Women's Empowerment Aarohi has also worked for about a decade with women's micro-credit groups. The Oona Mahila Bachat Yojana micro-credit groups became a popular forum for rural women. By saving small amounts of INR.10-20/- per person every month, over 900 women in 44 villages had saved up to INR 0.55 million. In the absence of access to rural credit facilities this program enabled women to take loans for a wide range of activities from health emergencies and house repair to buying milk animals and children's education. This has given dignity and independence to rural women.

Statistics on Aarohi

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