Seva Mandir

Seva Mandir's mission is to make real the idea of society consisting of free and equal citizens who are able to come together and solve the problems that affect them in their particular contexts. The commitment is to work for a paradigm of development and governance that is democratic and polyarchic. Seva Mandir seeks to institutionalise the idea that development and governance is not only to be left to the State and its formal bodies like the legislature and the bureaucracy, but that citizens and their associations should engage separately and jointly with the State. The mission briefly, is to construct the conditions in which citizens of plural backgrounds and perspectives can come togethe...
Dec 9, 2014

Improving Food Security

Dear Friends,

Food insecurity, fully or partly, is an imperative concern of households in our region. According to a recent study, 10.2% households reported cutting or skipping meals in the last one year due to a shortage of food. However, this somewhat low figure belies the more serious situation that is most clearly revealed in the high rates of malnutrition amongst both children and adults. In this region, the size and quality of agriculture land cultivated by a household directly affects the amount and variety of food available for consumption. Furthermore, this being a drought-prone area with receiving scarce and erratic annual rainfall, access to sufficient irrigation facilities is another factor determining food security. Availability of all components constituting a daily staple food is important for fulfilling the nutritional requirements of the population.

Seva Mandir, through its interventions for watershed, water resources and agriculture development undertaken since last two decades, has been working to enhance the quality, i.e. productivity, of arable lands. Treatment of land and drainage-line together with creation of irrigation facilities- have significantly increased the productivity, while emergence of opportunities to take 2-3 crops a year increased the annual crop production for the families. In Dhala village where watershed was completed 3 years back, production of wheat of 24 farmers have risen to 239 qntl from 39.4 qntl of pre-project. Similarly, in another watershed village of Babri-Gadunia, farmers got 139.15 qntl of wheat that was hardly grown by them earlier. At the same time, in 14 Lift Irrigation System installed during last 5 years, wheat was grown earlier in the command areas of only 3 systems. Nevertheless, farmers of all 14 lifts grew wheat and obtained a production of 842.90 with the productivity of 12.64 qntl/ha.

Another major transformation that has happened through these activities is the change in cropping pattern in these associated villages. Earlier, only a few crops, like maize, black gram, rice, wheat, gram, mustard etc. were taken in monsoon and winter months. However, currently with better land conditions and availability of water, farmers have started taking new crops like pigeon pea, lusen, sismum, vegetables, barley etc. Some farmers who have more water are also taking the third crop in summer months. In a few places, farmers are also shifting onto cash crops, which are helping them in meeting the gap of cash. For example, in Damana, 16 farmers last year grew 82 qntl of Garlic with a market value of Rs. 2 to 3 lacs.

Change in productivity and production has contributed significantly in improving the food security of many households in these villages. Whilst we still lack enough data to substantiate this claim, during our interaction at various places, communities clearly shared that the need of purchasing food grains has reduced substantially for several families. Many of them do not have to buy their food grains from merchants, means a saving in their cash. At the same time, encouraging farmers to diversify their agriculture and providing them with vegetable seeds and fruit trees have benefited in two folds- households are getting green vegetables and fruits more in their food, and source of additional income is created mitigating their risk of being dependent on only one crop.

Some special studies will also be conducted to determine the impacts of our interventions on the food security of children, including change in their nutritional status. Further, a study was conducted by Seva Mandir in collaboration with SIPA, University of Columbia with an aim to develop a Toolkit for Assessing the Food Security in our region. The study helped in deriving various indicators- including nutritional status, which can be used to measure food security. We shall also try to include some of these indicators in our organisational programme monitoring and evaluation system.

Thank you so much Friends for your support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

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Nov 28, 2014

Reaching out to the Marginalized Population

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving Day to You.

An immunization camp in Sagwada village was initiated by Seva Mandir because of the lack of basic healthcare facilities there.

The nearest general health center is 7km away and the nearest center where immunization is undertaken is 4km away. Many of the women and children of Sagwada are simply unable to undertake these journeys and therefore often missed out on routine immunization.

Kali, a resident of Sagwada who has attended the Seva Mandir camp, shared her experiences with us. She said that without the camp she would not have been able to get immunization for herself during pregnancy or for her young son. She lives at the farthest end of the village and it would have been too great an ordeal for her to walk, either when pregnant or with her baby after his birth, to the nearest center.

Kali had been motivated by a representative of Seva Mandir to attend the camp and received ante-natal check-ups as well as immunization. Kali knows that the camp is a boon for her village as it helps protect the lives both of the pregnant women and of their young children.

Thanks to your generous support.

Regards,

Atul Lekhra

Please do follow us on https://www.facebook.com/sevamandir

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Nov 28, 2014

Together We Can !

Mukesh and Shankar
Mukesh and Shankar

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you.

Mukesh (age 7) and Shankar (age 9) are brothers from one of the village in Udaipur. Their father had expired long back. Therefore obtaining education was a distant dream for them as they were always too busy trying to earn a living for themselves. Knowing about their condition, Seva Mandir decided to help them by enrolling them in Seva Mandir’s education centre in their village.

Their hard work has come a long way as their teacher says that they are brilliant in studies and are equally good in sports as well. According to Mukesh, he wants to study hard so that he can see himself on television one day while Shankar hopes to join army one day. 

Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to help many more Mukesh and Shanker, dream big in life ….and work towards achieving it.   Thank you!! 

Regards,

Atul Lekhra

Please do follow us on https://www.facebook.com/sevamandir

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