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...
Apr 16, 2015

New Achievements... Thanks

A farmer standing in his wheat farm.
A farmer standing in his wheat farm.

Dear Friends,

Many thanks for supporting this project and ensuring food security for tribal farmers of our region.

Seva Mandir's Food Security Program includes a range of activities designed to help people in improving their crop production. This is done by strengthening local community seed banks, increase horticulture, improve livestock health, and promote organic farming.

With your support: 

  • 340 farmers were selected to plant fruit trees following the Wadi (orchard) model in the third batch, compared with 300 and 360 farmers respectively in the first and second batches. The Wadi model includes plantation of 40 saplings of fruit trees (mango, lemon, pomegranate and aonla) and 120 saplings of forestry trees.
  • Soil and water conservation and water resource development activities were conducted with 179 farmers.
  • Farmers were encouraged to grow seasonal crops and vegetables, which enabled them to produce food and cash crops. Wadi farmers who grew vegetables and other cash crops as intercrops earned between Rs 3,000 and 7,000 by selling their vegetables in the market.
  •  A few farmers cultivated organic wheat. They sold their produce for Rs 20/kg compared with the market rate of Rs 16/kg for conventionally produced wheat.
  • 15 Community Seed Banks (CSBs) were maintained in Jhadol and Girwa blocks.

Thank you so much friends for your continuous help and support to our food security program. Your help really means a lot to us.

I will be writing again very soon.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

Links:

Mar 30, 2015

A Force to be Reckoned With

Confident Valki
Confident Valki

Dear Friends,

Valki is proud of the sta­tus she has achieved in recent years. ‘Before, no one knew who I was when I walked down the street. Now they know I’m a force to be reckoned with.’ Valki is a leading member of the Women’s Resource Center and, with her colleagues, has been trained by Seva Mandir in family counseling. If a husband is accused of beating his wife, the couple is asked to come and meet Valki and her team to explain the situation. If they uphold the wife’s complaint, the man is asked to promise to mend his ways.

Does it work? Quite often it does: for the man, shamed by his mistakes, the threat of public embarrassment acts as an incentive to behave better. But this is not all that Valki’s team of women does. With Seva Mandir’s help they have learned about the police and the court system and have pow­ers to investigate suspected crimes. In this tribal area, where local customs are much stronger than the rule of national law, these women are the first port of call if there is a suspi­cious death. In an area where an eye for an eye or financial compensation by the perpetrator are the accepted ways of dealing with crimes up to and including murder, accusations abound, even in cases of death by natural causes, so the women play an important role in deciding when to refer a case to the authorities. In one case recently, a second wife was found to have attempted to poison her husband and wife number one. Valki’s team found her guilty and made her promise not to try again. Once more, a combination of counseling, appealing to her conscience and potential public shame has helped resolve the situation. So Valki walks proudly down the street, knowing that she is indeed an empowered citizen.

We wish to thank you for your continued support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

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

Links:

Mar 27, 2015

Building Confidence... Thank You

Dear Friends,

In the village of Rohimala- Chief Minister Awas Yojana (government social welfare program) was introduced to provide housing for rural poor along with several activities such as well deepening, construction of boundary wall, saffron spraying in pastureland, plantation, etc.

For this, families Below Poverty Line (BPL) are provided with a subsidy of Rs. 50,000 for house construction.

Recently, few cases have emerged out from the village itself which made Seva Mandir presence a must as there is lack of appropriate government monitoring towards this type of BPL schemes.

In past, over 90% families in the village have been struggling out with a major issue of cross-level corruption with its own Mini Bank worker who is reportedly taking bribe from the villagers to provide them funds which govt. allots them.

 

CASES:

Kalu, treasurer of the Village Development Fund, was the first man standing to raise the issue with the BPL families who have not been getting funds from the banks. He reported to the Panchayat (local govt. body) that he was told by 18 people of 5 different villages that people from the bank were asking for a share in the grant provided under the scheme. The Mini Bank worker took a bribe of Rs. 500 each. He complained that the families believe that as they are receiving “free money” from the government, they do not mind giving a portion to the bank agents.

Also, Sardar who is another beneficiary of the government scheme was granted Rs. 50,000 through Mini Bank installments for house construction. He is illiterate so when verified that although Rs. 15,000 was registered as first installment, he only received Rs. 14,500; in addition, instead of Rs. 9,000 as second installment, he only received Rs. 8,000. In total, he has paid Rs. 1,500 as bribe. As a reason for not reporting to the authorities he said that he was afraid that he might not receive future installments.

Heer, another villager entitled to this scheme, denied to pay Rs. 500 bribe demanded by Mini bank worker. But later he had to negotiate and pay Rs.100 to the bank worker. As told by villagers, it was mentioned that both the Sarpanch (Head of the village) and Panchayat secretary are receiving Rs. 500 as bribe to sanction approvals for the construction of houses. 

After reviewing all these corruption cases Seva Mandir stepped in and took charge of the situation by uniting the villagers to lodge one formal joint complaint to the higher legal authorities such as BDO and SDM. As a result, both Sardar and Heer agreed to sign the application only if everyone is participating.

 

Seva Mandir since then is helping the villagers by joining hands with them to fight against strong challenge of cross-level corruption, by making them aware about their rights and also by organizing street programs, circulating timely information through brochures and trainings at regular periods.

Thank you so much for your continuous support to our program.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

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

Links:

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