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...
Mar 6, 2014

Regeneration of Pasturelands : Providing a ray of hope to many lives

Thank you all for supporting us. Your support continues to enable Seva Mandir to provide food security to several tribal.

Sharing experiences of Pastureland development:

Uma Shankar (name changed to maintain the privacy of the person), was born and brought up in a revenue village, Kaylo ka Guda to a family that depended on agrarian activities for income. His father held a total of 30 bighas of land (1 bigha=0.4 hectare), out of which only 6 bigha could be used for irrigational purposes. Along with taking the responsibility of his family, he also took the initiative of involving himself in social work in his village.He shared some of his experiences regarding the importance of food security below.

Located in the south-west range of Aravali, the revenue village Kaylo ka Guda is at a distance of 23 km from Udaipur. This revenue village consists of 3 hamlets namely – Naron ka Guda, Chain ka Bhilwada and Kaylo ka Guda. Around 170 families reside in this village.

Problem faced before Pastureland development:

Almost a decade back, fodder was purchased from outside to feed the livestock in the village. However, there was plenty of land that was under the Panchayat (local level governing body) that remained fallow for the longest time.

This village came under the Seva Mandir work area through its Adult literacy programme and then after few years of working, Seva Mandir sought to develop 6 pasturelands as per the need and demand. All of the 150 families residing here used the grass obtained from this land and thus, there was no need of purchasing fodder from outside. However, open grazing and unprotected pastureland resulted in less productivity of the land therefore resulting in less fodder in the village. Continuous meetings with villagers led to conflict resolution and it was decided that the villagers would help construct the boundary wall and that they would help with soil-water conservation and plantation. With the help of village contribution all these three pasturelands namely – teen munda pastureland, unda khadra pastureland and bhamthara pastureland were re- developed and 10,352 saplings were planted.

 Work accomplished

The repair and maintenance work of these pasturelands was also done. Identification of sites, village meetings, trainings with villagers, raising of seedlings for plantation, re- construction of boundary wall, soil-water conservation, pit digging, direct seeding of grass and indigenous forest species were completed before the onset of monsoon. Saplings were planted in the month of July- August. A total of 1365 person-days was involved in the task execution. Presently all the 3 pasturelands of Kaylo ka Guda are maintained and protected.

Impact:

When these pasturelands were not protected, the villagers used to purchase fodder for their livestock from outside their villages but now the fodder is easily available in these lands. Money saved through this is now used for other important activities. Work done in these pasturelands proved to be useful and it seems that productivity this time will be ample. The drudgery of women also reduced as they earlier had to travel a long distance to get fodder for their livestock which now is easily available at their village, 10352 saplings were planted resulting into a developed forest land.

Feb 5, 2014

Your Help is Changing Lives

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir

Today I want to share with you two cases. These two cases show the efforts of Seva Mandir in bringing the change in so many lives.

CASE I

The initiative of GVC (Village Development Committee) against corruption: Kaucha

Kaucha is situated in the Kotra block. Pastureland work is ongoing in Kaucha under MGNREGA (a government scheme). On the first fortnight of May, 22 laborers’ names—12 women and 10 men—were enlisted in the muster rolls for pit digging activity. After completion of the fortnight the measurement was taken by the engineer but the wage rate came to only Rs. 75 per day, which is much less than the stipulated minimum wage. Each laborer’s payment came to Rs. 750. The postmaster of the local post office was authorized to pay the laborers their wage. He gave each laborer Rs. 700 and kept Rs. 50 for himself as his own commission. The postmaster had no right taking a Rs. 50 commission from each laborer’s wage.

When the GVC (Village Development Committee) heard of the matter, they approached Seva Mandir’s Zonal Worker. Together with the Zonal Worker, the GVC leaders approached the postmaster who in the beginning denied having siphoned off Rs. 50 from each labor. Subsequently, the Zonal worker as well as the GVC leaders informed the post master that they would have to take up with matter to higher officials. It was in this instance that the postmaster, perhaps out of fear as well as guilt, owned up to his mistake and returned Rs. 50 to each of the laborers. The laborers were very thankful to the GVC and as a token of their gratitude and as way to reinforce their faith in the institution, decided to contribute Rs. 50 to their village development fund.

 

CASE II

Struggle of Gram Samuh (village group) for legal rights: Peepad Village

Village Development Group, Peepad gave proposal for pastureland development by Seva Mandir as an implementing agency in MGNREGA (a government scheme). The work was sanctioned and Seva Mandir became the implementing agency. Previously Village Panchayat (a local government body) and Forest department had done the work of plantation and wall construction on the site. But a mines owner encroached upon the pastureland and started mining activities there. Village people told him to remove the encroachment but he adamantly told denied doing so and started throwing debris in pastureland.

A big meeting held at village in which all people from village participated and they decided to fight with the mines owner. Villagers blocked the road and did not allow labour and vehicle of mining person to enter the village. Simultaneously, villagers had various level of talks with Gram Panchayat, Patwari, Rajasthan State Mining and Minerals Ltd., BDO and Forest department and got clearance at all levels that mining in that area is totally illegal. Then again a big meeting was held at Peepad village and this time they invited mines owner for talk. First he refused to come in the meeting but later attended it when villagers warned to be ready for next action.

Villagers had talk with mines owner and told him to remove encroachment from pastureland which he finally agreed and removed the encroachment from village pastureland.

Presently, wall repairing and plantation work has been done by Seva Mandir. Now pastureland is totally secure and 2 people from village, guard the pastureland and they get paid through villagers’ contribution.

 

Thank you so much for supporting this program. With your support these communities are raising concerns and dealing with social problems.

We are grateful for your donation and hope to receive a continuous support from you in the future too.

Warm Regards

Atul Lekhra

Links:

Jan 30, 2014

Thank You Friends

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir.

Wishing you a very Happy, Prosperous and Wonderful 2014. Thank you friends for extending peace, love and support to all of us in 2013. We look forward to another great year with you. Year by year, our association is getting stronger. Thank you very much for adding happiness in so many lives.

Today I thought of sharing with you two stories, one of Kanku and another of Devli, they both are members of self help group (SHG).

(1). Kanku is a member of SHG named Shakti Mahila Samuh located in Magwas. She has studied till class 8th and has been a member of this SHG since 2001. She is unmarried and lives with her brother. While working with the SHG, she decided to start her own business of provisional store. She consulted with the other group members and they encouraged Kanku for starting the business. She took a room at rent for shop and took loan of Rs. 5000/- for buying stationary items to be kept in her store. Later, she took again an amount of Rs. 5000/- for increasing her items in the store. Now, she’s earning a profit of Rs. 10,000/- (approx.) every month and also repaying the installments and interest every month regularly. She’s very happy with her business and now looking forward to increase her number of items in the shop. The other SHG members and Kanku has realised the importance of SHG as they could get a good source of income through the interloaning system of SHG.

(2). Devli is a member of an SHG named Shakti Mahila Samuh of Mohd. Phalasiya village, since 2002. Her husband earlier worked as a laborer with other brick kilns in Ogna village. In 2008, she and her husband decided to start their own brick kiln business. Therefore she took a loan of Rs. 8000 from her SHG fund and they started their business on a small scale. Her group then applied for a loan under SGSY scheme of government and they were sanctioned Rs. 3,12,500 for different activities. The group provided Rs. 50,000 to Devli from SGSY loan for upscaling her brick kiln business. 

Devli’s family constructs 700-1000 bricks each day. They have employed three laborers to support them in their work. She herself works around three to four hours every day. Devli’s estimate is that her family earns a profit of around Rs. 25,000-30,000 per year. Though the income from this business is uncertain during rainy season, she feels that her income has still increased. In future, she plans to increase production as there is a huge demand for bricks in her area and also purchase plastic sheets to keep unburned bricks safe from rain.

Kanku and Devli always give thanks to Seva Mandir who introduced them to Self Help Group.

Once again thank you so much for your continuous support.

Have an awesome year ahead.

Warm regards,

Atul Lekhra 

Links:

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $40
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $65
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $195
    give
  • $390
    give
  • $400
    give
  • $780
    give
  • $40
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $65
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $195
    each month
    give
  • $390
    each month
    give
  • $400
    each month
    give
  • $780
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?