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...
Oct 31, 2013

Securing The Future With Your Support

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir.

Hope you are well. Today I thought of sharing with you the story of Premi Bai Lohar who secured her livelihood with the help of self help group.

Premi Bai Lohar lives in Kagmandra, village of Semal panchayat in Badgaon block. She is a member of a self help group since January 2010. Her group comprises of 20 members. The group has been very active from the day of its inception. There has been regular inter-loaning and re-payment in the group.

The group took a loan of Rs. 2,40,000/-  from their village corpus in February 2010. Premi Bai received a loan of Rs. 20,000 from the Gram Vikas Kosh (Village Development Fund) for Meenakari business that she was involved in.

“Meenakari” is a traditional form of art which was introduced in the country by the Mughals. It is an art of enameling metals like gold, silver and copper. This form of art has been practiced in the area extensively for the past 30 years and Premi Bai and her husband have been involved in this profession since last 7 to 8 years.

They do meenakari on silver metal. They bring silver from Nathdwara, a neighboring town of Rajsamand district, which is around 80 Km from her village, do meenakari work on it and sell the finished goods in the market.

In the past, due to unavailability of money, Premi Bai and her husband were unable to buy silver in large quantity from the market, due to which they could sell lesser quantity of goods and therefore earned Rs. 4000 (approx.) per month, which was not sufficient to support their family of 7 members.

The loan of Rs. 20,000 provided a boost to their business. They were now able to buy the required raw material in bulk, as a result they could sell larger quantity of finished goods in the market.

Today, Premi Bai and her husband are earning Rs. 8000 per month (approx.) from this business and their economic condition has significantly improved.

This is one of the examples from Self Help Groups. Thank you for being beside us on our journey to development. We really appreciate the trust you have shown in us. Please do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you again.

Atul Lekhra


Oct 22, 2013

Some Recent Developments..... Thanks

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir.

Hope you are well. Today I thought of sharing with you some recent positive developments related to our dal mill project.

 As you know that our dal mill was established in Medi village of Kotra block in the year 2008 with the objective of giving back the farmers the benefits of a value chain and removal of middlemen from the same. Our second objective was to provide quality pulses to the consumers at fair price. Till now our objective has been realized successfully and the fact that we have realized a turnover of almost Rs. 7,00,000 for FY ’12-’13 and the largest hotel of Udaipur, the Taj lake Palace being our client bear testimony to the same.

The farmers of Kotra from whom we procure the pulses have never used chemical fertilizers or pesticides for cultivation of crops. The QPS Laboratories of Hyderabad (India), where we sent a sample of our tuar dal (lentil) for testing has confirmed the same. The quality of our dal is such good that for the first time we have received an international order from Japan.

Shiho Yamasaki from Japan is a client of Sadhna Handicrafts (sister concern of Seva Mandir). Last year during the visit she purchased some amount of tuar dal from Sadhna. After going back to her home country she cooked the same and also gave samples to her friends. She was so impressed by the quality and taste of dal that she came for a visit to India last month just to know more about the pulses. She undertook a visit of the dal mill during last month. During her visit we provided her with details regarding the quality of dal and the operational details of the dal mill. She interviewed the farmers regarding their farming practices. During her return we provided her with samples of all three varieties of dal. Shiho had links with some of the largest pulses retailers in Japan. She said that local availability of pulses in Japan is very scarce and prices are quite high. The quality of dal is not very good either. She promised to showcase our dal to the retailers of Japan and emphasize about its quality and certification to them.

As a result of our fine quality of dal, we have received a tentative order of 100Kgs. Of tuar dal from Shiho. We are in the process of sorting out the technicalities of dal export to a foreign country. Once it’s cleared the tuar dal from Medi Village will for the first time land on foreign soil which we are confident will be highly appreciated for its great taste. It’s indeed an achievement for us.

We are very proud of the hard work these farmers have put in to make Dal Mill project a huge success. As you may know the project has helped the farmers receive 30% more income and it is certainly a good news. Much of this success is also due to your untiring support. Please do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you once again.

Atul Lekhra 


Sep 9, 2013

Success Story of Bheroti Village.....Thanks to You

Photo of a villager at Bheroti Village
Photo of a villager at Bheroti Village


Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir!

Hope you are well. I like to introduce myself to you. I am Atul Lekhra. I have joined Seva Mandir early this year and I will now be communicating with you through these project reports. I am glad to be a part of this program and look forward to talking to you about all these wonderful projects you are supporting.

Today I want to share with you story of Bheroti village.

Lift irrigation was installed at Bheroti village of Jhadol block. The system is installed near a perennial river known as Vakal. The village itself is surrounded by hillocks. The water runoff is very high. The river is the only constant source of water for the surrounding villages.  Cropping pattern is completely rainfed in this village. So, in Kharif season the main crops grown are Maize, Black Gram, Rice, Pigeon pea, and Sismon. In Rabi season, in the region where there are land containing some soil moisture there, farmers cultivate few crops namely Mustard, Gram and Wheat.  Seva Mandir has been working in the village for a long time. In Biroti village, of jhadol block  Seva Mandir has been working on non formal education center (NFE), Balwadi (Pre Nursery school) and for women empowerment a Self Help Group (SHG) has been developed. In consultation with the community Seva Mandir along with Gram Vikas Committee (Village Development Committee) thought of installing a lift irrigation system. This system will help in fully utilizing the river nearby. And so the irrigation system was installed. The system has benefited 20 cultivators in 13 hectares of comman area and it has supported in realization of three cropping pattern for the beneficiaries. Importantly, during uncertain monsoon period these cultivators are benefitting with life saving irrigation for the crops. This system is managed and maintained by the cultivators themselves.

In Kharif season 11 cultivators’ sowed 55 kgs. of Maize and in return they harvested 2200 kgs. of Maize. During Kharif season three cultivators harvested 80 kgs of Musli (medicinal plant). One cultivator harvest vegetables and was benefited with an income of Rs. 2000. During Rabi season, seventeen cultivators sowed 622 kgs of Wheat and harvested 9300 kgs. At present in zaid season, six cultivators has sowed green grams.

From food security point of view, we can say that cultivators are more secure now due to irrigation system. Earlier
in lieu of uncertain monsoon cultivators had just Kharif season, but now due to the irrigation system, they can harvest for three seasons. Now cultivators enjoy increased and stable income.

Much of this success is also due to your untiring support. It is a great partnership and we hope to continue having
you by our side. We really appreciate the trust you have shown in us. Please do let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you again.

Atul Lekhra.


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