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...
Jun 11, 2013

Recent Successes.....Thanks for your contribution

Dear Friends,

                Thank you for supporting our project for food security among tribal farmers. We are writing to tell you a bit about our recent successes that your contribution has helped us accomplish! The focus of our work in this project lies in recovering, developing, and sharing common pasturelands and forests for the benefit of entire communities. Over 73% of the land in our work area is government-owned common land, and is supposed to be managed and used for the benefit of the entire community.  However, illegal private interests have encroached on much of this land, accruing benefits to powerful individuals and depriving people of their right to the community’s natural resource base. 

               On February 12, Seva Mandir staff along with scores of tribal villagers led a rally to the Office of the Commissioner of Tribal Area Development, in order to bring attention to the local government and community of Udaipur on the issue of inadequate forestland management in the area. The 2006 Forest Rights Act, giving individuals entitlement to land they have encroached upon, has led to problems concerning the protection of forests as a valuable resource for the community as a whole. As a result, the Forest Protection Committees (FPCs) have asked for forestland to be leased to entire communities instead of individuals. We will continue to encourage an open dialogue between the communities and the state.

 

Here are some of our important accomplishments to date:

 

   Hectares Reclaimed and Developed: 16,000

   Worth of Fodder Produced Annually on Reclaimed Land: Rs. 4,500,000 (£53,000)

   Forest Protection Committees: 84

   Treated 3,335 hectares of community pastureland

   Constructed 44 lift irrigation systems

 

Thank you for contributing to the success of this program! We are working hard to maintain this important project and develop new innovations to increase the agricultural productivity of the tribal farmers in southern Rajasthan. On June 12th, GlobalGiving is offering a unique opportunity, matching 50% of your donation, and making your gift go that much further. We hope that you participate in this special day and continue to support all the work that we do.

 Warm regards,

 Deepti

 

              

Links:

Jun 7, 2013

A Wonderful Achievement for our Education Program

Children at our Education Center
Children at our Education Center

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you today to share some news about a wonderful accomplishment for the Seva Mandir Education Program. After being on the verge of having to close down our successful NFE primary schools, we are happy to announce that the Government of Rajasthan has officially legalized them as education centers. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, implemented by the Indian Government in 2009, has demonstrated progress in the rights based approach to ensuring education for all.  However, under this act, one-size-fits-all criteria were set out for what constitutes a “school” such as, number of classrooms, toilet facilities, and level of teacher qualification.  Our primary schools, which do not meet this criterion but deliver a top quality education to over 5,000 of the region’s most impoverished children every year,faced closure.

It took the Seva Mandir family over 2 years of hard work to save the program and ensure the continued education of the children in our work area.  We carried out a study that found that 49% of children are still out of school in the remote areas where Seva Mandir schools operate.  We lobbied intensely, arguing that despite the Government’s promise of education for all, Seva Mandir is vital and necessary until the State can deliver on that promise.  Finally, just days ago, the Government provided us a chance to prove our work.  4 teams of Government officials conducted random surprise checkups on 11 of our NFE centers. 10 out of 11 were open, and after full day observations the officials concluded that the learning levels in our schools were significantly above those found in Government schools.  Furthermore, the officials praised our schools’ efficiency, and recognized the fact that we are doing more than Government with fewer inputs. As a result of their experience on the ground, and after vetting our curriculum and teaching material, the State of Rajasthan has legalized our NFEs by according them the status of Special Training Centers (STCs).  In concluding meetings, officials resolved that if society was so accepting of the program then it was important for the government to follow suit. As our NFE schools are now legitimized we can continue to provide the neediest and most marginalized children with a quality education.  This is a tremendous achievement for Seva Mandir and all of our wonderful supporters. Thank you for contributing to this success and for your continued support!

If you wish to continue your support for the education of children in southern Rajasthan, on June 12th Global Giving’s Bonus Rewards Day will allow you to make an even bigger difference. By matching your donation by 50%, your contribution will go that much further to ensuring the education that all children deserve.

Warm regards,

Deepti

 

 

Links:

Jun 7, 2013

You can help us save even more lives

Mother with her child in an immunization camp
Mother with her child in an immunization camp

Dear Friends,

            Thank you for your continued support of our immunization program! With your help, we have made significant strides in improving the health standards of children and young mothers across the region. We have conducted immunization camps across 113 different hamlets, reaching out to remote and rural areas that have previously not received this essential care. In 2012-2013, we were able to immunize 1,324 children, perform 1,553 antenatal checkups, and provide treatment for routine ailments.

In southern Rajasthan, with immunization rates as low as 19% in certain areas, the need for programs such as ours is severe. The health of children and young mothers across the region still presents a significant problem. However, a recent study in 2009 in collaboration with J-PAL of MIT has shown that 60% of children in our intervention areas have received complete immunization, compared to only 35% in non-intervention areas.This year we strove to increase the supply and demand of immunization throughout our work area. We provided regular, reliable, and well-publicized camps, and offered incentives to parents to ensure that they would bring their children to be immunized.

We hope to continue reducing the mortality rates in the area by making complete immunization accessible and ultimately, the norm. Esteemed MIT professors Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo recognized the high quality of our efforts. After conducting a study in 2009, they stated in their book Poor Economics that, “Seva Mandir’s immunization program is one of the most impressive we have ever evaluated, and probably the one that has saved the most lives”.

Our wish is to maintain this high level of quality and performance in our immunization program, and with your help we can. On June 12th, Global Giving will match 50% of your donation to our project. Thank you again for your support of Seva Mandir’s work!

Sincerely,

Deepti

Links:

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