Greetings from Seva Mandir!!
I have two pieces of news to share before we talk about Heerki whose life has been transformed because of your support and SHGs.
One -we had participated in a fund raising event on Global Giving UK. The challenge Top 10 wins challenge (1st to 14th March) required us to raise at least of £ 500 with minimum of 25 donors. Seva Mandir participated with its project “Improving Food Security for Tribal Farmers in India”. This project helps 5000 poor, marginalized farmers in rural Udaipur to have better crops and thus earn more money/food. This is done through a variety of programs including – seed bank program, using organic manure prepared with the help of earth worms (vermin-composting), growing cash crops like vegetables (preparing nurseries) for self sustenance and income generation. You would be very happy to note that this project raised £705 from 31 donors in the Top 10 Wins Challenge and therefore it won a bonus prize of £300. It is a perfect gift on the Holi (the color festival) for our farmers this year.
Two, this year, in March our ex Chief Executive Ms. Neelima Khetan was retired. She has spent 25 years with Seva Mandir and the last twelve years as the Chief Executive. The organization excelled during her time and with her leadership marked a number of achievements. Though she has left us due to our constitutional norms, we are very happy to have her as our Trustee on Seva Mandir Board. Her continuing association with Seva Mandir is very assuring for all of us.
Ms. Priyanka Singh has taken over as Chief Executive of Seva Mandir from 1st April 2011. She has spent over thirteen years with Seva Mandir heading Education and Health program and leading Badgaon Block (a geographical unit for our work). She has a post graduate degree in rural development from the same institute as Ms. Khetan did. She is very capable and a great person to work with. With her deep understanding of issues in rural development and support from all our friends like you, we are very much looking forward to seeing Seva Mandir keep doing its good work in the next years to come. At this point of time, we all look for your continuous support and faith for many more years of working together.
Below my letter please find the story of Heerki. I very much hope you will enjoy learning about the impact small activity like saving and credit can do for women of our region. Thank you so much for supporting this program.
Please do consider to make another donation and also encourage your friends to support this project. We hope that you will be able to visit/write to encourage our new team and leadership.
Here is the story of Heerki – (Story written by Anjali – an ex volunteer to Seva Mandir)
Heerki has not been educated. She has two sons and three daughters. In her home, she lives with her husband, one of her sons, his wife, and his child. Her routine consists of doing all family work including cattle, household, and field work. Her husband does NREGA in another village and field work, and her son is a factory threadmill worker.
From the SHG she has taken around Rs. 10,000 (USD 223) in loans for household items, marriage, and education fees. They were taken through family decisions.
Her husband suggested they purchase a water lifting machine through the bank linkage loan. The machine is a bore that fits to an electric pump. The machine has now made a huge change in their field work. Before, they could not grow wheat and now they’ve grown fifteen quintels of wheat. Though they haven’t yet sold anything, they could have potentially made Rs. 4,500 (USD 100) in the past four months. Each quintel will bring in Rs. 1,500. Now, they’re also cultivating vegetables, which they couldn’t do previously.
No training was needed for the machine as it simply needs to be plugged in. Their costs include electricity and nearly a quintel of seeds which were purchased to begin. One quintel is approximately one kg of seeds, which costs Rs. 18. They needed to purchase the seeds initially, but can now save their own seeds and won’t need to purchase any next time.
The whole family works in the field for two to three hours a day. They haven’t sold anything yet, but will sell to other villagers. They are already satisfied.
The only problem for the family is that there is not always electricity for the motor to spread water in the field. In addition, Heerki expresses that it is very hard work, but feels content as it is a job.
Prior to this loan, they made about Rs. 3,000 (USD 67) a month. Now, they don’t have to purchase as much food because they have more of their own food. The money saved is going to their installments. The family plans to begin selling in one to two months.
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