Greetings from Seva Mandir!
I have three things to say before we talk about the project you are supporting.
One - we recently participated in a fund raising event on Global Giving UK. The challenge Top 10 wins challenge (1st to 14th March) required the participant projects 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 this Holi for our farmers.
Secondly, on the 19th and 20th March we celebrated our festival Holi (festival of colors in India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi). The festival is also a symbol of celebrating the harvest of winter crop in our region. This festival signifies the end of our winters and beginning of summer. March is also our financial year end and therefore it is wonderful to end our year with lots of support from people like you and having a good harvest at this Holi. And
Finally, this year, at this point of time, Seva Mandir is going through some change. Our ex Chief Executive Ms. Neelima Khetan has stepped down on March 31st. 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 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.
The immunization project that you are supporting is going very well. Two stories from the filed are give below my letter. Also a visit note written by North (volunteer at Seva Mandir) is enclosed for your reference. Though a small section from her notes has been pulled out and included in this cover note for your reference –
“The Seva Mandir Immunization camps aim to increase immunization rate in the Udaipur area. They are held monthly across the blocks to make immunizations accessible for local people. The first time that I went to the field was about two weeks after I started volunteering at Seva Mandir. I woke up at the crack of dawn to eat breakfast and get to work in order to catch the jeep to the village of Keli in the Girwa block. I was going just as an observer, so that I would feel comfortable traveling alone to the field later in my work in the Health Office. It was a beautiful, cool, sunny morning in Udaipur, as most morning are in October. The jeep ride was through gorgeous hills. I spent some of it learning about the camps from Devrani, the Health-in-Charge of Girwa block, and the rest of the time napping against the window.
The village of Keli, Girwa Block
We had arrived in the village of Keli when the paved road ended in the middle of a grassy valley between rolling hills. It was quiet and pretty deserted. There were a bunch of cows and a few people in the distance, and birds singing in the gentle breeze. We walked up a gentle hill to a small one-room building with a patio were we met Neelam, the nurse, and Govind the para-health worker, who were sitting inside on carpets on the floor. Govind pulled out a hefty medical bag and Devrani and I went through a checklist of all the things that were supposed to be available for the immunization camp. Everything was in order. The village’s Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) arrived with about ten women and their babies. There was also one very tiny and very pregnant lady. Neelam and Govind went through the babies one by one, checking their immunization cards and entries in the records from previous camps in order to give the babies the immunizations that they needed.” You can read the rest of the note in enclosed file.
Immunization is an ongoing program. We are very grateful to you for your regular support. We hope that you will be able to visit/write to encourage our new team and leadership.
Happy Holi to you and your family from all of us here.
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