Building Self Reliant Rural Communities in India

 
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Dear Friends,

In the village of Rohimala- Chief Minister Awas Yojana (government social welfare program) was introduced to provide housing for rural poor along with several activities such as well deepening, construction of boundary wall, saffron spraying in pastureland, plantation, etc.

For this, families Below Poverty Line (BPL) are provided with a subsidy of Rs. 50,000 for house construction.

Recently, few cases have emerged out from the village itself which made Seva Mandir presence a must as there is lack of appropriate government monitoring towards this type of BPL schemes.

In past, over 90% families in the village have been struggling out with a major issue of cross-level corruption with its own Mini Bank worker who is reportedly taking bribe from the villagers to provide them funds which govt. allots them.

 

CASES:

Kalu, treasurer of the Village Development Fund, was the first man standing to raise the issue with the BPL families who have not been getting funds from the banks. He reported to the Panchayat (local govt. body) that he was told by 18 people of 5 different villages that people from the bank were asking for a share in the grant provided under the scheme. The Mini Bank worker took a bribe of Rs. 500 each. He complained that the families believe that as they are receiving “free money” from the government, they do not mind giving a portion to the bank agents.

Also, Sardar who is another beneficiary of the government scheme was granted Rs. 50,000 through Mini Bank installments for house construction. He is illiterate so when verified that although Rs. 15,000 was registered as first installment, he only received Rs. 14,500; in addition, instead of Rs. 9,000 as second installment, he only received Rs. 8,000. In total, he has paid Rs. 1,500 as bribe. As a reason for not reporting to the authorities he said that he was afraid that he might not receive future installments.

Heer, another villager entitled to this scheme, denied to pay Rs. 500 bribe demanded by Mini bank worker. But later he had to negotiate and pay Rs.100 to the bank worker. As told by villagers, it was mentioned that both the Sarpanch (Head of the village) and Panchayat secretary are receiving Rs. 500 as bribe to sanction approvals for the construction of houses. 

After reviewing all these corruption cases Seva Mandir stepped in and took charge of the situation by uniting the villagers to lodge one formal joint complaint to the higher legal authorities such as BDO and SDM. As a result, both Sardar and Heer agreed to sign the application only if everyone is participating.

 

Seva Mandir since then is helping the villagers by joining hands with them to fight against strong challenge of cross-level corruption, by making them aware about their rights and also by organizing street programs, circulating timely information through brochures and trainings at regular periods.

Thank you so much for your continuous support to our program.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

Please do follow us on https://www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

Dear Friend,

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Since 1968, Seva Mandir has worked with 360,000 people across 700 villages in south­ern Rajasthan, one of the world’s poorest regions, where people live on an average of USD 0.35 a day, to build cohesive and inclu­sive communities whose members are able to participate actively in the local decision-making which affects their daily lives.

Fostering democratic participation in the affairs of the community is the foundation for all of Seva Mandir’s interventions in the region and is a key element of its success in supporting deprived rural communities.

Seva Mandir has worked in partnership with these people, not only to improve their material well-being, but to build stronger and more ethical communities. Through its programs on governance, health, education, sustainable use of natural resources, women’s empowerment, youth development, child care and social enterprise, Seva Mandir makes a tangible and transformative impact. 

At Seva Mandir, very modest amounts of money go a very long way toward improving people’s lives, and our success has been recognized through a long list of awards and partnerships with distinguished funders and the Indian government.

We wish to thank you for your continued support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

Please do follow us on https://www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

'FARMERS CAN NOW FARM MORE THAN SIX TIMES AS MUCH LAND SINCE THE WATER CAN BE PUMPED UP TO THE HIGHER AREAS'

Narayan from a village in Kotra block had a well in his field, which he let the other farmers use to irrigate their adjoining fields. They paid him for the fuel used to pump the water to the surface and a third of their revenue at harvest time. He was proud that his well could be used to help the rural community. But the area is undulating and the farmers could only irrigate the land that the water could reach through gravity. This meant that for most of the year 85% of their land could not be cultivated.

With Seva Mandir's help, the well was made deeper and a lift pump was installed, with both electric and diesel machines so it could operate even during the numerous power cuts. The farmers now no longer pay fuel costs but give Narayan a quarter of their total production, out of which he pays for diesel and electricity, contributes 50% of the remainder to the village fund, and uses the rest for maintenance of the well and the machinery. So now, thanks to the lift well, they can farm all of their land (more than six times as much as before) as the water can be pumped up to the higher areas.
‘I am very proud that, by allowing my neighbors to use the lift mechanism in my well, I have helped the whole community to be much more prosperous. Seva Mandir has helped us all to live better.’

Thank you Friends for your support to this program.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

Links:

Dear Friends,

Here is a story of the initiative of village development committee against corruption in Kaucha village:

Kaucha is situated in the Kotra block. Pastureland work is ongoing in Kaucha under MGNREGA (a government scheme). Names of 22 laborers—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 Seva Mandir 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.

Thank you so much friends for your continuous support to this program.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

Links:

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir.

Today I would like to share with you the story of Malpur village where a veterinary hospital was constructed with the help of our village development committee.

The construction of Malpur’s Veterinary hospital:

In Malpur village of Jhadol block, a building for veterinary hospital was approved with the objective of becoming central cattle treatment point for other 4 neighboring villages. The problem started when the Panchayat (Village government body), Sarpanch (Head of the village) and Secretary for these 5 villages took the decision to build the veterinary hospital in Chandwas village instead of in Malpur because of political reasons, as the people were supporters of a different political party. Despite the opposition of the people in Malpur, the veterinary hospital building started to be constructed in Chandwas.

This matter was raised initially at GVC (Village Development Committee) level and was taken to the village meeting. The GVC members along with the villagers went to the panchayat and government officials and placed a complaint application, however, no action was taken and negligence persisted. The GVC and its secretary Nanalal decided to go to the District Collector, to stop the construction work in Chandwas village. After that the panchayat was made liable to pay the amount of the total costs of the construction undertaken so far.

The constant efforts of the GVC in mobilizing the people of the whole village and providing guidance and support to the people of Malpur village contributed ultimately, to have the veterinary hospital being constructed in the right place, in their village. The GVC played a pivotal role in mobilizing the people of Malpur village to fight for their right, for the construction of the veterinary hospital in their village.

In Malpur, the GVC was formed 10 years ago and numerous projects were conducted to improve the village conditions. The GVK (Village Development Fund) has been used for different purposes, such as the construction of a community centre for the villagers, the opening of a Non-formal Education centre (NFE) for children between 6-14 years old, the deepening of water well for the villagers, the supply of good quality seeds, tree plantations (such as goose berries) in the village which helped to generate income between Rs. 40,000-45,000 on a yearly basis. The GVC has also been instrumental in raising the awareness of people on the different government schemes such as widow pension, CM Indira Awas Yojana and MNREGA labour work.

Due to the efforts of the GVC, the village community has become stronger in the last decade and this has overall, enhanced the unity and cooperation among villagers, which now are also more aware of their rights and duties.

Thank you for your support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

Links:

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Organization

Seva Mandir

Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
http://www.sevamandir.org

Project Leader

Priyanka Singh

Executive Director
Udaipur, Rajasthan India

Where is this project located?

Map of Building Self Reliant Rural Communities in India