Greetings from Seva Mandir!
With this letter, I am very happy to share with you some news and updates about the program you have been supporting.
Since we’ve launched this project on Global Giving, we have managed to raise about $15,000. With a target goal of $40,000, we still have a long way to go. 93% of the population in our work area relies on self-employed agriculture, yet only about 20% of the cropped area is irrigated. In a region as rugged and dry as ours, farmers typically struggle to get a good harvest out of their basic subsistence crops. Our staff is tirelessly working with over 5,000 households, to create a thriving network of farmers who are trained in sustainable agricultural practices that can give the highest yields, while using the least amount of resources.
Below this letter is an exceptional story of how 63 female farmers seized an opportunity to cultivate new crops that contributed greatly to their household nutrition and income, while also reinvesting in the local ecology.
This past year, in the villages of Dob, Nevaj and Atwal, the waters retained during the monsoon season (July-Aug) have given farmers the option of sowing valuable cash crops. These three villages are active in Seva Mandir’s watershed development program, which effectively combats land degradation by preventing water and soil from running off the hilly terrain. These watershed development projects are the prerequisites to guaranteeing that the ecosystem not only remains in balance, but also thrives. As in all of Seva Mandir’s initiatives, local ownership is at the heart of the project. Every participating village has a Watershed Development Committee (WDC) responsible for overseeing the project. Watershed development is a long commitment; it is a commitment to training, to equality in the community, and to the ecosystem. But the rewards are enormous.
With Seva Mandir support, 63 women from the three villages received training on how to grow new cash crops that they have never grown before. The women proposed to cultivate valuable crops such as ginger, turmeric, colocassia (AKA Elephant Ears), yams (ratalu) and safed musli. In addition to receiving Seva Mandir training, the women also convinced their local WDCs to fund their project.
It was a great success. After harvest, the women took their new crops to the markets. They also were able to keep some of the crops for their own household consumption, which introduced a more diverse and nutritious diet to their families. In the end, each woman was able to pocket Rs. 1,000 – 1,500 in profit, after paying back the WDC plus an additional 10% of what they received. In a region where the daily per-capita consumption is less than Rs. 20 a day, this is a substantial amount!
The villages of Dob, Nevaj and Atwal embody much of what is to be aspired in true sustainable development. The villagers united to fight against the degradation of their land. Then, in a society that is traditionally oppressive towards women, the communities let 63 women receive training and lead a project that took advantage of a healthier watershed to cultivate a diverse array of new crops. The communities are actively combining the values of a healthy ecosystem, biodiversity, and gender equality into guaranteeing that they, and their future generations, will always have a meal to eat.
Wish you a very Happy Holiday Season!
Thank you for your continued support to our project ‘Improving Food Security for Tribal Farmers’.
With your support we are about to begin a new year and are excited about the hopes and challenges it will bring. And at this yea rend, we would like to share half yearly progress report of this project. We have attached the progress report for you to know how exactly YOUR support is creating real change. Below is the snapshot of the progress report:
We are able to make these progresses because of YOU.
And in this holiday season you can help us make more exciting progresses by doubling the impact of your donations.
From December 1, 2012 at 12:01 am ET and December 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm ET, Global giving has created a ‘Recurring Donation Campaign’ where all the recurring donations made by you will be matched up to $100 per donor per project. We request you to sign up to a monthly donation by clicking on recurring donation of an amount that you can afford and help us to make such more progresses in coming new year.
We look forward to your support and thoughts on this report. Once again, wish you a very happy holiday season to you and your family.
I am here again to share with you happiness, light and tranquility on this Diwali from all the 5,000 farmer families you are helping through this project.
Diwali is a festival of lights and candles. It symbolizes the fact that there is more good in us than bad and that we all have to keep working on it. This is what you have been doing for all these farmers. The problems in this world are endless, the struggles break us down everyday and yet we all come together to support each other. This is the message from all the farmers from our area.
Happy Diwali to all of you and we also wish you a great year ahead.
With warm regards,
P..S. Find more about Diwali here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali
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Thank you so much for your regular support to this project. We are writing this letter to share the trends of Food Security in Rajasthan. Seva Mandir has undertaken a study on Food and Nutrition Security in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The final analysis is under process but the trends from the study reveals a dismal state of affairs. A brief literature review correlated with the analysis is given below:
The issue of Food and Nutrition Security is by and large a multifaceted one. Localized as well as external factors such as, changing economic and fiscal policy of the state, status of access to loans and other agricultural input, uncertain rainfall etc. effect the status at the household level.
Survival in a delicate ecosystem characterized by dryland areas and uncertain rainfalls is the major struggle for the poor farmers in Rajasthan. However, in recent years, their survival strategies have come under severe strain due to external interventions and demographic factors wherein the sustainability of the ecosystem has been driven to the margin. Almost 45 per cent land holdings size less than 2 hectares do not have irrigation facilities.
An issue of concern with agriculture is the declining area of production of cereal crops like bajra and small millets (considered to be more nutritious) compared to wheat. There is also decline in production of pulse as per research carried out in various parts of the state. These factors directly affect the dietary diversity of the target population and hence a declined nutritional status.
The increasing human pressure on the fragile eco-systems, absence of adequate investments and appropriate management to supplement and conserve land and water resources, population growth, macroeconomic policies that provide inducement to over-exploit the natural resource are factors that contribute to explain the environmental factors that will influence the food security of the state in the long run.
At an aggregate level the state has achieved “self-sufficiency” in food production in a normal year. But these normal years are very few and in-between. The same cannot be said of security at the household level for more than half the population of the rural areas, which survives on its own meager production and incomes from casual farm and non-farm employment.
Looking at the given trends, it is very important for us to ensure food security in our region. Many thanks for your regular support and giving us a strength to address this issue in our area.
We would like to thank you once again for your continuing support and faith in our work! Your valuable donations have been crucial in helping us make a great difference in people’s lives here in Rajasthan.
We are thrilled to announce that one of our photos has been selected to feature in the Photo Contest 2012 organized by Global Giving. Voting began on August 1, 2012 and will end on August 15, 2012.
Why we want you to Vote for our Photo:
We believe the photo captures the pure spirit of the project ‘Send a Child in India to School for a Year’, and reflects the possibilities that lie ahead. With 3 Clicks, you can help us to win the Photo Contest and the Bonus Cash Prize of $1,000!
How 3 Clicks will Help:
Why this Project:
Children (6-14 years old) in villages of Udaipur, India lack access to quality education for a number of reasons. In some cases they belong to very poor families whose per capita consumption is a little more than Rs. 500/-. Often these children support their family incomes by either working as laborers or performing household chores or looking after younger siblings.
Through your vote to this project, the Bonus Cash Prize will help us fund an entire rural school to provide quality education to 25 out-of-school and working children for a year. To learn more about one of our schools, please see the enclosed photo story.
With you at our side, our work is made a little less difficult, and our efforts stretch a whole lot further. We therefore, invite you to support us with 3 clicks. Please share your thoughts on this report.
With many thanks,
Your friends at Seva Mandir
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
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