To all our supporters,
Below is an update on the Dal Mill project. We reached out to Ram, the ambitious Seva Mandir staff member who’s out to prove that “business can be both socially responsible and profitable, even in the most remote and disadvantaged locations”, to ask about how the past year has gone for the Dal Mill Project. We hope you’ll find his response as inspiring as it was for us:
Dal Mill Annual Report
The last year has been a great success for the Dal Mill. The following are some of the highlights:
There have also been major changes to the infrastructure of the mill. A de-stoner machine was purchased in order to remove grit and small stones from the product. We also bought a new processing machine in order to increase the mill’s efficiency and reduce the cost of production.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, our work to get the mill hooked up to the electricity grid has finally been completed and the mill should be electrified by the end of June. This will drastically cut the cost of electricity over the current diesel generator and lead to a significant increase in profits.
We are now in the final stages of implementing a partnership between the Dal Mill and Sadhna, a fair-trade social women enterprise initiated (in 1980s) and developed by Seva Mandir (www.sadhna.org). In end of 2004 Sadhna has become an independent mutual benefit trust.
Collaborating with Sadhna would provide the Dal Mill with a well-known and reputable branding and visibility. It would also mean that the mill would be legally registered, meeting the requirements for it to continue operating.
Overall, last year has been very eventful for the mill. Your support has been instrumental for us to achieve these targets. Please take a look at our program page to see how we are trying to spread our reach from 20 to 300 villages, and help about 180,000 people in the process. Once again, thank you for all your support!
Tessa from the UK who is volunteering with us currently on this project that you are supporting. She has written a small note to share with you. I hope you would enjoy reading the progress the farmers are making with your support. Thank you for helping these farmers.
In the last year the Dal Mill has acquired new clients from the commercial sector, most notably the Taj Palace Hotel – a high end hotel based in Udaipur. Over the last 3 months Taj has requested over 1,400 kg of dal and remains a loyal customer. By attracting and retaining new commercial businesses, like the Taj we have ensured that there is constant demand for the pulses.
2012 also saw the introduction of two new products in the form of green and black gram in recognition that an over reliance on one dal product (tuar) leaves the dal enterprise vulnerable to market price fluctuations. By diversifying our product portfolio we have countered this risk and responded to a demand in the market. The sourcing of different dal pulses also means the Dal Mill functions throughout the year as each pulse has a different harvesting time, increasing the processing period across the majority of the year as opposed to just three months.
With more villages now being involved in the Dal Mill a new collection centre was set up to make it more accessible for farmers to deposit their raw produce. This has meant that farmers do not waste unnecessary time and money transporting their goods which has in turn encouraged more farmers to get involved in the project.
With a steady increase in dal production, a result of new pulses being introduced and more farmers becoming involved in the project, the Dal Mill has become more sustainable, reaching out to more farming communities and ensuring a greater share of profit reaches local farmers and their families.
I am here again to share with you happiness, light and tranquility on this Diwali from all the 3,500 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 we bring from all the farmers from our area who are happier on this festival, all because of your support.
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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We would like to thank you for your support our project ‘Profit for Poor Farmers’.
With this letter, we have attached the annual progress report of this project, for you to know how exactly your donations are creating real change.
Highlights of this year…
~The stone separating machine has been ordered costing Rs. 150,000 (USD 3,333) which would be installed in March next year.
~The project site is located in Medi village of Girwa block. The village doesn’t have electricity. This year, the village has been included for electrification by the Government under the scheme of ‘Rajeev Gandhi village electrification’ (Government scheme for providing electricity in rural villages).
~A permanent worker at the project site was appointed to ensure timely opening of the mill and to perform other daily tasks.
~Training was provided to the worker for operating the machine efficiently in order to minimize the chances of breakdowns and to achieve good quality of final product.
This all progress wouldn’t have been made without your support. Once again many thanks for your continued faith in our work. Please do share your thoughts on this project and feedback report.
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.
With 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.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.