Aug 19, 2020

A STITCH IN TIME

Rupali with the masks
Rupali with the masks

Rupali is an example of an entrepreneur who has displayed outstanding leadership during this pandemic time. After her tailoring business came to a standstill, and Mann Deshi proposed that she make masks there was no stopping her. She hired 30 women, many of whom knew only basic stitching. To train them Rupali made a video and circulated it on Whatsapp. Anyone who had a smartphone could contact her if they had any queries. She also set aside a room in her house where between 11 am to 1 pm, women working under her could enter, either to drop off finished masks or collect material. Since she had the machinery, she cut cloth for women who had bulk orders for masks, thereby earning more money. During the two months of lockdown, Rupali earned nearly Rs 70,000 from cutting cloth and Rs 60,000 from bulk orders. 

Seeing Rupali’s success, Mann Deshi provided cloth cutting machinery to women so that they too could take bulk orders. One of them is Anita. Before the lockdown, between her tailoring business and her husband’s work in a brick kiln, the Bhosale made Rs 6,000 a month. This dried up when lockdown was imposed. Anita then started making face masks on her own with the cloth she already had. She supplied these masks to medical stores, a hospital and neighbouring gram panchayats. It was then that Mann Deshi got in touch with her and gave her a cloth-cutting machine. Anita hired 20 women who now make 700-800 masks a day. During the two months of lockdown, Anita herself earned nearly Rs 50,000.  “Although the mask-making work has come down now,” Anita says, “the experience has honed my stitching skills and I’ve realized the importance of quality. I’ve also learnt how to lead a team. I will be using these new skills to expand my business.”

Ranjana at her premises
Ranjana at her premises

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May 20, 2020

Mann Deshi Champions Covid19 Innovation

Mann Deshi Champions Sports Program allows rural and tribal children to play sports and eat nutritious food. That draw to eat an egg and banana eventually led to Kajal becoming one of the best hockey players in the state of Maharashtra. Kajal introduced her friend Sarita, who comes from a family of shepherds who walk 300 km a year in search of water for their sheep, to the program. Sarita, who had developed a keen ear and was an excellent wolf tracker, also developed a natural affinity for hockey and now plays with Kajal on the state team. Unlike other fifteen-year-old girls in their village who worry about being pressured to drop out of school or marry early, Kajal and Sarita dream of being selected for the Indian Olympic hockey team. And their families support them. This is because sports has given them the freedom they could never have imagined - money. With the lockdown and covid19 pandemic, things are very different for rural national level athletes in India like Sarita and Kajal. They are struggling to find food for their families in the midst of a complete lockdown. With their savings fast depleting, they are contributing to the family's or neighbors' field, earning a daily wage. They are busy cooking for their large families, finding wood for fuel, and taking care of their younger siblings. 

 

At Mann Deshi, we are concern about our athletes. Since Mann Deshi Champions athletes come from a tribal and rural background, they are unable to receive adequate nutrition. Just the other day, when one of our coaches called to check-in, one aspiring young athlete said that he missed eating the dates he gets at the Mann Deshi Champions ground. There is a possibility athlete like Reshma, Sarita, and Kajal who joined sports to go away from child marriage, If covid19 continues for some-time, lot of rural athletes will end up leaving the sports and will get married.

 

Here are some efforts of Mann Deshi Champions to deal with the pandemic.

  1. Plant a tree and eat a nutritious meal with protein

Though Mann Deshi Champions is providing protein bags to over 300 athletes, bags are consists of dates, eggs, bananas, vitamins, and protein powder. Along with the protein bags, Mann Deshi Champions are providing two trees, a Mango, and a Neem tree, so in the lockdown, they could take care of the trees. 

To support the athletes and give them confidence, Mann Deshi has been doing zoom calls with tribal and rural Mann Deshi's athletes and Olympians/ International Champions. In this mentorship session, Mann Deshi Champions and International elite athletes discuss their daily lives, sports techniques, coaching, and diet

 

 

  1. Get to know Mann Deshi athlete: Psychological Counseling:

Mann Deshi Champions athletes come from tribal and rural communities, at the midst of lockdown, Mann Deshi Champions athletes are facing challenges of hunger, coaching, and support. To mentally prepare them, Mann Deshi Champions came up with a unique idea where International level athletes, Olympians, and top professional athletes, mentors, the nutritionist will have zoom calls with the Mann Deshi Champions athletes.  In this mentorship session, Mann Deshi Champions and International elite athletes discuss their daily lives, sports techniques, coaching, and diet. The idea to support each other and share their perspective to survive in this pandemic.

While speaking with Aparna, a badminton Olympian, one of the Mann Deshi Champions athlete Reshma a marathon runner shared with her experience of getting rejected and bullying at the beginning of her career but sports is what helped her out to fight back. Similar things had happened with Aparna, who is an Olympian and commonwealth games, medalist. Similarly, Erin a WNBA player spoke about the importance of coaching and leadership.

 

In May, Mann Deshi Champions had about 10 Zoom sessions with different athletes, coaches, and mentors.

 

  1. Mann Deshi Champions digital platform:

 

Mann Deshi Champions coaches are providing all our athlete's guidance of workout, injuries, nutrition through phone, video calling, and WhatsApp videos. Every week our coaches are putting up videos of wrestling, track, and field, endurance workouts, etc. Athletes who can use or have access to WhatsApp are daily doing exercises through the videos

Apr 21, 2020

Let's Pedal towards education

Aarti with her bicycle
Aarti with her bicycle

Let’s Pedal towards education:

Aarti says, "She is independent now; she feels more confident and determined. She wants to work hard and become a Teacher. "

Aarti is a resident of Wadi village which is located in Vaduz. She is 12 years old and studies in 7th grade. She lost her mother at the age of 5, 2 years after her mother's death, her father also died. She now lives with her grandmother, who works as a daily wage labour.

Aarti's school is far away from her house which is about 4 km away. She goes to school on foot, which took a lot of time and made her tired, so she did not pay enough attention to study. Her grandmother cannot buy a bicycle for her because her financial situation is not good. She now received a bicycle from the Maan Deshi. She started supporting her grandmother in household chores and also gets ample time for her studies.

Aarti says, "She is independent now; she feels more confident and determined. She wants to work hard and become a Teacher. "

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