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Dec 2, 2019

More Successes and Achievements for Seva Mandir

Dear Friend,

The status of women has improved considerably in the last few decades in the regions of Udaipur and Rajsamand. While there are still major hurdles to overcome, it has brought about meaningful transformations in the lives of rural and tribal women. Women have become more confident, are more visible in social and political spaces, and young women in particular are aspiring to a receive a quality education and increased autonomy.

Seva Mandir's Women's Empowerment programme continues to contribute towards this change and seeks to enhance the status of women through a variety of interventions. Working in collaboration with women, men and their communities, the programme tackles multifaceted inequality at each level, in order to cultivate more just and gender-equal relations, norms and practices. By helping women run and self-govern institutions such as the Self-Help Groups (SHGs), the programme also develops solidarity, governance and management capacities among women.

Thavri is from a remote tribal community in southern Rajasthan, where, as is often the case for women in most remote areas, she had no control of her family’s or her own finances. That all changed when a Seva Mandir facilitated Self-Help Groups (SHGs) opened in her village. Tharvi immediately joined as a member. Before the SHG, Tharvi was unable to save any money, and she would have to borrow money from a local moneylender at 5% interest but she was often unable to keep up with the payments.

As a member of the SHG, she was able to avoid such moneylenders. Tharvi took a loan of Rs 45,000 (USD $627) to pay for her son’s wedding at an interest rate of just 1%. She takes comfort in knowing that the interest in re-invested into the SHG to help other women like herself.

This is just one of the examples of how the SHGs help women during their time of need. Without your support none of this would be possible.

We would also like to share that Seva Mandir is delighted to congratulate long-time academic collaborators and supporters of its work, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, who have just won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science ‘for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.’

On receiving the award, Abhijit paid tribute to Seva Mandir: ‘I really owe to those with whom we work, whose lives we study in many ways. And also the people who work with them. We've learned a huge amount from organisations like Seva Mandir and Pratham, for example. In my personal experience, these organisations work on a very large scale with very poor people.’

This is not the first time that one of Seva Mandir’s research partners has received a Nobel prize. In 2015, Professor Angus Deaton won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences for his analysis of consumption, poverty and welfare. With Banerjee and Duflo, and in partnership with Seva Mandir, Professor Deaton conducted a survey of rural households and health facilities in Udaipur district, discussed in their joint paper Health Care Delivery in Rural Rajasthan, 2003.

Seva Mandir will continue to work with many other prestigious international and national academics to solve the problems faced by people living in poverty.

I am also happy to share with you that we have a new website (www.sevamandir.org)! We invite you to explore it!

Thank you again for your generosity in choosing to support the project of Seva Mandir. Together, we can transform lives.

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

Oct 31, 2019

Empowering Rural Communities

Dear Friend,

Since 1968, Seva Mandir is working with the tribal communities of Udaipur and Rajsamand district of south­ern Rajasthan, one of the world’s poorest regions, where the average per capita income is less than USD 0.50 per 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.

Congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for being conferred with the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. It is a proud and joyful moment for Seva Mandir and the communities of Udaipur region with whom they conducted studies on Health and Education.

We wish to thank you for your continued support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

Oct 21, 2019

Shelter Home: Reuniting Families...

Dear Friend,

Meena (name changed) could find her family back after 3 long months of being separated from them.

The story goes back to 2018 when a woman with a young girl was found by paralegal volunteers (from District Legal Services Authority) in very poor conditions. They brought her to our shelter home to provide her safety. Upon investigation, it was found that she was mentally unstable and facing depression for a long time. She could not offer much of her whereabouts but from her language we understood that she hailed from Uttar Pradesh state. Our shelter home further investigated more and contacted Uttar Pradesh police station to enquire about her. Police found her family and asked her husband Mahesh (name changed) to go for verification to the Seva Mandir shelter home. Meanwhile, Meena continued to stay at the shelter home with her daughter.

Mahesh came to Seva Mandir shelter home and briefed about the history of his family. He said that 4 years back they lost a 3-month-old baby boy. Meena was in depression since then and 3 months back she left home with her 3-year-old daughter. Mahesh and his family tried very hard to find her but could not trace her. They even filed a lost report in the police station but came empty-handed. Slowly they lost all hopes of finding her.

When he received information about Meena being alive and safe, he could not believe it at first. He is not sure how she reached so far from home. He cried tears of joy when he saw his wife and daughter and the daughter was more than just happy on seeing her father after so long. The family left happily for their native and Mahesh was given counseling on how to take care of Meena’s depression.

Shelter Home is not just for abused and helpless, it is a home for everyone and the doors are open for all. The aim of our shelter home is to bond the families and in every case, the first attempt is to reunite the families.

Thank you for your support and for the confidence that you have placed in us. None of this would have been possible without you. With your precious support we have been and we will be able to translate Seva Mandir's commitment into a meaningful change.

Congratulations to Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer for being conferred with the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science. It is a proud and joyful moment for Seva Mandir and the communities of Udaipur region with whom they conducted studies on Health and Education.

Thank you so much.

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Links:

 
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