Seva Mandir

Seva Mandir's mission is to make real the idea of society consisting of free and equal citizens who are able to come together and solve the problems that affect them in their particular contexts. The commitment is to work for a paradigm of development and governance that is democratic and polyarchic. Seva Mandir seeks to institutionalise the idea that development and governance is not only to be left to the State and its formal bodies like the legislature and the bureaucracy, but that citizens and their associations should engage separately and jointly with the State. The mission briefly, is to construct the conditions in which citizens of plural backgrounds and perspectives can come tog...
Mar 1, 2016

Bringing Happiness and New Hopes.... Thank You

Dear Friend,

Thank you so much for supporting our Shelter home  – fighting against injustice and voilence against women.  Today, I would like you to meet Priya (name changed) who comes from a rural area close to Udaipur city in southern Rajasthan (India) . In 2003 she got married and after some time two beautiful children enriched and completed her family. Around eight years after marriage, problems started, as her husband started drinking and beating her regularly. Priya endured domestic assault for several months, during which she was also suspecting her husband having another extramarital relationship.

In March 2013 Priya arrived for the first time at Seva Mandir's Short Stay Home. Since then, she has resided in there three times, during which she was given full assistance, she was counselled and joint meetings with her husband were held to help the couple to get over the difficulties. The husband tried to take her back for several times, but his promises of not beating her and not drinking anymore failed as the violence took place again.

Today Priya is a resident of the Short Stay Home. She came back for the fourth time in February 2015, and she has been living there for almost a year. During her last staying she had also found a job in a nearby Mall. Priya has been supported and counselled, legally adviced and guided, in order to help her making the best decision and start a new life. Many efforts have been taken to deal with the plight and Seva Mandir helped her during her staying to find a job and to become financially and emotionally independent.

This is just one of the stories of rejection, cruelty and abuse affecting women living at the Short Stay Home. Many of them have happily gone back home, re-establishing old bonds with their husbands. However, as Priya's case shows, the reality is more often difficult to face, especially when violence becomes endemic and it's fuelled by social diseases such as alcoholism.

Seva Mandir's Short Stay Home was established in 2004 and since than it has represented an anchorage for women seeking refugee from abuse and violence, giving them access to safety and justice.

Your contribution has already been an essential factor in helping us making a difference, as many women such as Priya has been supported legally, economically and emotionally. With your precious support we have been and we will able to translate Seva Mandir's commitment into a meaningful change, thus helping women to get out from the spiral of gender and domestic violence.

We do hope for your continued support to our Shelter Home. If your travel brings you to this part of the world, please do consider visiting Seva Mandir.

With Best Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on facebook: www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Links:

Feb 4, 2016

Creating Economic Independence for Rural Women

Dear Friend,

Thank you for supporting our program to empower women. The women empowerment programme of Seva Mandir focuses on bringing women together for creating a common platform of mutual trust and support. The Self Help Group program is an extension of the Women’s Empowerment program under which, the women save up small amounts every month in groups known as SHGs (Self Help Groups). They borrow small loans from their SHGs which help overcome their dependency on traditional money lenders for petty credit needs. The SHG also allows women to set up small business for earning  like for opening a ration shop and tailor shops, buying cattle, setting up a flour mill etc. Besides the financial autonomy, the SHG extends a platform for these women to discuss social issues. It strengthens their solidarity, builds their confidence and allows them a space to unload and deliberate solutions.

At present, there are 627 women’s self-help groups with a membership of 9625 women. These groups exist in 168 villages of Udaipur district in southern Rajasthan.

During the past years various income generating initiatives were introduced to help the women of these SHGs. In the last six months following activities were conducted:

Detergent making work: Women from Shisvi village got involved in detergent making work and they produced 825 Kg of detergent, of which they were able to sell 625 Kg.

Stitching and designing work: A group of 30 women from Shisvi village were trained on stitching and designing work. Now they are working for a women enterprise and earning a good amount for their work.

Collection and sale of custard apple: Discussions were done on collection and sale of custard apple. One of the groups has expressed interest in taking up this activity and started working on this.

Fisheries work:  75 women from 6 villages are involved in fisheries work. In this period, these women sold fish for around $1,500.

We are able to introduce all these initiatives for women from rural communities only because friends like you are helping us regularly. Thank you once again for your help and support to our programme.

If you have any comments or feedback, please feel free to write to me at atul.lekhra@sevamandir.org

Regards

Atul Lekhra & Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on: www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Links:

Jan 28, 2016

Struggle of a Village Community for Legal Rights

Dear Friend,

The Village Institutions Programme of Seva Mandir aims to create and nurture alternative and autonomous platforms through which citizens can become responsible for their own development. These autonomous platforms are called Village Development Committees.

The Village Development Committee of Peepad village in Kherwara block had made a successful proposal under MGNREGA (a government scheme) for pastureland development with Seva Mandir as implementing agency. The owner of a mine had encroachments on the site and had started mining, despite protests from the people. After a meeting attended by most members of the village, it was decided that action would be taken against the mine owner. Villagers blocked the road and did not allow laborers and vehicles for the mine to enter the village. Simultaneously, villagers had various discussions with the Village Governing Body, Rajasthan State Mining and Minerals Ltd., Block Development Officer and the Forest Department, and received confirmation at all levels that mining was illegal in the area. A meeting was then held at Peepad village to which the mine owner was invited. Although initially reluctant, he came after the villagers pressurized him. In the ensuing discussions, he was persuaded to give up his encroachment. In order to prevent further encroachment and develop the pastureland for fodder, the village, with the help of Seva Mandir, has carried out wall repairs and plantation work, and the plantation is secure thanks to the villagers' efforts.

It takes me great pleasure in telling that such institutions were created by your support. Thank you so much for your generous contributions which can make such self governance possible in hundreds of villages in Southern Rajasthan.

Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir  

Links:

 
   

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