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Sep 23, 2019

A Healthy Future for Urmila

Dear Friend,

Seva Mandir has been working on the holistic development of rural and tribal communities living in poverty for more than 51 years.

Malnutrition is one of the biggest problems affecting children of 0-6 years in Udaipur district. In a survey conducted in 2019 in one area of Seva Mandir, 56% children were found underweight and 18% were wasted.

It is well known that malnutrition is a complex problem and caused due to several reasons, including improper feeding practices, lack of health and hygiene, poor health of mothers, and lack of nutritious food. Seva Mandir organizes community-based camps to provide Severe Acute Malnourished (SAM) children from highly-remote areas of Rajasthan with medical care and treatment.

Urmila, 4 years old, is a tribal girl living in a mud house with her family. Road connectivity to their village is very poor and there is no public health facility so people have to rely upon the Community Health Center at a far away town.

Even though Urmila is her parent’s only child, they live with 7 other family members in their small house. Her parent’s income is just Rs 6,000 ($85) a month. Her mother is illiterate and father had studied only up to 5th standard. Her mother is involved in household chores and father is a daily wage laborer.

Urmila was in the SAM category when she was first screened for her nutritional status as per the World Health Organization (WHO) growth standards in the first camp. At that time she was very weak. She was then given Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Food (RUTF) and Medicines. Subsequently, she attended the follow up camp in which there was a little improvement in her weight and she was still in the SAM category. She was given medicines and RUTF again.

In total she was given 28 RUTF packets (14 at screening camp + 14 at follow up camp). She consumed all the RUTF packets and prescribed medicines. There are no side effects to RUTF and she also loves the taste of the food.

A visit to her house on the 17th of September was conducted to ascertain her current status. When checked for her height and weight exactly after three months from initial screening camp, she showed an increase in weight of around 1.8 Kgs (from 10.5 kg to 12.3 kg). Our staff did regular follow up of the child according to the protocol.

Now she is moved out of SAM category. Even the family members are happy to see their child healthy and playful.

Thank you for your support and for the confidence that you have placed in us. Urmila’s story and many others like her would not have been possible without the help of donors. Through further interventions we will see a reduction in cases of malnourishment in rural areas, along with increased awareness of early prevention. When children have recovered from malnutrition, their general health and happiness improves which in the long term will enable them to focus on their education. We run follow up systems, where Seva Mandir's community health workers will visit children who have benefited from the camps to ensure they have not relapsed into further malnourishment. 

Thank you so much.

Regards

Atul Lekhra and the Seva Mandir Team

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Sep 18, 2019

Kanti - Excited to Learn

Dear Changemaker,

Thank you so much for all your confidence and faith in our work. We are continuously working hard to make this world a better place for children, the first step for which is providing education, as it is an investment that pays the best interest.

Kanti is from a distant village in Kotra, living with his parents and 6 younger siblings. He was attending a Shiksha Kendra (Seva Mandir’s School), and, as the eldest, Kanti wanted to be a role model for his brothers and sisters, and encouraged them to learn. However, one day, Kanti and his siblings stopped coming to class. The teacher was concerned. He decided to visit Kanti’s parents to discover why he was not coming to school – but they were not there. Both of them had left to find work in a nearby region, leaving Kanti and his siblings in the care of their uncle. Unfortunately, the uncle did not want the children to learn – instead he wanted them to work on the family farm and look after the animals. The teacher immediately contacted the parents and informed them of the situation, to which they were dismayed. After a few days, Kanti and his brother and sister re-joined the Shiksha Kendra, full of excitement and happiness to be back in school and with their friends.

Kanti is now in Level 2 at the Shiksha Kendra and is improving his learning every day. His favourite subject is Hindi and he loves to read and write short stories. Thanks to the teacher’s concern and the parent’s tenacity in educating their children, Kanti is now able to see a bright future ahead of him.

This is just one story from the many successful people that we are working with. All thanks to our most generous supporters and well wishers like you.

We are also happy to share with you that three of our photos have been selected in GlobalGiving’s Annual Photo Contest 2019 and now we need your support to win the contest. I am sharing the links to our selected photos and, if you like our photos, you can vote and help us in spreading our work to the world. Please note that the last date to vote is September 20th till 12:00:01 EDT.

Links:

1. https://bit.ly/2kPuYiP

2. https://bit.ly/2lWKUA9

3. https://bit.ly/2mfAP18

Thank you once again for all your support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Links:

Sep 4, 2019

Giving Women Wings to Fly High

Dear Friend,

Sheetal, a middle-aged woman, lives in Bagundra village of Rajsamand district. She comes from a highly patriarchal family, which abandoned her after the death of her husband. She and her two children were left with a small patch of land as their only means of financial support, which was not sufficient to fulfil their basic needs.

Seva Mandir started work in her village last year. Initially Sheetal attended the awareness campaign on savings and credits, and then became a member of the SHG (Self Help Group) formed in her village.

Being a widow, it wasn't easy for Sheetal to come out of her house or attend meetings or training, as this is against the traditions of her caste. But she realized this was a golden opportunity to earn and save for the future of her children, so she went ahead. She started saving through her SHG and enrolled in stitching and patchwork training. Today, she is not only saving for a brighter future for her children but has also secured an alternative livelihood for herself. Her dedication and this opportunity by Seva Mandir have helped her overcome many barriers and become a confident woman.

Thanks to your support, Seva Mandir’s SHGs are able to give women, the ability to become financially independent and improve their families living. Thanks to you, you are giving women the opportunities to take control of their own lives, and, overall, break the devastating cycle of poverty.

Regards,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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