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...
Jan 19, 2016

Spreading Happiness and New Hopes for Farmers

Dear Friend,

I would like to thank you for your continued support to Seva Mandir. Your support has enables us to help poor farmers get a fair price for their produce and avoid exploitation of the retail chain. These farmers are from one of the remotest villages of the region where we work.

You can imagine the status of life there with the fact that even today – there is no electricity in the village. However, this area is famous for its lentil production. Since its tribal area, farmers still practice indigenous farming hence they produce lentils which are free from any harmful chemicals and pesticides. However having said that- farmers face a lot of problems in many ways. Firstly-the local dealers whom they sell does not give them a fair price for their produce. Can you imagine- they just receive one third of the retail price (in which the lentil is actually sold in the market). Secondly – since they are very poor, a lot of farmers sell lentils in distress conditions ending up selling their produce in loss.  Thirdly- if they consider going to the main markets to sell the lentils, it involves a huge transportation cost, state taxes and requires a lot at-least a day which means loss of one productive day.

In this context, in 2008, Seva Mandir set up a community enterprise- “Lentil Processing Unit” in the village. This unit procures raw lentils form the farmers directly (thus cutting the middle man commission), hence providing them fair price for their produce, process the lentils, and find a niche market for the processed lentils.

Kanti, a farmer who sells his lentils to the Unit says “I am selling my produce at this unit since 2010. It has made my life easy. Earlier, I had to travel 40 Kms to sell my produce. The local dealers used to exploit the poor farmers like us, by weighing less and giving low prices of the lentils. But now, with the lentil unit, we are given fair prices and instantaneous payment of our goods. I have been able to save some money for my children’s education”.

Around 10,000 farmers benefit from the lentil processing unit. With your support, Seva Mandir has been able to secure the following machinery at the unit – De-stoner, Grader cum splitter, Milling machine, Crusher and Moisture Meter. We plan to buy a packaging machine soon which will help in better water proof packaging.

This all would have not been possible without your support. Thank you so much for your trust in Seva Mandir. Should your travel bring you to this side of the world, please do consider visiting Seva Mandir.

With Warm Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/sevamandir

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Dec 22, 2015

Pursuit of Education- Turning mirrors into windows

Hikree with her brother Bansi
Hikree with her brother Bansi

Dear Friend,

Greetings from cold yet sunny Udaipur!

Thank you for continue to support Seva Mandir. Your support has been a huge motivation to keep us going. Today, I would like you to meet this small girl “Hikree” who is 10 years of age and has been studying for 2 years at the school run by Seva Mandir. Hikree’s brother Bansi is eleven and also attends the school with her.

Unfortunately, the brother –sister duo has no support from their parents like us. Their mother has left the family and their father is mentally ill, so both of the children live with their grandfather- Hutaji. The family’s ends are met from whatever little their old grandfather is able to grow in his small farm. They grow wheat and maize and are very dependent on rain for their crop. If they do not have enough rain, Hutaji uses all his available resources to ensure that his grandchildren have enough food.

Hutaji strongly believes that education is very important for his grand children, he is the most regular attendee of the parent-teacher meetings that take place every 3 months in the school.

Hikree and her brother walk 3 kilometres to school every day. Hikree has progressed very quickly. Her favourite subject is maths and she also likes to read stories. She enjoys singing and her favourite sport is football. She aspires to become a teacher in future. Her teacher Kesu who also graduated from this school, 11 years ago and says “Hikree is a very intelligent girl and will do very well in the future if she continues her education.”

We wish that Hirkee continues her education and set an example in her community. We at Seva Mandir are able to share such deep experiences because of heart-warming support to our initiative of bringing the joy of education to deprived children in the remotest hamlets of southern Rajasthan. However, there are many children who still are untouched by the joy of education and therefore we need your support to make their dreams come true. 

Every year, around 6000 out of school children receives education through the schools run by Seva Mandir. 

Since the year end challenge is ongoing on Global Giving, we request you to help us qualify the challenge by extending your support. It just takes $40 to provide education for a year to a child who has never been to school in his life.

We look forward to hearing from you, should you have any queries about us, please feel free to write to me at - atul.lekhra@sevamandir.org

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

With Warm Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Hikree
Hikree's School

Links:

Dec 21, 2015

Your Support Brought Happiness in Saraswati's Life

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continuous support to Seva Mandir and people like Saraswati. Just like many other residents of her village, she was also habituated the practice of migrating to far off cities in search of work. Often this phenomenon was complimented with drudgery and exploitation. It was during one of her visits back to her village that she and her husband got the opportunity to attend a Seva Mandir’s meeting about the intervention on horticulture and the livelihoods that could be generated so forth.

And post this meeting there was no looking back. With the help of Seva Mandir, Saraswati developed a lemon orchid on the hill slope behind her house. In her words, “Initially, it was a difficult task, I had to fetch water from the well and carry it in earthen pots all the way uphill to water the plants. After 3 years, I started reaping fruits. I could sell them and save some money. Last year I got a water pump installed in my orchid with the money I saved from selling the lemons. Now I don’t need to carry the pots on my head to water the plants. This year I have sold 200 Kgs of lemons. Now I no longer need to migrate to cities to make ends meet leaving my children behind”.

This year again, Saraswati expects a good earning from her lemon orchid and wish to take care of her children’s needs.

We take this opportunity to thank you for supporting Saraswati and lot of people like her who just need a little support to stand on their feet. 

Through this project, we try to help poor farmers and their families become self sustainable so that they can grow enough food for themselves and don’t have to migrate from their homes to earn a living. Should you have any queries, suggestions or feedback related to the project, please feel free to drop in a mail at atul.lekhra@sevamandir.org

If your travel brings you down to this part of the world we will be more than happy to take you through our work.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!!

Warm Regards,

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on Facebook:

www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Saraswati in her lemon orchid
Saraswati in her lemon orchid

Links:

 

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