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...
Jun 14, 2016

Rajesh's Perseverance

Seva Mandir as an organization is fully committed to the educational development of impoverished children in southern Rajasthan. Seva Mandir has successfully educated more than 30,000 children up to this day. Each of the children that come to Seva Mandir has experienced significant difficulties due to economic hardships and other family responsibilities. One of such children, Rajesh, has overcome significant odds to finally earn the gift of education.

Rajesh (name changed) is a ten year old boy living in a village called Bedadhar in Maamer zone of Kotra block. Rajesh and his parents originally lived in Merpur village in Bikarni. However, when he was nine years old, Rajesh’s mother moved out of the family leaving him to his father, Alka’s care. Alka used to do subsistence farming in his own land in Merpur, but after his wife left, he started occasionally migrating to Udaipur and Ahmedabad is search of temporary, petty jobs. Since he was hardly ever at home, he left Rajesh under the care of his maternal aunt who lives in Bedadhar. Rajesh did not go to school while he was living with his parents in Merpur.

While his mother and father worked in the field, Rajesh would be sent away to rear goats. Even after coming to his aunt’s house, Rajesh continued to engage in household work. However, after attending the school enrolment campaign that was conducted by the Teachers of the Seva Mandir’s NFE centres in the villages of Maamer in June 2015, his aunt decided to enroll him in the NFE centre in Bedadhar.

The Teachers Suresh and Sohan claim that in just 4 months, Rajesh has picked up concepts in Mathematics and Hindi. He can now count till 100 and can read and write Hindi words and identify objects in Hindi. While most children take time to understand enough concepts that can help them to move from being a C level student to a B level student, Suresh and Sohan feel that it is a matter of time before Rajesh becomes a B level student. The fact that he wants to be a teacher when he grows up is a testimony of the love and respect the NFE Teachers command from their students. Rajesh’s perseverance and focus is extraordinary for a boy coming from such disadvantaged circumstances.  

This success has not been possible had your support not been there. Thank you so much for your help and support to our education program for children. You can help these children and Seva Mandir even more by donating on upcoming BONUS DAY –on 15th June beginning at 9:00:01 am EDT (Washington, DC time) on Global Giving. Donations made on Bonus day will be matched by 50% by Global Giving, hence enabling us reach out to many needy children like Rajesh.

Please consider telling your friends and family about our project and special Bonus Day.

Kindly also see a short film on our education program https://youtu.be/7YLpjmN5JPk

Thank you

Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team 

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

May 27, 2016

Reviving a Broken Family

Neha with her Daughter at the Shelter Home
Neha with her Daughter at the Shelter Home

The state of Rajasthan is currently among the top three states with maximum crimes against women. Around forty women are reporting to officials daily that they are victims of domestic abuse. In the area of Seva Mandir’s work (Tribal areas) there are no institutional centers that can directly provide help to the abused women. In an effort to rectify this, Seva Mandir created the Shelter Home for abused women to provide refuge, rehabilitation and empowerment. Last year, Seva Mandir’s Shelter Home accommodated 99 women and has successfully rehabilitated 83 women.

Each women that comes to the Shelter home comes from an extremely toxic environment that is psychologically damaging and some are even unable to share their experiences Seva Mandir’s Shelter home provides psychological counseling to overcome their trauma. A woman can stay up to three years with her children in the shelter home. Legal counseling and financial counseling are also provided to the distressed women to overcome the situation.

One of the women, Neha (name changed), is empowered by Seva Mandir’s program and is now successfully reintegrated into society. Neha and her husband Rishi are living together for the past three years in Udaipur. Three years ago, they had a very loving marriage. However things fall south fast as the newlyweds have to live with Sanjay, Rishi’s abusive father. Sanjay has extreme mood swings and frequently turns abusive towards Neha and her children. Unfortunately, Rishi’s also commits abuse along with his father. Neha, out of desperation, almost commits suicide after repeatedly suffering abuse.

Due to Seva Mandir outreach efforts Shelter Home employees were able to help remove Neha from that environment and counsel the family successfully.

Since 2004 Seva Mandir’s shelter home has represented an anchorage for women seeking refugee from abuse and violence, giving them access to safety and justice.

On June 15th you have a fine opportunity to make your contribution go deeper to these women in our Provide a safe home for 130 abused women in India” project! On June 15th 2016, Global Giving is celebrating Bonus Day, and so all donations will be boosted by 50%! [from 9:00:01 EDT to 23:59:59 EDT (time in your city)]. Please join Seva Mandir’s campaign to help end domestic abuse against women by donating on June 15ththrough Global Giving.

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 domestic violence.

We do hope for your continued support to our Shelter Home. We look forward to receive your feedback and comments. Please do reach out to us at atul.lekhra@sevamandir.org.

With Best Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on: www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Neha and her Husband during Counselling Session
Neha and her Husband during Counselling Session

Links:

Apr 30, 2016

The Rise of a Grass Root Leader: Ambavi

Ambavi receiving award for her outstanding efforts
Ambavi receiving award for her outstanding efforts

Dear Friend,

The village development institutions created by Seva Mandir have worked tirelessly over the years for development of natural resources. One of these efforts has been development of common pasturelands in the village. Ambavi of Badanga village in southern Rajasthan has done significant work in development and protection of pastureland in her village.

Ambavi, a member of Badanga Village Development Committee, who has crossed almost half a century of her life, was born in a poor tribal family in the economically backward village of Gail. Due to impoverished financial condition and marriage at a very early age, Ambavi was not able to attend school. After few days of her marriage, Ambavi’s husband fell ill and was paralyzed due to which the responsibility of nurturing the family fell on Ambavi tender shoulders. Before marriage, Ambavi was associated with the income generation training program in her maiden village which was started by Seva Mandir as part of a program for empowering women financially. During her association with income generation program, she was exposed to a wide range of knowledge and information which bolstered her confidence. When Seva Mandir started pastureland development program, Ambavi got associated with the program. Activities like plantation, boundary wall construction, soil and water treatment activities, groundwater conservation activities were undertaken in which Ambavi played a significant role in uniting the villagers and create a common asset for the village. As result of Ambavi’s efforts and vision, soon the villagers started getting fodder and firewood in adequate quantity from the developed pasturelands. Now her village is self sufficient and don’t have to buy fodder for cattle from outside.

In the year 2013, the pastureland was encroached upon by two influential families in the village. Under Ambavi’s leadership, the Village Development Committee invited these two families for discussions multiple times but they refused. Ambavi mobilized the women of the village to put social pressure on the two families. After repeated efforts when the encroachers refused to vacate the land, Ambavi mobilized the villagers to break the boundary wall built by the encroachers inside the pastureland area and motivated the villagers to voluntarily participate in the restoration of the pastureland.

Ambavi, a marginalized tribal villager herself, despite her own problems, has not bowed down to pressure and instead chose to face the challenges head on. She had no formal education and learnt to read and write from the village children. She works as a cook in a household and with her meager income takes care of her family. The struggle of Ambavi for protection of environment has set an example for others in the community. She is the perfect example of advocacy and collective strength of action and decision making by the Village Development Committees for better management of common property resources in the village.

With your support Seva Mandir has been successful in creating many such grass root leaders in the tribal communities who are able to stand for the common rights for the benefit of community.

We would love to hear your feedback and comments on our program. Please do reach out to us at atul.lekhra@sevamandir.org

Thank you

Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on: www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Links:

 
   

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