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...
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:

Apr 30, 2016

Armed with a New Found Confidence: Hakri

Dear Friend,

Your donation directly impacts lives and empowers women like Hakri. Hakri, resides in Gojiya village, a disadvantaged village in southern Rajasthan, one of the world’s most impoverished places where people live on an average of $0.35 per day. Hakri, a housewife and mother of three, struggling to survive on her husband’s meagre labourer’s wage, was empowered through her involvement with one of Seva Mandir’s women’s groups and armed with a new found confidence and a sewing machine, she now contributes to her family’s financial security.

In Hakri’s own words:

“I wanted to provide good education to my children but my husband’s earning was not that sufficient. I came to know about the women’s group run by Seva Mandir. I find it’s authentic and safe to join.”

Hakri had sewing skills having previously attended classes at a nearby training centre and through her association with the Seva Mandir women’s group she had the support and gained the confidence to take a small loan from the group and purchase a sewing machine and open a home based shop. In only a few months Hakri has repaid the loan and is adding to the family budget.

Pictured here with her sewing machine Hakri is beaming with the confidence she has gained from this experience - both socially and financially.

Your continuing generous donations to our ‘Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure’ project enables us to help many such women like Hakri help themselves. At present Seva Mandir organises 627 women’s self-help groups with a membership of 9625 women throughout 168 villages of Udaipur district in southern Rajasthan. Without your donations we could not do it. A heartfelt Thank You once again!!

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

Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

Apr 20, 2016

Bringing Happiness in Many More Lives

Dear Friend,

An immunization camp was recently organized by Seva Mandir on 12th April in Kheradia village of southern Rajasthan. There is severe lack of basic healthcare facilities in this area. Around 300 families live in this village but the nearest government health center where immunization is undertaken is far away from the village. Many of the women and children in this village are simply unable to undertake these journeys and therefore often missed out on routine immunization.

This time around 25 kids and women got vaccine shots in the camp. All the kids were given vaccine shots; pregnant women were also counseled and given tetanus shots. 

Meena, a resident of Kheradia village who came with her child for immunization said “Without the camp she would have probably missed her critical tetanus shot during pregnancy and her child would have also not be immunized”. Meena was motivated by a representative of Seva Mandir to attend the camp and received ante-natal check-ups as well as immunization. Meena knows that the camp is a boon for her village as it helps protect the lives both of the pregnant women and of their young children.

Another woman Kavadi came with her daughter Gudiaa to this camp to get her daughter second vaccine shot. She said “The people in this village rely on home remedies, traditional healers or quacks for treatment and go for qualified care only when the condition deteriorates. Thanks to Seva Mandir and its staff who create awareness in the village and for making things easy for us.”

To motivate these women to get themselves and their new borns immunized, Seva Mandir gives 1 kg lentil pack to the woman on each vaccine shot they take for themselves or for their children. After the complete immunization, women are given a utensil set as an incentive.

Thank you so much for bringing change in the lives of these women and for your continued support. Seva Mandir will continue to conduct free health check up and immunization camps in such difficult remote villages with your support.

We look forward to receive your feedback and comments. Please do reach out to us at atul.lekhra@sevamandir.org.

Regards,

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team
Please do follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Links:

 
   

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