Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure

by Seva Mandir
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Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure
Make Women in Rural India Financially Secure

Sheela, a mother of 5, is a homemaker and the primary caregiver for her children. Her husband works as a waiter at marriage functions in Udaipur, and has to stay away from his village for 15 or more days at a stretch. So, the responsibility of taking caring of her children is solely on her, while her husband works away from home. It is very difficult for her to manage all the household chores and also take care of her children all alone. But she is somehow managing everything at once.

Sheela is a member of one of the SHG (Self Help Groups) in her community. At one point of time in the past Sheela’s husband did not receive his paycheck on time and therefore could not come home. This made if very difficult for Sheela to look after her children and buy food for them. The situation got so bad  that she ran out of sundries and food entirely. 

She then went directly to the only option available to her; her SHG group. The group gave her an immediate loan of Rs. 500 ($7) to buy much needed food for her hungry children. For most people, this loan is a very small amount, but it was life-saving for Sheela and her children.

Sheela explains; ‘It’s just a small amount but it saved my children’s lives by providing help when I needed it the most.

The SHGs empower women, especially in the direst of situations, to stay in control of their own lives, maintain their dignity, and provide for their family.

With your help, we at Seva Mandir were able to bring all these women together, make them aware of the benefits of becoming self-sufficient and help them form these loan groups which can empower them. Without your support none of this would have been possible, so a heartfelt thank you goes out to you for supporting our efforts in empowering women. The empowerment and autonomy of women is essential for achieving sustainable development.

We are excited to share with you that we are participating in GlobalGiving’s Little by Little Campaign, which will run from 04th to 08th April 2022. It is a five-day crowdfunding campaign. All eligible donations of up to $50 will be matched at 50% during the campaign.

We need your support once again to help us get matching funds, which will then help us reach out to more women in need. For only $50, you can help train 3 rural women in financial literacy and basic entrepreneurial skills.

Your donation will build a brighter future for these underprivileged women. Thank you once again.


Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir team


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A very Happy Women’s Day to everyone! The day celebrates the achievements and contributions of women in different spheres.

Women’s contribution is critical for the development of any nation. In our work area (south Rajasthan) women play a major role in sustaining families and communities, in addition to their domestic responsibilities. However, they face discrimination at all levels and are considered at low pedestal in the society.  

Covid-19 pandemic further increased the pressure on women. As the migrants returned to their villages, their family income was affected. The children were at home for a long time as all institutions- schools and pre-school centres were closed. Therefore, the workload on women increased more than before.  Moreover, cases of domestic violence were also on rise. 

During this critical time, we at Seva Mandir ensured to extend all kind of support to the women to cope with the difficult situation.

For last 53 years, Seva Mandir has been working on social and financial development of women in the rural and tribal communities. Many interventions like livelihood support, training on advanced farming practices, setting value chain, raising awareness on digital and financial literacy, reducing drudgery, improving maternal health, sensitizing communities on gender equality etc. are under implementation to raise the status of women. 

One such women is Dharni who took the opportunity to improve the wellbeing of herself and her family.

Dharni lives in village Aad with her 3 children and husband. They are dependent on agriculture for livelihood.

Dharni as a member of SHG group (Self Help Group) in her village was linked with livelihood activities. She associated with the floriculture intervention and received advanced farming trainings by Seva Mandir on use of organic manure, nursery bed preparation, etc. Encouraged Dharni cultivated marigold and rose flowers on her land.  She received good harvest and earned Rs. 51,000 ($660) from selling the flowers in the market.

She happily says

"I spent money for renovation work of the house, saved some for children and used rest to buy groceries for the family."

Through floriculture, she could generate twice more than what she used to get from practicing traditional farming.

We would like to thank you for your support to enableus empower women and making them financially aware and self-dependent.  

We do hope that you continue to extend your support to uplift less privileged women in the world.

Best Wishes

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team


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Dear Friend,

From all of us here in Seva Mandir we wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May the new year brings to you lots of love, laughter, and joy.

Seen 50 springs of life, Sovni lives with her husband and kids; 3 daughters and 1 married son. Her family is engaged in agriculture work and are dependent on it for livelihood. Her son is daily wage laborer and travels to Udaipur everyday in search of work. Sovni was living under primitive conditions as the rains are not much supportive in the area. With the Seva Mandir intervention, Sovni became a member of Self-Help-Group in 2018. She has saved Rs. 1,700 ($24) through this group.

She took part in vegetable cultivation activity and cultivated Okra, Cluster bean, Bottle gourd, Coriander, and Ridge gourd. At the harvesting time, she grew around 160 kg of vegetables and earned Rs. 7,000 ($96). Now, she invested the amount and bought an ox (untrained bull) for Rs. 6,000 ($82). She believes this investment will help her in field work for future similar interventions.

At present, she has cultivated rose in her fields and also maintaining a nursery of marigold. She is happy that Seva Mandir’s interventions are helping her at this stage of life and feels encouraged to do more to secure the future of her family.

We would like to thank you for letting us meet our commitments in the field and for all your trust in our work.

Our whole team wishes you a lot of joy and happiness during this holiday season.

Best Wishes,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team


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Sumi is a 36-year-old farmer who lives in Rajpur village in southern Rajasthan. The area is hilly and one of the most backward areas of the country on the human development index. Because of the low yield in revenue from traditional agricultural and animal husbandry livelihoods, families in this area have diversified their livelihood sources to include small businesses within their villages, daily wage labor in nearby urban areas, and migrant labor to other states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra state. Mother of 6 children, Sumi is a tribal woman who has been working as a farmer on her land as well as a laborer in larger farms in the neighboring state of Gujarat.

Sumi has been associated with Seva Mandir's Self Help Group for the last two years and has been a very active member of her group.

Earlier last year during Covid-19 induced lockdown, Sumi and her group encountered a new challenge. Chand, a community male approached the group for financial assistance. His family needed immediate medical support and he did not have enough savings. Since Chand was a known member of the community and very much in need, women decided to ask for his 1 beegha land as a collateral and extended him a loan of Rs.30,000 ($405).

Sumi saw this as an opportunity. After discussions in her group, it was agreed that the group should use the land for agriculture and distribute profit within the group. With the help of low-cost seeds from Seva Mandir and water from nearby sources, Sumi and her group were able to harvest 60kgs Urad (Black Gram Lentil) worth Rs 5,000 ($67). From her earlier experience of working on a large farm Sumi also hired two laborers for better yield. The harvest was sold together in the local market by Sumi and her group members.

Sumi said "We used Rs 3,000 ($40) as group savings and distributed other Rs 2,000 ($27) among women who could not get wages because of Covid. It was an experiment to try something new and we succeeded. We should not wait for anyone to help us during crisis; we already have so many resources around us".

Presently, Seva Mandir is helping more than 20,000 women run 1,476 Self Help Groups. Without your support none of this would be possible, so a heartfelt thank you goes out to you for supporting our efforts in empowering women. 

Best regards,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

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The current time is challenging! The world is fighting its toughest battle against the pandemic. India has just seen the devastating effects of the second wave and the loss it has made to the lives of hundreds of people.

The current situation brought uncertainty for many rural households around their health, livelihood and future. In India, it has become not only health crisis but an economic crisis also which has affected those living in poverty. In Seva Mandir’s work area, seasonal migrants, farmers, and daily wage laborers are being severely affected as most of them returned back to their villages and are now facing difficulties in finding employment.

During this medical emergency, we are working closely with health experts and organizations to understand needs and provide responses. Undeterred by the present situation and have learned our lessons from the previous year, Seva Mandir is ensuring an extended hand of support to the families during emergencies and also maintaining continuous dialogue between communities.

The SHGs (Self Help Groups) have been a crucial element of help in difficult times such as COVID-19. Beneficiaries have taken loans to meet the ends as the migrant workers had to return back home due to unemployment in the lockdown period.

Hakri, aged 45 lives with her husband and 4 children. Her husband has a small grocery store in the village along with farming on their own land which provides them income. Hakri joined Self-Help-Group "Sharda" and is a beneficiary of backyard poultry.

She at present, has a flock of 24 birds and has so far earned INR 7,000 ($94) by selling roosters. She invested the income to buy a male calf (untrained bull) for INR 3,000 ($40) and saved the rest. She believes this investment will further help her to improve her farming as it will allow her to invest in agriculture tools.

The nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was announced suddenly which did not allow many to reach home or arrange food stock. The money Hakri saved proved very valuable during this unprecedented period.

In her words

"All of a sudden everything was closed, no shops, no work; it seemed like life was put on hold. I had some savings from poultry farming activity so I managed in this critical period."

The story focuses on the impact of lockdown on the average citizen, lockdown was to prevent the spread of disease but it also brought many challenges for everyone. Seva Mandir worked alongside the government to provide relief in the most remote and furthest areas of the Udaipur and Rajasmand districts.

We greatly appreciate your trust in Seva Mandir and for supporting our project. We hope that our project keeps working towards making this world a better place and this certainly has not been possible without your support. 

Thank you so much once again for your generous support.

Warm regards,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team 

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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @sevamandir
Project Leader:
Ronak Shah
Udaipur, Rajasthan India
$37,817 raised of $90,000 goal
621 donations
$52,183 to go
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