Sewa Sandesh December 2017
SEWA INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES FARMER PRODUCER ORGANIZATIONS (FPOs) IN UTTARAKHAND
Sewa International has commenced 2 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) for optimizing the livelihood generation through agriculture under Sewa Krishi. The inaugurated FPOs are “Sewa Jakah Raja Utpadak Sangh” at Narayankoti cluster, with 10 directors and 231 members; another one is “Sewa Maa Nandadevi Utpadak Sangh”, with 363 members from 32 SHGs of 13 villages. The collectivization of producers, especially small and marginal farmers, into producer organizations has emerged as one of the most effective pathways to address the many challenges of agriculture but most importantly, improved access to investments, technology and inputs, and markets. FPOs emerged as the most appropriate institutional form around which to mobilize farmers and build their capacity to collectively leverage their production and marketing strength. Sewa International under its Sewa Krishi program will provide the required assistance and resources – e.g. inputs, technical knowledge, financial resources, and infrastructure – to strengthen these FPOs. SewaInternational will not only remove hurdles in enabling farmers’ access the markets through their FPOs, both as buyers and sellers; but also create an enabling environment for FPOs to leverage their collective production and marketing power.
Sewa International aims to build a prosperous and sustainable agriculture in Uttarakhand by promoting and supporting member-owned producer organizations that enable farmers, especially women farmers to enhance productivity through efficient, cost-effective and sustainable resource use and realize higher returns for their produce, through collective action supported by the Sewa Krishi team in the target area. Sewa International aims to make these Utpadak Sangh, economically viable, democratic, and self-governing Farmer Producer Organisations.
SOIL HEALTH AND ONION PRODUCTION AWARENESS CAMP ORGANIZED IN VARANASI
Sewa International Kashi Team organized a Soil health and Onion production Awareness Camp at Gangpur Village Narayanpur Mirzapur Chunnar Varanasi. The main objective of this program was to provide information on awareness of onion farming and soil health. The soil is a living and life-giving natural resource. As world population and food production demands rise, keeping our soil healthy and productive is of paramount importance. By farming using soil health principles and systems that include no-till, cover cropping, and diverse rotations, more and more farmers would be able to increase their soil’s organic matter and improving microbial activity. As a result, farmers would be able to sequester more carbon, increasing water infiltration, improving wildlife and pollinator habitat—all while harvesting better profits and often better yields. The resources on this soil health section of the camp were designed to help visitors understand the basics and benefits of soil health—and to learn about Soil Health Management Systems from experts who came to give the presentation in the camp. They made the farmers aware of various techniques like crop rotation, soil preparation, Harvesting and Drying and storage of the onions.
SCHOOL KIT DISTRIBUTION BY SEWAVARANASI
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Keeping this in mind, Sewa International, under its project ‘READ INDIA, READ KASHI,’ organized the free distribution of School kits for underprivileged children on 11 December 2017 in Ramnagar, Varanasi. The happy recipients were the 300 needy kids who are learning at our 6 Sewa Learning Centers in villages/slums near Ramnagar. We prepared the kits keeping in mind the requirements of the students in the centers. One school kit contained- 1 School bag, 6 Notebooks, Pencil box with Wax colors, Pencils, Scale, Sharpener, Eraser etc. Our accomplishment was the smile on the faces of the children who were overjoyed to see the New Year gift for them. Sewa International is looking to scale up this initiative in the Varanasi area. The local youth and children have started liking the initiative and activities. The curriculum and basic home-work of the kids are also very popular. This drive brought the spirit of giving to the fore.
STEADY PROGRESS OF THE HOSTEL CONSTRUCTION AT NUWAKOT, NEPAL
The teams on the ground in Nepal provided the progress report on the hostel construction site of Nuwakot, Nepal. The hostel is built for the orphan children of the area, who suffered the personal loss during the 2015 earthquake. A good amount of earth has been moved, as it is a hilly region; foundational pillars are rising and the structure has begun to take shape. The Sewa Nepal team working on the site told that ”We have completed the mass excavation, and with the foundation built, we are building the columns now. ” Due to the politically volatile environment the project was delayed for a while, it snow picked up the pace. To upkeep the delay requires more equipment and manpower to be able to complete it in the same time frame, the team said. ”So we’re pushing hard right now in every way we can to get as much done, but typically the requirement for manpower at the end of the project increases pretty dramatically because things like painting, floor finishes, millwork and that kind of stuff and it just takes more people to do it,” he said. The hostel will also include an amply sized mess area. The project supported by Sewa UK in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that hit the region in 2015.
SEWA VOLUNTEERS JOINED RESCUE OPERATION DURING OCKHI CYCLONE
The Sewa volunteers joined the government in rescue operations in the aftermath of the Ockhi cyclone. Severe cyclonic storm Ockhi struck several parts of South India killing many people and destroying properties. Originating near Sri Lanka on Nov 29, the storm increased its intensity by Dec 1. Many parts of coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka were hit. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) described Ockhi as a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’, the third strongest category of cyclonic storms. Ockhi had wind speeds between 155 and 165 km per hour and cyclones with wind speeds between 165 and 220 km per hour are classified as ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’.
Sewa volunteers were involved in relief and rescue operations during Ockhi cyclone that hit the southern parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The volunteers began their rescue work on Nov. 30 much before the storm turned severe. They toiled day and night at Kanyakumari which was most hit, to rescue stranded civilians. Kanyakumari witnessed torrential wind and rain unleashed by Cyclone Ockhi after 25 years ravaging the southern-most tip of Bharat. According to sources, around 10 lakh banana trees, one lakh trees, were uprooted and the roads were blocked. Communication lines were disrupted.
Sewa volunteers immediately acted upon the situation. With the aim of clearing the approach routes as the first step, the volunteers formed around 100 teams and spread out to different areas. These teams cleared the uprooted trees and other obstruction on the roads with the aid of government machinery. This planned act ensured smooth flow of traffic.
Several areas were flooded after the relentless rains. The areas in and around Suchindram was the most affected. Around 4200 houses in 21 villages were surrounded by flood waters. Immediately, upon the receipt of the distress call, volunteers in teams arrived at the location and rescued thousands of people. Sewavolunteers toiled day and night and ensured the people are relocated to safer places.
The relief material which was provided included- 1,050 plastic mats, candles, food packets, water, biscuits, milk, candle, matchboxes and mosquito mats to cyclone-affected districts. The large consignment contains these relief materials were dispatched to the affected areas. The timely and critical efforts of Sewa volunteers during Ockhi cyclone were lauded by those distressed and the government authorities too.
INSTALLATION OF TOILETS IN A RURAL AREA OF VARANASI
Sewa International Kashi is making their contribution towards the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan by installing the toilet and carrying out sanitation drives in the target area under “Swachh-Shikshit Kushal Kashi”. It is a small initiative taken by Sewainternational to make Ramnagar, Varanasi clean and also organizes the health and hygiene campaign. The aim is to provide facilities to local villagers such as drainage system, awareness, and equipment for proper disposal of solid and liquid wastes and environmental sanitation. Under the program, Sewa International Kashi has installed 20 toilets in Ramnagar, Varanasi. These toilets are donated by SewaInternational USA.
Sewa International conducted surveys throughout the targeted villages and identified the families, which have no access to sanitation especially the Muslim community.
The program focuses on providing functional toilets to underprivileged Muslim families in the village who are unable to construct toilets in their homes due to the lack of funds. The main goal is to bring about the behavioral change in the people and emphasizing the importance of hygiene and sanitation along with their basic need. Sewa International Kashi team is also creating awareness for basic hygiene and sanitation. The people of the village were jubilant on the construction of toilets in their home especially the Muslim women and girls were very thankful.They don’t have to face the shame of open defecation, now.