Sewa Sandesh ,February 2019
The bygone month at Sewa International witnessed many activities specifically in the area of education. Sewa reached out to the remote region of Afani village in Kishtwar and provided 150 benches for the students. After the establishment of the school building at Afani, it was its aim to make the learning experience as comfortable as possible for the children. In yet another success a new school building was inaugurated for children up to class 8th at Mansoona village in Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand.
The onset of March means preparations have already begun to celebrate the 4th edition of Fyunli Kauthig festival in Uttarakhand. The festival this year is expected to garner an audience of more than 4000 women coming together to celebrate the spirit of womanhood and also to felicitate our various women achievers. For the same reason, this edition of the newsletter features the success story of Sateshwari Devi from Chamoli, who rose from a socially backward caste to become an entrepreneur.
Along with the encouraging news from our projects, last month also came with the tragic news of the deadly attacks on our security forces in Pulwama, Kashmir, in which 40 CRPF soldiers were martyred. In this hour of grief and travesty, we stand united as a nation with the families of the bravehearts. Our prayers go out to those who protect us at the borders so that we may live in peace. Let’s take a pledge to do everything in our capacity to safeguard and honor the sovereignty and integrity of India and take a moment today to mourn in your hearts and to seek peace for those whose souls have departed.
Picture Of The Month
Constructing Hope, Brick by Brick Toilet Project UP
In the small villages of UP, a toilet means a lot more than sanitation. It means dignity for the residents, especially women and girls. The economic cost of not having access to toilets and other sanitation facilities in India runs up to an account of $54 billion. Recently, an Indian documentary called ‘Period: The End of Sentence’ won the Best Short Documentary award at the Oscars. Times are changing, and so is the place for a woman in society. The construction of toilets by Sewa International is an attempt to give the women their right to privacy and the right to a dignified life.
The schools, public places, and communities in which we constructed toilets have become gender sensitive when it comes to the needs of a woman. In its own way, Sewa International has succeeded to bring about a toilet revolution in many parts of the country, especially in UP. With the construction of Bio-Toilets in and around temples and schools in Mirzapur, Chunar, Narayanpur benefitting over 1500 people, including students and visitors to the temple, the newly built toilets have brought around a significant shift in the sanitation and cleanliness habits of the locals.
Sewa Builds 150 Benches in Afani School In Kishtwar (J&K)
Contrary to what many would think, a school is more than just a building constructed to somehow accommodate children and teach them. A school is an experience that moulds and shapes the personality of a child beyond books and exams. It nurtures a future generation.
The study desks/chairs, which many of us take for granted, are a luxury, only a few schools can afford in the remote and hilly hamlets of J&K. Sewa International is committed to bridging the learning gap due to lack of infrastructure at the remotest schools for the benefit of the underprivileged students. As part of this, Sewa International provided 150 desk sets at Bhartiya Shiksha Samiti school in Afani, Kishtwar district in Jammu, which were manufactured locally thus providing local employment. Last year, we also supported construction/repair at this school. It is these little things that sometimes ensure that children don’t drop out of school.
SIB will be working further towards providing these students with sports kits and school supplies for better educational exposure. It plans to support at least 10 more schools in this remote/inhospitable region in the near future.
Inauguration of Sewa International sponsored School in Mansoona, Uttarakhand
On the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami, Shri Shyam Parande (Secretary, Sewa International), inaugurated the brand new building of Saraswati Shishu Mandir at Mansoona village of Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand. The school has around 200 students and was earlier operating from a rented building which was grossly inadequate to cater to the study needs of the students. Students from class LKG up to class 8th are studying at this day school.
Sewa International paved the way for the construction of the new building by providing required financial support. The event was graced by around 500 residents from the neighboring villages of Mansoona. A variety of cultural programmes were performed by the children who were very excited to begin their classes in their new classrooms. After the inauguration ceremony, Shyam ji also visited the HARELA demo center of Rudraprayag district in Haat Village, where he interacted with the women and encouraged them.
Medical Camp At Kashi Serves Locals
A medical camp was organized recently by Sewa International in Bhitti village, Ramnagar(UP). A total of 150 beneficiaries were examined and treated by 2 homeopathic doctors who operated the camp. Special emphasis was put on women and children who were briefed about the various nutritious foods that they must consume to lead a healthy life. Keeping in mind the cases of anemia and malnutrition, which are high among rural women and children, the doctors conducted checkups and also gave them free medicines and supplements.
Lokarpana Function For The Newly Constructed Arunodaya Special School Held
The Lokarpana function for the newly constructed Arunodaya Special School in Gadag, Karnataka was recently held in the august presence of many dignitaries and the function was presided over by Shri Ganganna Koti, President Arunodaya Building Committee. The school has been set up with the support of SEWA International UK – Divya Special School, Gadag, and the event was held on 28th Feb 2019. On the occasion, the children performed various dances and songs for the guests. The school aims to serve children with special needs and make modern education accessible and available to them.
Tales Of Change: Sateshwari Devi, Chamoli, Uttarakhand
Name- Sateshwari Devi
Region-Dimmar village, Simli cluster, Chamoli
Sateshwari Devi, 35, a resident of Simli, Chamoli comes from a scheduled caste family. Societal discrimination and being a woman didn’t give her many opportunities to get an education or acquire a skill. Now being a mother of 3 school going children, her income rested on the hard labour that she and her husband would do to make ends meet. Small landholdings didn’t really help her generate much income from agriculture.
In the mid of 2018, Sewa International formed SHGs in Dimmar village under its vertical Sewa Srujan. Sateshwari became a member of an SHG called Sewa Tateshwar Mahadev and participated regularly in monthly meetings. Sateshwaribought the nominally priced quality vegetable seeds that Sewa International provides to its beneficiaries and began cultivating them on her small land. With guidance from Sewa’s agricultural experts, she worked on her farm and had a good harvest, which sold for about Rs 3000 in the market.
Being involved with an SHG brought about a lot of changes in her lifestyle. She inculcated good saving habits, inter loaning the amount within the members and also learned how to manage and keep the SHG records. Her active involvement has borne fruit as she has been recently elected by the village women as the Board of Director for the federation formed by them at the cluster level.
Sewa International’s initiative has turned a backward caste laborer into a farmer, entrepreneur and now a board of director of a farmer federation.
“I feel proud of my achievements and thankful for the opportunity that God gave me to change my life.”
Toilet Project: Sewa USA organizes Hike For Hygiene
Hike for Hygiene
Sewa Phoenix Chapter, USA
Sewa Youth group from Chandler organized a Hike for Hygiene event at South Mountain Park. Around 50 volunteers participated and have raised $820 for our toilet and hygiene project for the girl child. The participants hiked through the South Mountain Park,USA to spread awareness and raise money for building toilets for the villages in India.
Kudos to all Youth Volunteers & Participants for the support!