Janakidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sanstha (JBGVS) Rural and community development activities and empowerment of women

Rural and community development activities and empowerment of women

The group continued with its rural development activities through JBGVS in Pune, Aurangabad and Wardha districts of Maharashtra and Sikar district of Rajasthan. JBGVS aims at integrated development of 75 villages, to be carried out by the villagers themselves, and under their own leadership by forging partnerships with the Government, local institutions and NGOs.

JBGVS has started working in 90 villages of Wardha district in association with local NGOs on specific need based projects such as natural farming, sanitation, etc. JBGVS implemented several programs to strengthen primary education and primary health care, improve socio-economic conditions, and develop the environment. Out of a total of 39,000 beneficiaries through our programs, about 75% were from economically weaker sections. Of these, 16,400

beneficiaries belong to socially backward sections (5,900 Scheduled Caste & 10,500 Scheduled Tribe), 2,600 to Nomadic Tribe and 5,560 to Other Backward Classes. The focus of all the initiatives has been to provide support to the economically weak and socially neglected communities, i.e., schedule castes, scheduled tribes, and families below the poverty line.

Primary Education

Primary education has been the major area of concern in the villages. Support has been provided for infrastructure development in primary schools and anganwadis (pre-primary schools). School rooms have been repaired and furniture and equipment have been provided to both primary and pre-primary schools. Special efforts were taken to check malnutrition by conducting awareness and training programs for mothers on the importance of breast feeding, nutritious food using local materials, special check -up camps, supporting VCDs, etc.

Non-formal educational programs for children in primary schools were organized by involving secondary school students from the villages. These programs are aimed at generating interest in education among children. Through various short programs, teachers and parents were motivated to actually participate and improve the quality of education. Special programs on health related issues and HIV/AIDS were organized for adolescent boys and girls in the schools.

Primary Health Care

JBGVS attaches a lot of importance to its community health initiatives and follows the philosophy ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Programs such as Mother & Child Health (MCH), health check-up camps, mobile clinic service, hygiene and sanitation programs, etc. were organized with the help of trained village level health workers.

In the JBGVS villages of Aurangabad, six-health check-up camps were organized for BPL families only, in association with Kamalnayan Bajaj Hospital, Aurangabad; 305 patients were examined in these camps. The idea was to screen and detect complicated cases and provide free treatment at Kamalnayan Bajaj Hospital. 32 patients have been provided this benefit under these programs, 30 HIV/AIDS awareness programs were organized, in which 1,250 women participated.

Economic development

Agriculture is the main occupation in the villages where JBGVS works. Programs like soil testing, demonstration plots for improved variety seeds and fertilizers, improved agricultural practices, natural farming, promotion of horticulture, etc. were implemented in all the project areas. Various types of farm and non-farm based vocational training programs, such as dairy, poultry, two wheeler repairing, fashion designing, etc. were organized. A few such programs were organized exclusively for 34 SC/ST youths.

Of the 34 youths participating in the two-wheeler repairing course, 12 were sent to Om Sai Service Station, Pune for onsite training. In Wardha, JBGVS has been working in partnership with Magan. Sangrahalaya Samiti to promote natural farming. This will help reduce the cost of inputs in agriculture. 750 farmers registered to start natural farming. In Kasi ka bas village of Sikar district, a revolving fund of Rs. 1,05,000 has been created with support from JBGVS, 90 women have taken loans of Rs. 9 lakh for various income generation activities, like grocery shops, tea stalls, trading of incense sticks (agarbatti), etc. The focus of all economic development programs has been to generate gainful self-employment amongst youth and women at the grass-root level.

Environmental development

Under this programme, soil and water conservation, plantation, and horticulture-based livelihood development amongst tribal families have been implemented. The Central Government supported DPAP (Drought Prone Area Programme), started in 2003- 04 came to an end on 31 March 2012. During the year, various treatments like continuous contour trenches, farm bunds, cement nala bunds, Vanaraibandhara, etc. were carried out on 2,525 Ha. of land to increase productivity.

Under the Aamrai project, supported jointly by National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) and JBGVS, 448 tribal families were benefited. A total of 393.5 acres of wasteland was brought under horticulture plantation. In Bhojankheda village, Wardha, water conservation work was carried out in a nala, which resulted in higher storage capacity (around 6TCM) and increased water level up to 5 ft. in five wells downstream. This will help solve the drinking water problem in the village and irrigate about 60-70 acres of land.

Social development

Local leadership plays a very important role in the development of villages. JBGVS organized various types of leadership development programs for local youth, women, and adolescent girls and boys. Under the youth programme, support was provided for sports competitions and sports equipment. Support was also provided to promote local culture and celebrate various festivals. Women Self Help Groups (SHG) were formed and motivated to take up village development activities in addition to their regular saving and credit programs. 15 new SHGs consisting of 160 women were formed.

Urban development

Samaj Seva Kendra (SSK) is the Urban development wing of JBGVS. It has a total membership of 1,050 families. SSK provides facilities for social, educational, cultural and economic development to the residents of Akurdi, Nigadi and adjoining areas. Various types of programs were carried out, such as pre-primary classes, balbhavan, literacy, tailoring, yoga, karate, tabla and harmonium, classical and western dance, senior citizen programs, etc.

The summer camp for school children got a very good response, with 374 children attending in two batches. A library was also started with an initial stock of 550 books on subjects ranging from fiction and autobiographies to tailoring, nutrition, health care, etc. In future, the library will be developed as a resource centre, catering to the needs of school children, youth, women and senior citizens. A few vocational training programs like beauty parlour, basic tailoring, fashion designing, and mobile handset repairing were also conducted. About 100 youth, mostly women, benefited from these programs.