VILLAGE GIRLS OF INDIA MOTIVATED TO GIVE TO SOCIETY

Indian women are taught from a young age to look after their families.  They don’t have the strong motivation of expressing their individuality, making a name for themselves, or proving their worth.  They know their role in life is to look after the family.  So when young Indian ladies decide to go to college and begin a career, it is motivated by the desire to serve their families and communities better. They want to provide for their parents in their old age.  They want to help those less fortunate then they are.

Traditionally, girls in the rural outback of India were not allowed to even dream of getting an education.  Parents would not allow their daughters to go out of the village for school or for work. The farthest some women get to is the village well. Even now, some parents and husbands will not allow their daughters or wives to study sewing in their own village, even though it will give her the skills to make clothes for the family and save them from having to buy clothes.

Vanita of Nimboli, is a typical woman living in a village, and making up to 8 trips a day to the well to get water for the family.  Vanita never completed school and works hard at odd jobs such as construction, farming, brick making. Her husband died a few years ago and she has had to raise her three sons on her small income.

When a young village girl begins to have a big dream of going to college, she rarely gets support from parents, extended family, friends, or the culture.  To dream of higher education is forbidden.  But there are some girls who are risking their standing in their family and village to have a dream of college and a career.  Some girls are dreaming of becoming an engineer, such as Mayuri, Hina and Pranali. Some are studying to become a medical doctor, such as Nilam. Others, such as Utkarsha are studying accounting, Radika, social work, Aarti, agriculture, and Yogita, history and Hindi.

Pranali (woman on the left) just graduated this past May in engineering due to financial help from TMA donations.  Bhavana and her sister (not shown) still have two and one years, respectively, to go.  Both sisters need 17,000 rupees each year for fees and bus fare.  About $ 283 each.

Utkarsha discusses her application and her college plans with social worker, Subhash Patil. She is attending a program to become an accountant. Her mother is the sole provider for her family of three as the husband abandoned the family many years before.  Utkarsha needs 8,000 rupees for school fees. This equals $ 133 US

 

Aarti is in her final year for a diploma in Agriculture. She wants to return to her neighborhood community and teach farmers about advanced techniques of farming and animal husbandry. Her father is a subsistence farmer and has gone into debt for her first two years of college.  They have no way to pay her fees for her last year.  Aarti needs 12,000 rupees or $ 200 US.  Her father owes $ 400 for the previous years.

 

Nilam Jayram Mate is in her third year of Ayurvedic Medical school. She wishes to work among the poor providing medical care once she finishes school.  Her course work and hostel fees cost her 125,000 rps a year.  We have promised to find her 25,000 rps. which is about $416.  We would like to help them pay off some of last  year’s debt by giving them an additional 15,000 rps.

 

 

Mayuri Vasan Patil is attending a prestigous engineering college run by one of India’s holy men, Janglidas Maharaj. She lives at home to reduce the yearly costs, but even so, her tuition fees are 60,000 a year.  We hope to be able to provide her with 25,000 rps ($ 416 US) to help the family get their daughter educated.

 

We have others who are asking us to help that we have not photographed:

Savita Prakash Raul needs 7000 rps ($116 US) to attend her MA program in HIstory and English.

Krutika Anil Chaturya needs 26,000 ($433 US) to pay her hostel and admission fees for her 2nd year in electrical engineering.

Joshna from Bhiwali needs 3500 ($58 US) rps to pay for her year at science college.

 

We have four younger ladies whose parents cannot afford the fees for high school. India only provides schooling up to and through 8th standard. After that each family is on their own. The tribal children are out of luck when it comes to high school unless a trust or NGO provides this kind of education. And the girls are the last to attend.  They each need 1500 rps for 11 th standard.  We need 3000 rps total or $50 US.

 

These eleven young ladies sitting with their mothers have been accepted into the Rama Krishna Mission’s vocational program: Community Health Worker.   In one year, these  girls will become confident, learn a new skill, learn some English and computer. A new hospital is being built in our village, so when they finish the program they have the possibility of working in this village hospital. Since there is no housing for them at Rama Krishna Mission,, they will have to take the three hour journey back and forth to the campus.  We need 4800 rps OR $80 US a month to subsidize 1/3 of their bus fare. Multiply this times 10 months, will need 48,000 rps or $800 US for the year.  We need 6000 rupees or $100  to pay half of the 15 children’s admission fees. The vocational program is free except for this small admission fee.

Hina is studying information engineering. She is in the last year. This past year she earned 74% in her exam, which puts her in the first class.  Every month she comes to us for her bus fare of 600 rupees, or $ 10 US a month.

 

Hina’s father runs a neighbor fruit stand… not enough to send two daughers to college.  TMA pays her monthly bus fare of $10 US.

 

TMA NEEDS YOUR HELP ASSIST THESE GIRLS WITH ACCOMPLISHING THEIR DREAMS.   WITH THREE THOUSAND US DOLLARS, WE CAN ASSIST ALL OF THE YOUNG LADIES IN GETTING TO SCHOOL…. PAYING AT LEAST HALF OF THEIR TUITIONS, PAYING FOR THEIR BUS RIDES, UNIFORMS, BOOKS AND STATIONARY.

WHEN YOUR FATHER ONLY EARNS ABOUT $100 A MONTH, IF THAT, IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO PAY TUITION FEES OF $ 500 TO $1500 A YEAR.

 

To assist all of the above girls in gaining access to higher education, TMA would need to donate about 238,500 rupees, at today’s exchange rate, $ 3973 US.

 

Will you be one of the kind hearted supporters of young women?

SPRING: A TIME OF INSPIRATION & CHANGE FOR A POSITIVE FUTURE

During the Spring of each year, TMA’s partners in India, Shree Nityananda Education Trust and Parivartan Mahila Sanstha, begin their yearly campaign to inspire young people to dream a new dream: a dream of better health, better education, and better work opportunities.

original girls arrive at rkm '12

Career Guidance & Encouragement for Rural Youth:

Yearly Career and Vocation Day

In May, TMA’s partners jointly hold a Career Day in Ganeshpuri, India, to help acquaint the local youth (of nearby impoverished tribal areas)  with the exceptional vocational training at Rama Krishna Mission in Sakwar. They can learn any of the following trades in 10 months essentially free: Carpentry, Welding, House Wiring, Car Mechanics, Driving, Tailoring, and Community Health Worker. Last year, our team of social workers and teachers motivated and encouraged 12 young people to expand their horizons and take one of these courses:  7 men and 5 women.  They will graduate in May of this year. The RKM program still is under-utilized and can accommodate many more young people.  So, this year, we plan to expand our outreach and introduce more teenagers and their parents than we did last year.

The Career Day of May 25th, 2014 will host the following motivational speakers: Swami Avadhootananda who is the director of Rama Krishna Mission, a vocational guidance counselor, social workers, educators, and various business people from the community.

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2013 Career Day at TMA’s partner Shree Nityananda Education Trust’s dome. Swami Avadhootananda of Rama Krishna Mission was guest speaker to give information about their vocational program.

Visit Rama Krishna Mission Vocational Program

After the Career Day, TMA’S partners rent several vans and take the young people to visit the Rama Krishna Mission campus and see the various labs, such as the auto mechanic, tailoring or carpentry labs. The class rooms for the Community Health Worker are used twice a week for a functioning health clinic, so the young ladies who take the class actually get hands-on experience. When the students finish the ten month course, many are offered jobs in the nearby cities of Mumbai, Vasai or Virar. Every student receives training in computers and conversational English as well.

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The youth exam the RKM Auto Mechanic workshop sponsored by Tata Motors.

Applications and Interviews at RKM

In June, for those who wish to apply and interview with the RKM staff, we provide vans to take the applicants and one of their parents to the school. Our team of social workers attend and and help to fill out the forms and make the process go smoothly. The village youth are very shy about leaving the village, and we find that having interested and inspired adults along make the experience very positive for the applicants.

subhash helps boys fill out form

SNET’S staff Rural Development Manager, Subhash Patil helps two youth fill out their application form and encourage them to go beyond their fears.

On-going Support for Fees and Bus Fare Needed

Once the young people decide to attend the RKM program, the boys need to buy uniforms (1200 rps or $ 20 US)  and pay an application fee (500 rps or $9 US). The boys must live at the school where they are fed four times a day and receive daily milk products from the dairy they help run.  Our partners pays for half of the boys’ application fee and their family pays half.

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The Rama Krishna Mission’s class rooms and dormitory are housed in this modern building.

The girls do not have available housing, so they are required to go back and forth from their homes daily, which can be a three or four hour trip. But we have found that the young women are motivated enough to bear this hardship. Their monthly bus fare is usually 1500 rps of which our partners promises to pay 1/3 shared with RKM and the girl’s family. The girls are also required to pay the 500 rupee application fee of which TMA’s partners pays half.

umela & darshana w Moms at rkm

Two young women from Ganeshpuri area came to the interview with their mothers in May 2013, and now are graduating in tailoring this June 2014.

Girls Scholarships for Higher Education Needed

Education gives a woman a step up the ladder of gender equality and opens the way for greater opportunities of self-expression.  In the outback of rural India, as in Ganeshpuri area, the women are greatly neglected by Indian society. The women in the villages walk to the well five to eight times a day to get water. There is no infrastructure for water delivered to their homes. And the water is not clean but usually contaminated with pathogens and chemicals.

Collecting water at the local well is a daily chore for most village women repeated 4-8 times.

In 2001, the literacy rate for India was 52.2%, but for Adivasi tribal women, the rate was a stunningly low 18.2%.  There are so very few opportunities for bright village girls to access higher education in their nearby villages. Some parents refuse to let their girl children take the local buses to the schools in the cities.  And those parents who wish to see their girl children go for advance degrees and education are limited to due to lack of funds.  The women in rural India lack the same opportunities to which the young men have access. We are committed to closing his gender gap in education of the young women of this area.

In July, we start a new cycle of helping young women to attend advanced schooling in engineering, medical college, nursing, teacher college, agriculture specialty, hotel management and tourism, computer technology, and social work.  Their applications have now started.  We have helped about 15 young ladies with higher degrees in the past two years. We would like to do it again.  We are now interviewing girls and their families, checking their records, their family financial status, and their references.  We had one girl falsify her records in these past few months, so we have had to deny her help, as well as be on more guard for any kind of deception.  Gita Lotankar, a teacher and supervisor at the Divine Grace School in Vajreshwari is our Scholarship Manager and is overseeing the application process.  She offers counseling and guidance as well as verifies the schools and fees that our ladies are presenting.  We will probably need about $ 5000 if we are to help all the girls who apply with their requests for higher education.

The village female youth have many odds against their dream of higher education: poverty, cultural restrictions, absent parents, family fears, neighborhood rejection, and lack of career guidance.

Providing Jobs for Graduates of 2014 Class of Rama Krishna Mission:

Five young ladies from our nearby villages will be graduating in June. We hope to have funds to hire them for our two projects:

  1. The Health Education project where our six educators (all graduates of the Rama Krishna Mission’s program “Community Health Worker  class of 2013) conduct home visits  and village meetings for the tribal women teaching the following topics: health, hygiene, water purification, yoga and exercise, good nutrition and  cooking classes.  The women we are targeting are those who live far from the infrastructure of modern India, are illiterate and had little education as youth.The six graduates of Rama Krishna Mission’s Community Health Worker program were hired by SNET to provide water hygiene education to the villages. The program is so successful the staff have expanded their program to include good nutrition, yoga and meditation, personal hygiene, cooking lessons, and the psychology of health. 
  2. The Women’s Art Workshop is where a group of women create handmade patchwork quilts and work with visiting designers. These women have very few opportunities to earn money out of the home. Most are unable to communicate with the modern world of commerce and live very sheltered lives. So our partners are giving these women opportunities to improve their life and that of their families’.
    These three ladies are about to graduate from RKM’s tailoring class. They will be offered employment to the women’s quilt making workshop.

TMA RECEIVES SELFLESS SERVICE AWARD

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Congratulations to TMA’s Dream Team Jeanetta and Dewa Haley for their dedication and hard work. In their past few years in India, Jeanetta and Dewa have positively changed the lives the many, bringing greater health, education, opportunity for economic growth and joy!

Our volunteer couple representing TMA were awarded the Bhagwan Nityananda Maha Seva Award by the Shiva School of Yoga and Meditation in Melbourne, Australia on September 9, 2012.

Here are just a few of the Haley’s recent projects:

  • Over 1,000 water filters distributed to local families
  • Water sanitation & hygiene educational program
  • Women’s tailoring school – Employing over 50 women (for starters!)
  • Raised money for 33 women to receive higher education
  • New bathrooms in a local elementary school
  • Divine Cow Project- Donating cows to local villagers to be used for milk as a souce of income

Currently Jeanetta & Dewa are working onStepping into the Future, a project to raise money for exceptionally gifted young women with financial challenges to attend college.  If you’d like to help with this or any other project

We’re excited to share our recent feature in The Malibu Times. Check out our article “Improving health, one liter at a time”. Providing clean water to over 15,000 people to date, TMA works to improve lives through safe drinking water and sanitation in developing areas in India.

Education is the first step to change

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Education is the first step to change. We’re taking that step. TMA’s Clean Water Education course had 12 graduates this spring! These leaders will take their learning home and educate hundreds of families on how to prevent disease through proper water hygiene. It only takes a little education to go a long way!
Help us continue spreading the word.

TMA LAUNCHING RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT

The continuing escalation in demand for energy in rural India has serious consequences, especially in terms of air quality, resrouces, and access to energy. The need to ensure sustainable development requires not only combating climate change but also eradicating energy poverty and securing energy supply.

One part of the solution is use of solar-powered LED lanterns. These lanterns are expensive to purchase so TMA, partnering with Partners in Green Development (PGD), proposes establishing a fund to purchse the parts to manufacture the items locally. The enerprise, managed by a women’s self-help group in Nimboli, Thane District, will provide work for youth in a culture where jobs are scarce.

For more information, click on the Cottage Industries project page.

INSTALLATION OF UNIQUE ROPE & WASHER PUMP

In June 2011, TMA with the assistance of Partners in Green Development (PGD) installed a unique Rope & Washer Pump on community wells which will make lifting water from the wells much easier than the prevailing practice of dangling a rope with a bucket at the end and pulling it up. Plans are afoot to teach carpenters and youth groups to fabricate this pump locally for installaation on other community wells.

Please donate to our new enterprise by contacting www.tmaseva.org if you are in a western country or www.shreenityanandaeducationtrust.org if you are in India.

We journeyed to India this past February and continue to be thrilled by the villagers appreciation of their biosand water filters. We have a growing list of families that would like to have their own. Your donations are making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of families. Thank you once again for your generosity!

Word is traveling among the mothers and wives that the biosand water filters provides clean water that is sweet tasting and cool. The women are also finding that sicknesses are declining in their families.

Biosand Water Filter Mold & Lots of Filters “Curing”

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Biosand Water Filters Ready for Delivery

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Biosand Water Filter Delivery Vehicle

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A few weeks ago, I tagged along with Pervez Kazi as he interviewed twenty families within Nimboli village who had received SNET Bio Sand Water-filters nearly a year ago. The overall response was extreme satisfaction with how the water filter not only improved the families’ health, but also improved the taste of their daily drinking water.

Prior to receiving the SNET water filter, they walked to the end of their street where there is a government installed well. Unfortunately, the engineers located it directly in the path of a stagnant water drainage system. Hence, the water is most often dirty. Secondarily, the well water is hot because Nimboli is situated amidst geo thermal activity. Over and over, we heard the recipients of the SNET water filter say they “liked how the water was clean and cool.” Many of them commented that they now bring their own filtered water with them to work, to school, and on any outings away from the home. They don’t believe they can get such cool clean water anywhere else, except to pay for bottled water.

The major sentiment of the women interviewed was relief in seeing their families healthy.
Many families reported an almost total disappearance of illnesses caused by water born organisms, such as diarrhea, cholera, skin infections. Common colds and flu had lessened, as well.

What was surprising was to learn how often the recipients cleaned their filter. Some followed their instructions and cleaned them monthly. But some householders could taste the difference in the water after being cleaned and so cleaned the filter more often. The majority cleaned about every week or every other week, but one lady literally cleaned hers daily because she could taste the difference. Others cleaned theirs every few days.

Almost all of the filters were situated in a prominent place in the family’s home, be it in the kitchen, or on the back porch. Most people were very emphatic about the rewards of the water filer and expressed their deep appreciation for the improvement in the quality of their lives.

Of the twenty families we visited, only one person believed the filter to be malfunctioning even though she cleaned it. Another man said his fell over ten days prior, but the amount of plant growth that had grown up onto it showed that it had probably not been used for over a month. He said he was not strong enough to put the filter up right and would need SNET’s help to get it functioning again. Both of these families were reported to the installer for maintenance.

Every week I meet people on the streets of surrounding areas who yet don’t have their own SNET water filter. I feel sad to tell them that we don’t quite have enough money yet to deliver water filters to their village. They hear of neighbors who do have one, and wish to receive the life changing benefits for their own family. I wish we could provide all the families here in the Tansa Valley with their own water filter.
Some of the other villages rely on river water for their household supply. This is contaminated by human and animal excrement up stream and is extremely dangerous to their health. Now some of those families have the benefit of cleaning the water with SNET water filter.

BiosandWaterFilter7_0

News from Jeanetta:

A few weeks ago, I tagged along with Pervez Kazi as he interviewed twenty families within Nimboli village who had received SNET Bio Sand Water-filters nearly a year ago. The overall response was extreme satisfaction with how the water filter not only improved the families’ health, but also improved the taste of their daily drinking water.

Prior to receiving the SNET water filter, they walked to the end of their street where there is a government installed well. Unfortunately, the engineers located it directly in the path of a stagnant water drainage system. Hence, the water is most often dirty. Secondarily, the well water is hot because Nimboli is situated amidst geo thermal activity. Over and over, we heard the recipients of the SNET water filter say they “liked how the water was clean and cool.” Many of them commented that they now bring their own filtered water with them to work, to school, and on any outings away from the home. They don’t believe they can get such cool clean water anywhere else, except to pay for bottled water.

The major sentiment of the women interviewed was relief in seeing their families healthy. Many families reported an almost total disappearance of illnesses caused by water born organisms, such as diarrhea, cholera, skin infections. Common colds and flu had lessened, as well.

What was surprising was to learn how often the recipients cleaned their filter. Some followed their instructions and cleaned them monthly. But some householders could taste the difference in the water after being cleaned and so cleaned the filter more often. The majority cleaned about every week or every other week, but one lady literally cleaned hers daily because she could taste the difference. Others cleaned theirs every few days.

Almost all of the filters were situated in a prominent place in the family’s home, be it in the kitchen, or on the back porch. Most people were very emphatic about the rewards of the water filer and expressed their deep appreciation for the improvement in the quality of their lives.

Of the twenty families we visited, only one person believed the filter to be malfunctioning even though she cleaned it. Another man said his fell over ten days prior, but the amount of plant growth that had grown up onto it showed that it had probably not been used for over a month. He said he was not strong enough to put the filter up right and would need SNET’s help to get it functioning again. Both of these families were reported to the installer for maintenance.

Every week I meet people on the streets of surrounding areas who yet don’t have their own SNET water filter. I feel sad to tell them that we don’t quite have enough money yet to deliver water filters to their village. They hear of neighbors who do have one, and wish to receive the life changing benefits for their own family. I wish we could provide all the families here in the Tansa Valley with their own water filter.
Some of the other villages rely on river water for their household supply. This is contaminated by human and animal excrement up stream and is extremely dangerous to their health. Now some of those families have the benefit of cleaning the water with SNET water filter.