Thursday, October 11, 2012

This is how SHG work

We attended this SHG meeting of women of Meena community. It is a tribal community of this area. We had read about these stuffs in books and discussed in classrooms. But this time we had live experience. This was really interesting. They initially thought that we were from government. They asked us if we could confirm why they were not getting money for IAY( Indra Aawas Yojna). But after we introduced ourselves, they opened up for further conversation. The meeting started with announcing new activities started at hospital by Sevamandir.

This is how they manage their accounts. Everybody pays Rs. 100/- as their share, interest of the loan taken and part of  balance. The accounts are nicely maintained in account book and individual passbooks provided by Sevamandir. Though initially they were reluctant to be the part of SHGs, but when they found it helpful it has become a part of their regular life now. These ladies from a tribal community manage their accounts efficiently. There was a sense of mutual trust and responsibility. I was surprised when one lady cut down on her loan amount for another , who needed some money, without any second thought.

There was difference in the financial standards of the members which was visible in their in dressing style, amount of loan taken, ability to pay interest and their  adherence to  social rituals like pardah system. There was some who were dealing in thousands and at the same time lady in the above picture was not even able to pay her mere interest of Rs. 28/- .

But still all are treated equally as we could see. They are becoming support system of one another.  With the help of trainings and regular activities and easy accessibility of credit has improved their cofidence. They consider it their responsibilty to pay Rs.100/- a month, interest and balance loan. When asked if they would like to dismentle the SHG, they said a clear no. :)

We also talked about various things ranging from their daily activities, their maternal homes, how they feel about being a part of SHG and all. They also asked about our families. When I told that I am from Haryana and now studying in Gujarat , they were surprised as well as  happy. The girls from their families are not allowed to go out. When I told them that I am studying after taking bank loan, they were amazed further.  When they were leaving they were happy about the fact that they learnt something new from us and same with us.
From Kojawada Village of Udaipur District,
Nidhi Bansal

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

With the Kids of Kojawada

Yesterday after meeting a SHG, we went out for a walk in other part of the Kojawada Village. It is mainly resided by Patels, an upper caste in the area. 

We got some small kids along to show around the village. They started introducing us as their school teacher to people in the village who were curious to know that who are these 4 girls roaming around in their territory. Unlike Pareda, which has only mud houses, People in this village were bit well off socially and financially. There were some concrete houses, electricity connection and other facilities. There was Kirana stores, one milk collecting dairy, schools, temples and other things.

 These small kids were really entertaining. They explained so innocently about the feuds about the temple we went to. How some people took away 7 lakh rupees from Temple's account and how those people are banned to enter temple now. I loved it the way when they were  hanging on the tree and swinging their body. They told us ghosts stories.

 This was a Hanuman temple. Girls do not enter it. They told it is not good for girls to enter it as something goes wrong if done so. The small kids talked about ghosts and ill spirits.

 One thing I was bugged by was  the health of these kids. These  3 are in 7th standard, but hardly looks . Their height, weight do not match their age. They looked far smaller than a 12-13 year kid. I was wondering if something could be done about these kids. 

The things, which city people always take for granted, are not so usual. There is a life without most of those privileges that we are taught to be as our fundamental rights.

From Kojawada Village of Udaipur,
Nidhi Bansal

Monday, October 8, 2012

Baby With a pamper and Mummy collecting waste metal

 It is a small village named Jhuthari's Bus stand. We were coming back from the Bhutta treat with Sevamandir's workers. This kid is two and half month old and was lying there with packed in the pampers.

This lady is the mother of this baby. She collects metallic waste from the households of the villages. We got interested in them looking at the pamper. Though i could not ask much questions about her earnings and all, but was wondering how could she manage a pamper a day. Also, how does she manage such a job with such a small kid.

From Jhuthari Village of Udaipur District,
Nidhi Bansal

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Colorful Lady I Met @ Pareda

I know her as a colorful Lady.
What would you expect out of this lady from tribal village of Rajasthan??
Her confidence while talking was unbelievable. She was trained by Sevamandir as a Dai and she is a active member of SHGs and working for her own and people’s development. Her son has left her alone and is living in Jaipur. These people struggle for basic things, but desire  to develop themselves and their people is appreciable. I was impressed. Thanks to SEVAMANDIR as well.

From Pareda Village in Udaipur,
Nidhi Bansal

I too had a Dream and My reflections

This is an amazing book. I can see Dairy evolving and India as a whole. The ability of Dr. Kurien to handle bureaucracy was wonderful. Being in my field work segment at Pareda Village in Udaipur District of Rajasthan, I am able to relate things better to the ground realities. It is unbelievable to my eyes how people are still leaving without electricity, proper sanitation and education and health facilities. There are no roads to connect to these people. Life beyond 10-15 kms from National Highways seems to be something 100- 200 years backward. But people are still happy and you can see laughing faces. There is humility and desire to do something better in them. Experiencing this, I could very well relate to this usurp from this book i.e., I too had a Dream:
 " There is nothing wrong in building flyovers in Delhi. What is not fair is when we do not also build an approach road to villages across the nation. There is nothing wrong in having fountains with coloured lights in the capital. After all, Delhi Should be beautiful. But it is unjustified when we have not provided drinking water to our villages. There is nothing wrong in having a modern private hospital in Bombay, or AIIMS in Delhi, or other large medical institutions in our big cities, but it is not justified when we have not arranged to have two drops of a medicine put into eyes of a farmer’s new born baby, and that baby goes blind. While this would have cost us nothing, we have preferred to spend crores of rupees in five star hospitals in cities. Why Does this happen?"