24 Jan

Seva Setu at BIT Mesra

WhatsApp Image 2017-01-24 at 9.29.09 AM WhatsApp Image 2017-01-24 at 9.31.26 AM (2)

The Gandhi Fellowship program is an annual fellowship which encourages young citizens of India to try out social entrepreneurship. They have a residential program where they teach young citizens the realities of bringing about changes at the last-mile.

The good folks at the fellowship program invited Seva Setu for an expert talk at their annual visit to the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, one of the top-rated technology universities in India. They wanted us to share our experiences with the ‘nascent young minds of tomorrow’. Specifically, they wanted to know what inspired us to get started with our work; being primarily from an engineering background, how our core team makes use of our technical skills in solving problems in the social domain; and what are the key skills we look for when we hire folks on our team.

It was a fun day overall! It was a young audience who had very little exposure to the concept of social enterprises. They confronted some hard questions – as to what would stop their heads from doing what their hearts say. Seva Setu also showed them a flavor of the severity of problems which are prevalent at the last-mile and the kind of innovations that one can come up with in bringing about measurable changes. Towards the end of the talk, they went back being made aware of the tangible, not-so-less-traversed-anymore career choice of being social entrepreneurs.

WhatsApp Image 2017-01-24 at 9.31.26 AM WhatsApp Image 2017-01-24 at 9.31.26 AM (1) WhatsApp Image 2017-01-23 at 5.44.03 PM WhatsApp Image 2017-01-24 at 9.29.09 AM (1) WhatsApp Image 2017-01-24 at 9.29.09 AM (2) WhatsApp Image 2017-01-24 at 9.29.09 AM (3)

19 Jan

Internships at Seva Setu!

Say hello to Nikita Gupta, an aspiring MBA graduate from XIME, Bangalore. She spent three weeks, from mid-December to early January, interning with us at our Patna office.

She started contributing to our flagship program “Each one, Reach one” riIMG-20170108-WA0003ght from day one — she was responsible for growing our base of call champions and getting them going with the remainder of the program. During her stint, she was exposed to India’s rural healthcare system and understood some of its limitations. She honed her general management skills by simultaneously managing multiple stakeholders involved in the program — mothers from urban India, mothers from rural India, internal teams at Seva Setu and reviewing literature around the details of relevant schemes! Phew!

A loud shout out from everyone at Seva Setu to Nikita for spending time with us! We’d love to see her back for another stint.

If you want to similarly expose yourself to the realities of rural India, and want to learn from an active group on the field, feel free to drop a line at intern@sevasetu.org. We’ll be happy to get you started!

03 Jan

2016 at a glance

2016 has been a fun year at Seva Setu. We eagerly look forward to 2017 to bring about changes on ground, Seva Setu style :)

Looking back, 2016 was a year of consolidation and introspection at Seva Setu. We were not focused on expanding our services and scaling our operations in different regions. Instead, we were keen on strengthening and streamlining our internal processes. We focused on ensuring the data we collected on the field was rigorously maintained and indexed. We also identified and integrated technology in programs where we thought it would greatly help scaling them. Doing so has prepared us to aggressively expand our portfolio of services in 2017 as well as replicating them across geographies. We want to strongly establish our brand presence as well on the field in addition to having polished operations. 2017 is also the year Seva Setu turns three. With this, we now want to be formally involved with local governments in executing various projects in our areas of expertise. 2016 has thus been a year of preparation for the high amount of activity we hope to see in 2017!

infographic-final-dec-2016

We highlight here some of our posts from the year before –

  • Citizen care: We worked primarily on three pension schemes – for the disabled, for senior citizens and for widows. The second half of the year saw our focus shift towards the disabled, and covering three districts in parallel. We learned a good deal about the processes and challenges in ensuring people received their benefits from the government. [Our opinion piece]
  • Mother care: After seeing a lull at the beginning of this year, 2016 saw a swanky-revival of its Each one, Reach one program. We got good coverage from the press and got on board urban mothers from varying professions and backgrounds to befriend peers from rural Bihar! We now have a fully automated tool to schedule and manage phone calls. We have begun receiving feedback from urban mothers and are resolving escalations raised by them. [Web-based software] [Press article]
  • Child care: 2016 saw a tough year for our Child care program. We fought tooth and nail in ensuring that the NRC in Patna, which was shut down without notice, was reopened in two months’ time. We also faced resistance from families in Patna in going to the centers. On a positive note, most families in Vaishali obliged and realized its significance. Our opinion piece of issues in the current setup also got press coverage. [Related post] [Press coverage]
  • IT training: We completed four batches of skill training this year. We were pleased to see the warm response we got from the people of Vaishali in participating in this program. Basic computer literacy as a skill has high returns in our growing knowledge economy. We want to see how we can get those we train employed in local markets. [Related post]
  • Audits of public services: We also spent time on auditing existing facilities and liaisoning with the government to rectify issues we had spotted in them. We audited Anganwadi centers – to ensure basic facilities like weighing machines, growth charts etc. were available at the centers; and health centers – health subcenters in villages and block-level primary health centers. The audits of Anganwadi centers led to several fruitful meetings with the CDPOs and the health center audits led to action being taken after we filed complaints with Bihar’s Lokshikayat center. [Health center report]
  • Sewing training and creating markets: We continue to operate sewing training centers in which get batches of 20-30 young women trained in sewing and related skills. Towards the end of 2016, we were able to liaise with local vendors in ensuring their produce got into the local markets. We are very optimistic about this program taking off full-steam, given the successful pilots we’ve seen thus far. [Related post]
  • Technology and processes:  2016 witnessed an emphasis on technology. By rigorously maintaining internal data stores and making our code-bases public, we restructured our operations to make it amenable to disciplined data collection and analyses. We are now on GitHub and have a dedicated community of 5-6 developers who are involved in designing and maintaining our software-related tools! [Each one, reach one software] [Our live stats from citizen care]

With this, we really look forward to 2017! We thank our team of field executives, employees, and volunteers who’ve worked shoulder to shoulder in getting us here. We think we’re better prepared in facing challenges that this space will throw at us and we’re optimistic that our experience in this domain thus far will help us be more efficient and impactful!

Hello 2017!

25 Oct

Seva Setu | The Team

Usually, most of our team is on the ground, out of office, working for and with the community we serve. However, occasionally, this field work is paused to reflect on the path traversed and to discuss the way forward.
Sharing some pics from a day-long discussion session in our Patna office.

Strengthening the ‘Setu’. :)

10256609_846404088791990_7634135493042070939_o 11064763_846404205458645_8339739214992757333_o 11234013_846404392125293_5276215038274041777_o 12028753_846404175458648_1370349818186081616_o 12031479_846404132125319_363270126099461556_o 12045456_846404128791986_4692487848653057054_o 12182474_846404235458642_3951969338190801348_o 12183977_846404398791959_5799914891849786755_o 12184141_846404202125312_5531579152549275640_o 12184970_846404138791985_3146090025724931061_o 12184974_846404385458627_23805439173056106_o 12185266_846404172125315_8255076154473488740_o 12188065_846404118791987_8751040154979560856_o

21 Aug

A workshop on ‘How to use TABS’ by WHP | TB Awareness and Cure

It is been a little more than 2 months that we have been working in collaboration with ‪#‎WHP‬(World Health Partners) on TB identification, prevention and correction in ‪#‎Phulwarisharif‬ and ‪#‎Danapur‬ blocks of ‪#‎Patna‬ distict, ‪#‎Bihar‬.
Our volunteers were carrying out most of the work till recently, manually (i.e. using pen, paper etc.) However, on the basis of our recent work on the field, the experiences associated, and further discussions with the WHP team, WHP has agreed to provide TABS to selected volunteers, to carry out the work on the ground. This will ease data recording, tracking, and management for the TB-related work being carried out on the ground.

Here are some images of the training session conducted by the WHP team for our volunteers and field workers on the ground.

11856433_815830458516020_5091031322423678078_o 11892316_815830438516022_6321737645948534205_o 11906726_815830431849356_6141622476696013522_o 11924343_815830445182688_3603367497936601584_o 11927459_815830435182689_3638622985281972897_o 11935568_815830455182687_2664325252584355170_o

This workshop has helped in introducing our volunteers to the “operational guidelines” for using these smart TABS. Our volunteers and field workers are pretty excited about using  these newly introduced tools!!