03 Dec

Seva Setu’s work for the differently able (Part I)

3rd December is celebrated each year as the international day for the differently abled. We want to take this opportunity to share the work we have done for the differently able in the last three months. This is the first of a series of posts that we will publish on this issue.

We chose three districts of Bihar – Patna, Vaishali and Champaran as our area of work and worked towards facilitating disability pension benefits to as many differently abled as we could work with. We first identified the differently abled by conducting surveys across villages in these districts. Over these three months, we have collected details of more than 1,300 differently abled people in these areas. Out of these, around 55% people were not having any Physically Handicapped (PH) certificate – which is a must to avail any government sponsored benefits. Our first objective was to ensure all eligible candidates received their PH certificates. We have gotten 115 of them to apply for these certificates. Of these 115, 78 people have collected their PH certificates – which means they can now avail government benefits. Of these 78 people who have collected their PH certificate, we have 32 people who have applied for a pension certificate. Of these 32 people, names of 7 people have been included in the pension list of their respective villages.

Considering the tedious government procedures and lethargic approach by the differently abled themselves, we appreciate the patience and perseverance of our on-field volunteers. Our volunteers are the backbone of Seva Setu and these numbers fail to reflect the amount of effort put in by them.

In the next post of the series we will be sharing the challenges and hurdles faced by Seva Setu while working for the differently able.

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01 Dec

National Skill Development Scheme | Training on Sewing and Stitching

The burgeoning population has always been considered as a bane for our country. It is assumed as the primary hurdle in any development process. And the reason behind this is that majority of our population is still unskilled and uneducated. Conclusively, population, instead of being an asset ends up being a liability for the country.

National Skill Development Scheme is one of the policies which has the potential to change the face of our country. This scheme stresses on enriching the population with skills which can enable them to live a dignified life. While we appreciate the noble endeavor of our government, we also encountered certain flaws in the scheme. The government is working towards improving these flaws. Currently, this scheme works in a centralized manner where the trainer, training institutes, etc. are provided and controlled by the government. This approach might have worked had we been a developed country. But unfortunately, we lack infrastructures and the required pre-requisites for the implementation of this scheme on such a large scale. The government resources are not enough to train a huge number of people within the stipulated time.

Seva Setu believes that the involvement of the community is inevitable if we are to make such schemes successful. The government may act as a facilitator and let the community take the process forward. This can be a more tangible model in the long run. With this principle in mind, we started our sewing training program. Under this program, we visit local communities, locate a skilled trainer (usually we always find one within the community itself), canvass potential trainees and after a few rounds of discussion, we agree on a convenient place within the community itself to launch the sewing training center. We provide Rs. 7,000 as the seed capital (The cost of Sewing Machine + Accessories Cost)

We are pleased to announce that we have completed another batch of our sewing training program. Certificates have been distributed on 26/11/2016 to all the 15 students who were trained for 3 months under our trainer Janki Ji. With the completion of this batch, the total number of students who have been trained under this initiative has reached 355. But Seva Setu’s role doesn’t end with the completion of 3 months of training and distribution of the certificates. We try to connect these young girls/women to wholesalers and retailers who buy stitched petticoat and blouses. We make sure that they are able to use their newly acquired skill to earn money.

While discussing with the students during the certificate distribution ceremony, we observed a great difference in the confidence level of most of the girls/ women. Since the majority of them were housewives, they were accustomed to household chores and restricted themselves throughout their life. For the first time, they were feeling that they can contribute to their family in terms of money as well. Though boosting their confidence level isn’t the direct outcome of our initiative but we genuinely believe that it will help them taking a stand for themselves in the future.

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18 Nov

A ray of hope in fighting malnutrition..

Last month we shared with you the difficulties and hurdles we were facing in admitting malnourished kids to Nutritional Rehabilitation Center (NRC). We cited the reluctance of parents coupled with the distance of NRC from the villages as the primary reason for our failure in admitting kids. On one hand, we could see a number of kids suffering from severe malnourishment and on the other hand almost 15 out 20 seats remained vacant in NRC. This ironical and unfortunate status quo always acted as an impetus for us to put our extra efforts in this direction. We are pleased to announce that we managed to overcome the hurdles to some extent and succeeded in admitting 11 kids to NRC in the last couple of weeks. Considering the poor ratio of admission in the last month, this is a big number and it will indeed encourage us to make further strides in this direction. We would like to share the credit with our field workers who proactively convinced the parents to get their kids admitted in NRC. Our field workers apprised them of the benefits of NRC and at the same time cautioned them about the long-term impacts of malnourishment on their kids. As we already mentioned about the distance of NRC from their villages, Seva Setu also hired an auto for the kids and parents who were unable to afford travel expenses.
All the admitted kids are now under the supervision of NRC staffs and are getting the required nutritional diet and care. We hope that all of them come out as healthy kids and shape their future without being obstructed by any health related issues. This is eventually the ultimate goal of Seva Setu.

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18 Oct

विकलांग प्रमाण पत्र और पेंशन उपलब्ध कराने का प्रयास

कल हमने फुलवारी शरीफ प्रखंड के 6 गांव के लोगों का विकलांग प्रमाण पत्र बनवाने का आवेदन किया| आकोपुर बग्घा टोला, कुर्जी चक, मुरादपुर, हिन्दुनी, पकड़ी और हुलुकपुर से 19 लोग आये थे| हम बिना किसी सरकारी मदद के वैसे सभी विकलांग लोगों को चिन्हित कर रहे हैं, जिनके पास विकलांगता प्रमाण पत्र नहीं है, जिन्हें पेंशन नही मिलता है और जिन्हें अब तक कोई सरकारी लाभ नहीं मिल रहा है| सरकारी अकड़ा SECC- 2011 के अनुसार फुलवारी शरीफ प्रखंड में 3787 लोग विकलांग है| इस डाटा में अलग से विकलांगों को मिलने वाले सरकारी लाभ का कहीं जिक्र नहीं है| हम बहुत जल्द ही फुलवारी प्रखंड में कितने ऐसे विकलांग है जिनको कोई सरकारी लाभ नहीं मिल पा रहा है इसकी जानकारी सार्वजानिक करेंगे|

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