2 Days Visit To Lakheri, Rajasthan
SIDART in collaboration with HSF, organized a 2 day visit to Bundi district in Rajasthan with SIDART’s village volunteers and team members. We visited Indragarh, Utrana, Papdi and Budhel in Lakheri block of Bundi distrct. As our village volunteers and SIDART team arrived in Lakheri, Mr. Gokul Verma and Mr. Tripurari Rai greeted us warmly and briefed us about our plans ahead.
On the 1st day, the village women visited a women self-employment program in Indragarh, which is being implemented by the local organization (MGIDEI) who have facilitated our visit in Bundi. This session was about observation of self employment and income generation of women. Under this program, there are established training centers to teach tailoring and embroidery work to women free of cost. The poor women in the village are learning this trade and have started to earn and provide for their families. These women get paid for each suit that they make. Women are empowering themselves, seeing this, our village volunteers felt motivated and empowered too. They were inspired to start such kind of work in their village too.
The next visit was to Papdi, there our village women met a group of women who run self-help groups. Ms Kamli Bai and Ms. Tasveer Bai, trains groups of women to run the self-help groups successfully; Ms. Kamli Bai is only 5th class pass and she has been helping this group since the last 5 years. She has trained 32 groups since the last 1 year and they are currently running successfully.
The work that these women are doing at such a level is appreciable. Our village women shared their views with them and asked questions about how they run the SHG’s successfully. They had a long discussion about each other’s village developments. Both the village women shared their issues and learning’s with each other. It was an informative session.
With this our first day visit ended with a warm goodbye by the villagers of Papdi. They sang and danced while biding us goodbye, as it’s a Rajasthani culture to treat the guests with such enthusiasm.
Our 2nd day began with a visit to an Anganwadi center in Utrana village. The Anganwadi workers (AWW) explained us, how they are providing the services in a better way to the beneficiaries. This was a model Anganwadi center. The Anganwadi building was blue colour which normally is always Pink in Rajasthan. They had more involvement of villagers at the Anganwadi center which you don’t get to see in other places.
One major highlight was the high presence of children at the center, which is not normally seen elsewhere. Our village women discussed the reasons behind their success and what efforts have they done to improve the presence of children at the center. We all got to learn a lot from them. It is a small village and the work that these villagers are doing is commendable.
After this we attended two ceremonies in the village. One was a Godh Bharai (baby shower) and the other was “Anna-praashan”, i.e. celebration of a healthy child (Harshita). Her mother (Aneeta) had very low hemoglobin (6) at the time her pregnancy, but with the regular monitoring by the ASHA worker, she got a healthy diet, and they made sure she was fit, so that at the time of her delivery, the child wouldn’t face any health problems. They took such great care of the mother, and finally at the time of her delivery, the baby was perfectly normal and healthy. Just to celebrate their wellbeing all the villagers came together to organize a function which included dance and singing as well.
Our next stop was to the agriculture and health Krshi and Swasth Patshala (Village level institution) of the village. In Budhel many villagers are doing organic farming. We met Ms. Sona Meena (Krishi and Health Sakhi), she explained us about WARMI Chabutra (Organic Farming) and different methods to prepare good quality grains. They also conduct health and agriculture session on alternate days for village women from 8pm to 9 pm. These sessions are according to seasonal health issues in the village and various other agricultural farming methods.
Then we moved for village meeting in Budhel. We had a discussion with the local women about the issues they are facing in their village. One of the major issues of Budhel village was the scarcity of water and alcoholism. The local women are going to send a letter to the collector to remove the wine shops, if their request is not being addressed within a week, then they would personally take actions against the wine shop owner. Our village volunteers spoke to the people of Budhel, and encouraged them to raise their voice and fight for themselves; they also inspired them to work hard to improve their village condition.
The women of Budhel were happy with the interaction. We had a great session with them and got to learn a lot from them. In such hard conditions, they tried to make the best of it. That was the most inspiring aspect for our village volunteers.
In the end, we visited the ACC School in Nayapura, Lakheri. There we met Mr. Rajat Kushti, the director of ACC in Bundi. There our village women had a small session with the Director, they shared their views and obervations about their trip to Bundi. Concluding the meeting, Mr. Rajat Kushti said, “I am very happy to see that the village women from Jaipur have come here to learn about our developments. I think this SIDART’s visit is a good way to learn and spread awareness, I am thankfull to SIDART to come all the way from Jaipur to visit our village”. He also encouraged our village women for their eagerness to learn and said, he proposed SIDART team to facilitate a learning visit for the women of Bundi to Jaipur, so they could also learn about our developments.
We concluded our trip with a group photo in the end. The two day visit was an eye opener to our village women.