State:Rehabilitation Project in Uttarakhand
Empowering women through Agriculture
Intro: Sewa International has launched rehabilitation project in Uttarakhand to empower communities to organise and manage sustainable entrepreneurship models through agriculture
“Development of a family, society or country starts with empowered women. Women are the engines for development,” said Shri Shyam Parande, International Coordinator of Sewa International while addressing a gathering of women farmers in village Chandrapuri, in Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand.
This was the first gathering of farmers from some 10 villages in the district and looked like a festive gathering because of the enthusiasm and positive energy emerging from the crowd.
Shri Parande while addressing the gathering of women from 10 villages along the river Mandakini in Kedarnath valley, that witnessed the worst kind of disaster less than an year back when the floods had devastated the region appreciated the response from the people, especially the women, who had gathered in large numbers for the program run by Sewa International and who to participate in the event travelled the rough and difficult mountain terrains by foot to reach the venue.
The program started right on the dot with cultural presentations by local Saraswati Shishu Mandir students who after ceremonially receiving the guests enriched the event by dancing and singing on traditional Garhwali songs.
After the cultural program, a brief on agriculture practices in particular villages was presented by Shri Kailash Goswami, Best Farmer awardee from Uttarakhand, who also narrated his efforts in overcoming problems to become a successful farmer. He assured the gathering that he would be available for guidance and support in future.
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Shri Bhajjan Singh Khatri, a local social worker with rich experience in this region said that the outsiders can only guide and help them to identify good agriculture practices and that, it is their own initiative that would bring in development and progress. He stressed on empowering women who play an important role in taking care of kids, family and contribute equally in the fields.
He urged the gathering to participate wholeheartedly in Sewa International’s empowerment program to walk towards economic independence by improving agricultural practices and assured them the wholehearted support of the organisation, and told them they would be provide both- short term benefits and long term benefits in times to come by the organisation.
Bara Devi, president of the federation of the Self Help Groups (SHGs) in that area with 191 SHGs under it and helping more than 3500 women said that, “ The women in the state are in urgent need of support and guidance in the field of agriculture and would surely benefit from this program.”
Quality seeds were distributed to the villagers free of cost and finally the program concluded with vote of thanks by Shri Devendra Thaplial.
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Earlier Sewa International had launched rehabilitation project in Uttarakhand on the auspicious occasion of Sankranti festival on January 14, 2014 by inaugurating the Computer training class at Ukhimath, Rudraprayag district. Now, the organisation has started more computer training centres in Chandrapuri, Guptakashi to train the youth and all the three centres are attracting youth in good numbers.
This activity is sort of a prelude to the project of “empowering community to organise and manage sustainable entrepreneurship models through agriculture”. The computer training centre, as expected, is attracting good number of youth from various surrounding villages and these contacts are being developed to reach out to some of the neighbouring villages. These centres have been sponsored by Sewa USA.