The major activities or issues undertaken by the SSs were –
1. Child Education
2. Health and Hygiene
3. Strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions
4. Strengthening Service Delivery System
5. Organisation of CBOs
6. Rights and Entitlements of the Poor
7. Drought Relief
§ Child education has been taken up seriously since the beginning. SSs have initiated a massive awareness campaign in the villages along with the schoolteachers, by making house-to-house visits and organizing hamlet-wise meetings to motivate parents of all children of school going age. As a result of that all children of 6-14 years have been enrolled in the Primary Schools with no dropouts. Moreover, night literacy centers have also been running successfully by the village volunteers in the remote tribal hamlets. To maintain the retention of the children in the schools, we have contacted Mahavir International – a voluntary organisation, and requested them for distribution of School dresses to the children of all the eight Primary Schools of Palana Khurd. They agreed to extend their support for this cause.
In addition, eight five-member Village Education Committees have been formed which would look after the functioning of the school to ensure qualitative and quantitative education for their children as well as helping the schoolteachers in getting all the benefits and facilities provided by the government.
With a view to increase enrollment, retention and generate interest of children in school, RIM in cooperation with Mahavir International, Udaipur has distributed Uniforms, Bags, writing materials and snacks to 425 school children of eight primary schools of the gram panchayat Palana Khurd in the month of October 2003. Fellow SS and parents of the children joined hands to make success of this initiative.
Keeping in mind the poor health status of the villages, SSs have been generating awareness towards better health and nutrition and family planning measures to men and women separately. Moreover, they have strengthened the health delivery system and structures working at the village level by establishing linkage of health professionals with the community. As a result, Women and children are getting better medical, paramedical and health facilities because of availability of medicines, regular presence of health professionals in the center and their regular field visits. SSs took active participation in Pulse Polio Campaigns and did door to door visit.
HEALTH CAMP’S SUMMARY
S. No. Date Village Organized by No. of beneficiaries (approx.)
1. 2/11/03 Valra Mahavir International 200-300
2. 3/12/03 Valra Mahavir International 1000
3. 4/1/04 Palana Khurd IFFCO 140
4. 4/2/04 Mandap Art of Living Society 150
SSs have been participating regularly in the monthly meetings and Sabhas of the Gram Panchayat along with the fellow SSs - village volunteers, and the villagers especially women. People are participating in these meetings in large numbers and presenting their genuine demands with confidence before the panchayat. They are also monitoring the activities undertaken by the panchayat and are enquiring about budgetary provisions for the same. This means, SSs have been trying to establish a mechanism/system, by which people could establish control over the functioning of the panchayat and its financial resources to make true the philosophy of grassroots democracy through PRIs. People are getting benefits of different government schemes and programs meant for their socio-economic development and as also their rights and entitlements. SSs and the members of the CBOs have actively participated in the BPL survey conducted in July and August with the view to check irregularities, favoritism and corruption. Left out names of the voters in the election list were got updated and new names were added in the list.
Hamlet-wise CBOs/Mandals have been formed by both the SSs in their respective area of operation. Towards this end, nine Mahila Mandals, nine Nav Yuvak Mandals, two Kastakar Mandals and ten Swaraj Manchs consisting of Fellow SSs have been organized in the reporting period. These Mandals are taking up the responsibility of development of their hamlets/village.
With the active initiation, participation and continuous motivation of Sh. Bhanvar Singh Rathore, villagers of Mandap have installed a water tubewell during January 2004. A 11 member committee “Gram Vikas Samiti, Aapni Jajam- Mandap” is looking after the proper distribution and maintenance of the same. 70 families are getting benefited after the installation of this tubewell.
Both the SSs have ensured participatory implementation and monitoring of all the activities of drought relief work undertaken by the panchayat. With regard to the severity of the drought, we have convinced Mahavir International, Udaipur - a charitable voluntary organisation, about the intensity of the problems faced by the people due to five years of consecutive droughts. They came forward with the financial support and started intensive relief measures in Palana Khurd. For proper implementation of the relief activities, twelve hamlet level committees and one Drought Relief Management Committee at Panchayat level have been formed. SS was also involved in the purchase of the fodder, its distribution, collection of the contributions and submission of details to Tehsil office and to Mahavir International. Periodic meetings of these committees have been organized to assess and monitor their needs and supervision, control & conflict resolution mechanism for drought relief work. Mahavir International has spent Rs. 7,00,000 (approx.) on different activities of drought relief in the area starting from 1st April till 30th June.
RIM – Rajasthan team which includes all the five old SSs and the State Coordinator have participated in the National Integration Camp, organised by RIM and Gandhi Darshan Kendra in Chennai from 15 – 22 May 2003. All the SSs and SCs (of I phase) of ten states participated in this camp. It was a great experience for all of us. We shared our approaches and experiences in detail about RIM and participated in the RIM General Body and Core members meetings, which were also organised in Chennai during this period.
Mr. A. L. Rangarajan, National Co-cordinator, RIM visited Rajasthan with an objective to gain first hand experience of Samaj Shilpi programme in creating a movement and enhance the understanding of RIM National team on the working of RIM in different states. He visited Palana Khurd village and got acquainted with the initiatives undertaken by the SS on education, health, Panchayati Raj, institution building etc. He was impressed and satisfied with the initiatives and expressed that RIM-Rajasthan is congruent with the philosophy of this movement.
Since, we have only two SSs associated with us in the phase II, so we have decided to organize monthly meetings on third day of every month rather than to organize quarterly forums that were proposed in this initiative. Thus, monthly meetings have been organized regularly to review and assess the progress of work and to chalk out future course of action. Through these meetings, inputs have also been given to the SSs as and when desired/required to improve their capacity for better functioning and results.
Association for India Development (AID), Washington Chapter, USA have come forward and supported RIM - Rajasthan initiative, initially for a period of one year. They have decided to support six SSs as well as other activities proposed in RIM. They have already sent funds for the current financial year. Indian for Collective Action (ICA), USA has also sent first installment of grant for the phase II of RIM. Therefore, we have funds available with us for hosting six SSs till March 2004. After getting financial assurance from the donor agency, we have decided to form two clusters - Mavli and Kumbhalgarh, with three SSs working in each cluster. The working area in both the clusters have been earmarked and two SSs of Mavli and one of Kumbhalgarh cluster have been selected in September, who would start working in their respective villages from October onwards.
The following are the new Samaj Shilpis
S. No. Name of Gram Panchayat Revenue Villages Name of Samaj Shilpi
1. Nurda Nurda, Piprauli, Rathana Sh. Himmat Singh Chauhan
2. Varni Varni, Rodi, Kada, Bharodi, Javda, Khemakheda, Math Sh. Fateh Lal Jat
3. Baansliya Baansliya, Rediyakhedi, Redholi Sh. Bhanvar Singh Chundawat
4. Bhimal Bhimal, Ghadwada, Vangroda Sh. Nathu Singh Kitawat
5. Mahuda Mahuda Sh. Kamlendra Tank
§ All the 6 Samaj Shilpis attended learning center camp at Seva Mandir-Kay w.e.f January 28-31, 2004 where Resource person Mr. Manohar Singh Rathore put his views regarding the objective of RIM. Necessity for bringing changes in the social environment, political environment, health, education and social relationship to build and develop ideal society in the objective of RIM. Matters regarding analysis/simplification of monthly report were discussed in detail and work plan was also prepared. Books, Registers and necessary stationary items etc. were also issued to shilpis.
The new SSs conducted door-to-door survey, role of social worker in every village was identified, and every family was given information regarding the role played by Seva Mandir – Udaipur in tribal and rural areas. Statistics like name of hamlet, no. of houses and main caste existing in the area were collected on 4/11/03. Necessary information with regard to land was collected from Patwari. Have succeeded in interacting with more and more people had an exposure to geographical knowledge of the area, about different casts, institutions, ativities of panchayat and work related to development, also learnt about living styles, understood internal structure and activeness in a better way.
Proposal was mooted by the Samaj Shilpi in a meeting convened for the purpose of vacating unauthorized occupation of Charagah Land by few selfish elements. As a result of this village panchayat acted swiftly with public support which compelled the encroachers to vacate the land. Removal of unauthorized encroachment of Charagah land at Dangi kheda, Lalavas (Palana Khurd), Rathana (Nurda) villages.
A meeting was convened at Palana Khurd for the newly elected MLA of the area Mr. Shanti Lal Chaplot. Water problem was on for priority action beside old pending issues. A brief about activities of RIM was also given to the MLA.
Under the auspices of Art of Living Society RIM conducted a 5-day Nav Chetna Camp for the entire Panchayat circle, which was overwhelmingly attended by all. Under this cleaning of village & houses were taken up as also Dhyan, Pranayam and other health activities were done. Formation of a Kisan Mandal in Mandap, which has 30 members. They have been provided 8 kgs. of new variety of gram seeds by the Agriculture Supervisor. Under the guidance of the supervisor the farmers have successfully obtained good crop with less water. The Agriculture officials visited the place to see for themselves achievement of the farmers and gave necessary tips to control the insects. To become self-reliant the farmers were also encouraged to put vermicompost fertilizer units in their houses. On 5/2/04 a Kisan Mela was organized at village Mandap in which new techniques adopted in farming like new farm equipments, new variety of seed, fertilizers were demonstrated to the farmers. The agriculture officers explained farming with minimum use of water and how to cope up with crop diseases was also explained to the farmers. To become self-reliant the farmers were also encouraged to put vermicompost fertilizer units in their houses. At present 40 such units are running successfully in Mandap and the farmers are happy with the results.