Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Clean and safe water has been made available in a village in western Maharashtra, India, efforts are on to make this possible in other villages. Village governance is being supported, toilets are being built, local youths and women getting training in sewing and mobile phone repairs. Grampari is a rural initiative of Initiatives of Change India.

New mural on the water tank at GrampariOver the last five months there have been a lot of changes at Grampari as well as in the communities we serve. In Pachputwadi the ladies say there is finally enough water – and it is clean and safe. They also held their first ladies Gram Sabha and have already taken several decisions. In Taighat there is a new water tank that captures water from natural spring and in Abehpuri the last few families without toilets are starting to build. The ladies group from Godavali and Dandeghar villages is growing and showing really rapid success. And on campus, ever more students are attending our burgeoning livelihoods programme - we have a record number of sewing and mobile phone repair students. Organizationally, we have expanded our team and improved and expanded our infrastructure with remodeling of the training hall almost complete. Below is a more detailed overview.

ORGANIZATIONAL UPDATES:

Staffing:

  • Tree basins to capture more rainwaterWe have hired three more full time employees. Ram Kolekar from Satara holds BSW, LLB and MBA and has 14 years of rural development experience. He joined the Grampari team in January as a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project coordinator. Ganesh Pujari from Wai with a MSW also joined the WASH team as a School Handwashing Programme Associate. Shubhangi Autade from Satara holds a MSW and joined us in February as the Livelihoods Programme Coordinator.
  • We also brought on several high quality volunteer staff including Aparna Shrivastava who holds a B.Eng (Mech) and joined the WASH team as an intern and Zishan Jiwani, an Indicorps Fellow who has joined the WASH programme to work on latrine construction in Abhepuri where he is now living.
  • Shila Kharat from Godavali, an AP staff member has transferred to Grampari to tend to our facilities.

Infrastructure and Facilities:

  • The Bolero now has a roof rack as well as the Trans Asia logo onDairy Shed renovation is almost completed. We hope to inaugurate the building in April and are starting to work on raising funds for furniture and equipment.
  • Our organic garden has been producing wonderful yields of lemons, cauliflowers, cabbages, tomatoes, chilies, eggplant and onions – they’re delicious!
  • We’ve started building tree basins to capture more rainwater at Grampari and hope to add this to our demonstration pieces shortly.
  • There’s a new mural on the water tank at Grampari and wireless internet is now available at Grampari.
  • The Bolero now has a roof rack as well as the Trans Asia logo on.

Strategic:

  • The sewing class has increased from two batches to three batches - this last batch covers dress making!We are approaching various funding agencies for help with a number of projects and plans afoot. Child Health Foundation gave 2.5 lakhs to the tippy tap school programme, and WMG raised over 3 lakhs in the US to support health and environment projects.

PROGRAMMATIC UDPATES:

Livelihoods

  • Finished product from sewing classSecond Batch of MS-CIT computer class finished and we are gearing up for the third batch. We have faced challenges with finding good teachers as well as computer maintenance but hope to resolve this shortly.
  • The sewing class has increased from 2 batches to 3 batches – this last batch covers dress making!
  • We are finishing up recruiting students and our mobile repair class has expanded to 2 batches to cover 20 students.
  • Our ladies group is continuing to meet and membership is increasing. They have had quilt making classes and expanded their jewellery making skills. They are continuing to work on village issues concurrently. We held another jewellery making workshop in Pachputewadi.

Leadership and Governance

  • tippytap.org helped kickstart handwashing programmes Continuing to assist sarpanch with facilitating ladies gram sabhas in Abhepuri.
  • Set up monthly ladies meetings in Pachputewadi to build leadership qualities and tackle village issues.
  • Leadership programme at Grampari for NGO workers from Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • We hosted the Indian Youth Climate Change Network’s (IYCN) annual strategic meeting

Health and Environment - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

  • A sand dam is under constructionZishan Jiwani (an Indicorps fellow) is working on the Latrine project in Abhepuri. Those who have latrine pits are working to build simple superstructures in order to make their toilets useable. We had a recent meeting with those that do not have latrines to discuss motivations and subsidies and plan to start construction shortly. Our goal is not to build latrines, but to build demand for latrines.
  • Watershed ProgrammeReceived an Innovative Small Grant at Child Health Foundation (only 5 out of 40 proposals were funded!) towards our school handwashing programme. We have kicked of the pilot phase of our school handwashing programme at five schools reaching 260 children. This funding allows us to refine our programme, train staff and quantify programme impact.
  • We were invited to present out handwashing programme to the District Commissioner and CEO of Satara at health brainstorming workshop in Mahableshwar attended by 100 health practitioners where our presentation was very well received.
  • “It’s in Your Hands” tippytap film was a finalist in the Kuala Lumpur International Short Film Festival.
  • tippytap.org helped kickstart handwashing programmes in Haiti, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Sudan.
  • The tippy tap material collection continues to grow; the most recent language is Ukrainian.

Health and Environment - Watershed Programme

  • Watershed ProgrammeFinished the last of the springboxes in Pachputewadi with water quantity and quality improving dramatically. The drinking water needs for this village of 500 residents have been met and the villagers are understandably ecstatic!
  • Worked closely with community of Taighat to initiate a spring protection project. A sand dam is under construction and a water storage tank has been repaired. Grampari is providing both technical expertise as well as partial funding.
  • Working with a local environmental group to promote an anti-fire campaign the highlight of which is a play. Wildfire has hit the area hard this year and this play is a strong first step to changing people’s behaviour on this issue.
  • Met with District Collector who would like us to lead a training of trainers to ensure proper well recharge for 10,000 wells in Satara district.
  • Started a large project in Pachputewadi working on meeting non potable daily water requirements (for cooking, bathing, laundry and other non-irrigation uses). A 7 lakh L well/tank that will be fed by an earthen dam is under construction at a cost of 4 lakhs. Grampari is providing technical expertise, facilitating strong and ethical leadership and half the funding for this project.

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