Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Plantations in Monsoon

SMTA School at Jaakhdhar: Month of July has seen much rains. The teacher and children have taken the advantage, and gotten out of class room, to clear the weed and plant some trees. Hands on environmental education!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jhitar Fodder planting

During monsoons, construction work can not be undertaken. This is the best time for plating fodder and other plants near homes and on the village commons - so that women dont have to walk too far for fodder and fuel. This is Kathang hamlet of Jhitar and Banpur. There was a lull in the rains and the women and children loved the day out..

Friday, July 14, 2017

Garden cleaning in Jakhdhar SMTA school

Just received from Chain Singh Guru ji. Children are working in the school garden. Removing the weed and long grass.. A day out in the open!

Fodder planting

To make the best use of this rainy season, the field team has begun planting of fodder plants within and near the village, so that women dont have to do a long trek to forest.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jhitaar (Kathang) SHG initial meeting

Sohan (Coordinator) has sent this picture of one of the first meetings in Kathang (a hamlet of Jhitaar); This meeting was planned to discuss structure, purpose etc. of the proposed women's group, under Retrieving Women's Pride project.
Keep checking this space for updates!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Gulab Ramchandani : A tribute

The sad news of demise of Mr. Gulab Ramchandani on 13 April 2017 at the age of ninety, was a great loss to all us at SMTA. Gulab was an Indian educator, an alumnus of The Doon School, he served as the headmaster of The Doon School from 1979 till 1988. He believed that good education is always based on good social ethics too. It was his visionary foresight which gave the very existence to SMTA.
In the year 1983 while Mr. Gulab Ramchandani was the Headmaster of The Doon School, he contacted and requested Mr.  Sanjit Roy (‘Bunkar’) an ex-student of Doon School and the Director SWRC Tiloniya, to extend  the Tiloniya Supported rural development activities around District Dehradun, which was part of U.P. then. So that the students of The Doon School may have exposure to the Rural Conditions and actively participate in it. In 1983,  Bunkar Roy accepted the request of Mr. Gulab Ramchandani and opened a state unit of SWRC at Chakrata Block of district Dehradun. This area is a tribal block known as Jaunsar Bawar. The inhabitants are known as Jaunsaris.
The First batch of students from the Doon School came for their midterm activities to Chakrata in 1983. It was their early efforts which cleared the ground at Jakhadhar, on which today, Smta Niketan stands serenely - the Headquarters of SMTA and Multipurpose Community training Centre for Rural Community leaders.
Up to 1986 all the activities were carried out under the aegis of SWRC Tiloniya. During this period,  under the able leadership of Mr. Gulab Ramchandani, we were able to build up a good rapport with the State and the local Government. With the active participation of the students of Doon School, a complete Socio economic Survey was taken up and a master project was drawn, known as “ Project Lakhamandal”.
In 1986 SWRC Tiloniya advised all its state units to form a separate and independent Unit so that development projects could be rooted in the needs of the local people. Accordingly, under the leadership of Mr Gulab Ramchandani, a new society was formed and registered under the Society Act; It was named Society For Motivational Training And Action (SMTA).
Mr.Gulab Ramchandani was its Founder President He Continued in   this post  for another four terms. During his tenure SMTA grew rapidly and took up various development projects in Jaunsar Bawar. The Promotion of primary education for the tribal children through our innovative school popularly known as Apna Schools was a major achievement. Through these activities we have been able to motivate the tribal community to participatory development projects such as formation of women’s groups, Youth Groups, and BAL Panchayat.
In 1994 Mr. Gulab Ramchandani Requested the Board Members to relieve him from the post of President. He continued as its member till his death. Giving the organization his valued guidance and support.
Gulab Ramchandani was a team man. Always trusted and encouraged the team members. In his death SMTA has lost a friend, guide and a motivator. May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Contributed by Ruben

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lawn Mower

Most visitors to our campus notice and praise the open green space, flowers, lotus pond, dogs... But keeping the lawns clean and well trimmed is a constant battle. Especially in the rains- with weeds growing wild all over.
Fortunately, we have a gardener- and now we have a lawn mower too. Figuring out how to assemble it was the first challenge- next was to try it out! Sultan gave it his best shot- see the picture.
We too are jumping in and helping the maali..

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Planning Meeting

4th July 2017
We had a planning meeting in Vikasnagar office today: Pradhan Mangat Ram ji, Sultan, Sohan, Kundan, Sachin. Pawan, who had just finished the Resource gap analysis in the project area, was also there. We discussed, what can be done during this period of monsoon; since construction work can not be taken up due to the rains, it was decided that fodder planting and preparation for building water tanks can be attempted during next 1-2 months. Community, especially women are quite enthusiastic about the project. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Resource Gap Analysis

As a foundational exercise, Pawan is conducting a resource gap analysis in Jhitaar and Banpur: to understand how this gap impacts women's life and workload. This will guide our up-coming activities in the field, under RWP.
The joint committee has been made in the village and the president and the treasurer will be visiting Vikasnagar soon to open a bank account for the group.

Retrieving Women's Pride

Retrieving Women's Pride is an intervention in two villages near Tiuni (Jhitaar and Banpur). It is being supported by Manos Unidas. This intervention uses the concept and approach of watershed management, to reduce the drudgery of women and bring back their sense of self-worth. Here are some pictures from the community; Sohan Singh is supervising this intervention.