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Vanarai Foundation Activities Board of Trustees  
       
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ACTIVITIES...

DEVELOPMENT OF WASTE AND DEGRADED LANDS
JOINT FORESTRY MANAGEMENT
COLLABORATION WITH CORPORATE SECTOR
INITIATING PROCESS OF REVERSE MIGRATION
POPULATION EXPLOSION
INSTRUMENTAL FOR EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME AND OTHER PROGRAMMES
TANKER FREE VILLAGES


ECO CLUBS...

PLANTS AND SEEDS
SELF HELP GROUPS
PUBLIC SANITATION MANAGEMENT
PUBLICATIONS AND TRAINING CAMPS
FORMATION OF CONFEDERATION OF VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS
NOVEL SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS FOR FASTER RURAL DEVELOPMENT

 

DEVELOPMENT OF WASTE AND DEGRADED LANDS
When the President of Vanarai Foundation Dr. Mohan Dharia was the Dy. Chairman of Planning Commission of India, he emphasised the need to make all natural resources including the lands productive with additional production and forest areas lush green. Out of 329 m. ha. of the total geographical area of India, nearly 175 m. ha. are degraded or waste lands. Thus 50% of lands have remained unproductive and 50% of our people have remained poor and unproductive. After several efforts, Government of India has accepted the report of the High Level Policy Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. Dharia and has now initiated action to develop such lands. New Land Resource Department has been set up for the same by the Central Government. More than 25000 ha. lands in several villages which were degrade or waste lands have been made productive by Vanarai Foundation.

JOINT FORESTRY MANAGEMENT

The National Wastelands Development Board of the Central Government accepted the proposal of Dr. Dharia for Joint Forestry Management (JFM) in the year 1992. Despite illegal cutting of trees, this has resulted in bringing 17.32 million hectares under additional green cover in 1,64,063 villages in the country during the last thirteen years. More than 9,00,000 (Nine Lakh) Adivasi families have been earning better incomes. Vanarai Foundation has been instrumental for such policy changes and mobilising people for implementing various programmes including afforestation.

COLLABORATION WITH CORPORATE SECTOR
Vanarai Foundation has introduced a concept of collaboration with Corporate Sector for village development. Companies like Zuari Industries Ltd.,Hindustan Lever Ltd., Desai Brothers, Century Enka and others have joined hands with Vanarai Foundation in making villages self reliant without depending on the Govt. funding by involving local people. Acceptance by the Corporate Sector is encouraging.

INITIATING PROCESS OF REVERSE MIGRATION
Vanarai Foundation insists on development of self reliant, clean and green villages. This has resulted in creation of many gainful employment opportunities in the villages. In villages like Gawadewadi and Varandh 135 and 35 families respectively have come back from filthy slums of cities like Mumbai and Pune. They are leading better lives. This process will considerably help in saving our cities and in bridging the gap between the urban and rural societies.

POPULATION EXPLOSION
Vanarai Foundation insists on small families as existing growth rate of population will never allow the poor people to improve their quality of life. Kerala state has shown the way in this regard.

INSTRUMENTAL FOR EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME AND OTHER PROGRAMMES
Vanarai had organised regional workshops in all the four Agricultural Universities in Maharashtra and a Central Workshop in Pune to consider the serious issue of wastelands and degraded lands. Amongst various recommendations, Vanarai insisted to carry the Employment Guarantee scheme to the fields of the farmers. The Maharashtra Government accepted this recommendation for horticulture. As a result, since 1st May 1990, nearly 12.60 lakh Ha. (31.50 lakh acres) of lands have come under additional Horticulture and about 15 lakh families have secured employment opportunities in local areas.

TANKER FREE VILLAGES
The Govt. of Maharashtra accepted the programme of water and soil conservation in the vicinity itself proposed by Vanarai and other Voluntary Organisations. As a result in spite of severe droughts, several villages have become Tanker Free. Simple technologies like C.C.T.s, loose boulders, erecting bunds by using empty cement bags popularly known as Vanarai Bunds have reached all parts of the state. During last three years people have erected 2,10,827 Vanarai Bunds through "Shramdan". Govt. of Maharashtra has now accepted this activity under the Employment Guarantee Scheme. Besides water is being conserved by simple and cost effective methods like CCTs, earthen bunds, Gabion bunds, forest and farm ponds etc. During last four years, under the Mahatma Phule Bhoo Jal Sandharan Abhiyan, in Maharashtra State out of an expenditure of Rs.1695.79 crores nearly Rs. 533.31 crores has been from peoples' contribution through Shramdan.

ECO CLUBS
More than 1500 Eco Clubs of School students have been formed in the State by Vanarai and sister organisations. Nearly 1,50,000 students are involved in nature conservation campaign along with tree plantations through these Eco Clubs. Drawing and essay competitions are also organised to spread the message to love nature. The foundation envisages to reach all schools in the State within next four  five years.

PLANTS AND SEEDS
Vanarai Foundation has so far supplied more than 20 million plants of various species to farmers, Grampanchayats and Voluntary organisations. Similarly Vanarai has supplied seeds in millions to Grampanchayat and local communities for sowing and plantation.

SELF HELP GROUPS
Vanarai along with Disha and other organisations has so far formed 800 Self Help Groups in several villages. This has helped in providing additional income from Rs. 500/- to 1700/- per month to more than 5000 women members. Efforts are being made to reach 10,000 women within next two years.

PUBLIC SANITATION MANAGEMENT
On experimental basis Vanarai Foundation introduced this project at Pandharpur and Baramati with remarkable success. This technology stops foul odour and the human excreta or other degradable waste could be converted into beautiful natural manure. In cooperation with the Pollution Control Board and the people Vanarai intends to carry this technology to various places of Yatras or Pilgrims.

PUBLICATIONS AND TRAINING CAMPS
Vanarai publishes Vanarai Magazine every month. Besides Vanarai has produced several Publications and CDs on various subjects related with agriculture, horticulture, environment and rural development in simple Marathi and other languages. Similarly various Training Camps are held to acquaint the workers and farmers with modem methods.

FORMATION OF CONFEDERATION OF VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS

Vanarai Foundation was in the forefront in establishing Confederation of the Non Government Organisations (Voluntary organisations) of Rural India in cooperation with Shri. L. V. Saptarshi. CNRI has been established and registered under the Charitable Trust act. It is for the first time in the history of India that more than 2600 Voluntary Organisations spread all over the country and in almost all the districts have come together under one umbrella to actively participate in the Developmental Programmes. Dr. Mohan Dharia is the Founder President of CNRI.

NOVEL SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS FOR FASTER RURAL DEVELOPMENT
In co-operation with Software Institute for Rural Development of Mr. Bhushan Ambadkar, Vanarai Foundation has developed novel software solutions for various Government projects aimed at Rural Development. This has been highly appreciated by Planning commission and several Ministries of Government of India and by many states. Most of the states in the country have now started using software developed by Vanarai. As a result the name of Vanarai has reached almost all parts of the country. The sectors for which the software has been developed are :

(a) Soil and Water Conservation through Watershed Development
(b) Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation
(c) Agriculture, Environment,. Afforestation, Education and Health
(d) Bio-Diesel Plantations like Jatropa Cultivation.

It has been possible for Vanarai Foundation to attain such achievements because of the sustained cooperation of the Donors, the Government, and the People, sister organisations and devoted workers. Vanarai Foundation looks forward for the same support, love and cooperation in future.


Achievements of Vanarai during the year 2007-08

(1)   SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT

A.    Karchond village in Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli in cooperation with Hindustan Unilever Limited:

Vanarai has undertaken sustainable village development initiative in Village Karchond near Silvassa since last four years. This project was financed by MIS Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) under the Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme. Most of the objectives of the project have been successfully achieved. Being satisfied with the achievements HUL has entered into a new agreement for further development of village Karchond, for four more years. They have also invited Vanarai to develop Village - Pati and four other villages near HUL factory at Dapada. Bombay Merchants Chamber has recognized the CSRS activity of Vanarai with HUL by awarding prestigious prize to HUL.

B.    Six villages near Haridwar in Uttaranchal in cooperation with Hindustan Unilever Limited:

HUL had invited their Factory Managers from all over the country to visit development of Kachond village. The Factory Manager at Haridwar (Uttaranchal) was very much impressed and he has invited Vanarai to develop six villages around their factory at Haridwar. Shri Shriram Gomarkar, Secretary - Vanarai and Shri Prakash Jagtap Project Director visited these villages, assessed the problems of these villages, and possibility of undertaking the project. This proposal is now under consideration.

C.    Nate & Kolose villages in Raigad District in cooperation with Avinash Bhosale Group: Avinash Bhosale Group :

Avinash Bhosale Group has generously donated for development of villages - Nate and Kolose near Raigad Fort in Raigad District (Maharashtra). The preliminary works have already been completed and the preparation of detailed project report is in progress.. The project will be completed in three to four years.

D.    Other Corporate Bodies:

Under CSR Scheme, Corporate Houses like - CTR Manufacturing (I) Ltd., Tata Consultancy Limited and IBM India Private Limited have also come forward to provide funds for development projects in some more villages.

(2)     PUBLIC SANITATION:

A.    Pandharpur & Baramati Projects:

Vanarai successfully implemented the project of Public Sanitation and creation of awareness in Pandharpur and Baramati this year (2008) at the time of Ashadhi Ekadashi where 7 to 8 lac Varkaries come together and create hazard to sanitation. Both Pandharpur and Baramati Nagar Parishads have appreciated this activity.

B.    Project in collaboration with lIT Kanpur:

Dr. Vinod Tare of the Indian Institute of Technology (lIT) Kanpur has undertaken project to provide eco-friendly toilets to Indian Railways, as announced by the Hon. Railway Minister in his Budget Speech - 2008. When Dr. Tare came to know about the successful projects of Public Sanitation at Pandharpur implemented by Vanarai, he personally visited and discussed about the project. lIT Kanpur has now taken a research project regarding odour control with active involvement of Vanarai and Vikalpa Technology.

C.    Guruta Gaddi tri-centenary programme:

Enthused with the success at Pandharur and Baramati, we have submitted proposal for Public Sanitation Project at the time of Guruta Gaddi Tri-Centenary Celebrations to be held at Nanded in the month of Oct - Nov. 2008. It is expected that nearly 50 lac devotees may assemble for 3 to 4 days.

(3)     NATIONAL RURAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE SCHEME:

A.    Training Programmes:

Government of India has started implementation of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme w. e. f. 10- 4 - 2008. There is a need to impart training to Government officials at various levels as well as peoples representatives, members of Panchayati Raj Institutions and general public. Project Director of Vanarai was sent to NIRD Hyderabad to undergo a National Level training in this regard. We have now submitted a proposal to all the Divisional Commissioners to undertake such training programmes. The Divisional Commissioners of Pune, Nashik and Nagpur have appreciated this activity.

B.    Active participation in Committees at different level:

Vanarai has agreed' to take active part in various Committees at District, State and National level, and will also endeavour to offer expertise for evaluation and impact assessment.

(4)   VANARAI ECO-CLUBS: Activities:

(A)   More than 120 schools are members of Vanarai Eco Club. Grant of Rs.1,500/- is given to active clubs. Vanarai Eco Clubs are encouraged to carry the message to love nature and protect our environment to school boys and girls. Annual competition of cultural activities was held in the month of Jan.-Feb. 2008. The main function was held in Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir, Pune. Well organised programmes were presented by students on environmental themes. Shri Ashok Behere well wisher of Vanarai announced to increase the donation for prizes from the next year.

(B)   12 member schools participated in cleaning campaign of the rivers Mula and Mutha in Pune city.


(C)   Vermi-composting projects were implemented by 3 member schools.

(D)   5 member schools observed eco-friendly Holi by burning waste papers and leaves etc. in stead of burning wood.

(5)     WAIVER OF FARMERS' LOANS: Dr. Mohan Dharia had undertaken fast for 9 days during Nov. 2006 demanding waiver of loans for small and marginal farmers. After several meetings and pressure, the Hon. Finance Minister of India and his government had to waive loans of farmers to the tune of Rs. 71,000/- crores (Rs. Seventy one thousand crores only). Dr. Mohan Dharia was a rare leader to raise his voice to immediately waive loans to stop the series of suicides by farmers. Vanarai has now taken lead for a package of schemes from sowing to marketing to save agriculture and productivity of the farming community.

(6)     IN THE FOREFRONT FOR PROTECTING AND CONSOLING FRIGHTENED NORTH INDIANS & STRENGTHENING NATIONAL UNITY: Dr. Mohan Dharia took active part in activities of Rashtriya Ekatmata Samiti to protect and console the frightened North Indian Labourers in Pune. Because of his insistence Marhatta Chamber of Commerce published an advertisement in North Indian cities to invite the labourers who had gone back to their native villages.

(7)     Formation of Confederation of NGOs of Rural India (CNRI) :
Dr. Mohan Dharia is Chairman of CNRI also which has more than 6,000 member organizations spread all over India. Through CNRI the name of Vanarai has reached all corners of India

(8)     Software: In cooperation with Software Institute for Rural Development (S.I.R.D.), Vanarai Foundation is in a process of creating Information Technology Revolution in the projects to uplift the under privileged rural sector in India. Vanarai Foundation is perhaps the pioneering voluntary organisation to create such software in the country.

Vanarai Foundation in collaboration with S. I. R. D. has already developed software solutions in the following areas:

  • Watershed - Soil and Water Conservation - Design and Estimation Software.
  • National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) Design and Estimation Software.
  • Agribusiness - A to Z Software - Sponsored by NABARD and DST.
  • Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Systems
  • Education - Management Information System.

It has been possible to achieve all the above mile-stones because of sustained generous support of Donors of Vanarai.

 
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