Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Recognition for Harinavi - Srijan

The following is the letter of appreciation from Supriya Ray, Women's Council, Capgemini, Kolkata after her visit to Haral along with the team of Harinavi - Srijan.

Field Visit to School run by Harinavi Srijan at Village-Haral, 24-Pgs. (S), on 23.08.2008.

The afternoon of 23rd August 2008 (Saturday) was a remarkable one as I had the privilege of visiting the Facility being run by two energetic, young, social entrepreneurs, at Haral, 24-Pgs. (S). Haral is one among the many non-descript villages that dot the rural countryside of Bengal. Although it is on the periphery of Harinavi and within 5 Km. from Champahati, there is no school or health centre there. The people eke out a living by doing the seasonal work of making fireworks, between August-November and uncertain days of work as agricultural labourer for the rest of the year. Fireworks is hazardous for health; but even the toddlers of the village have no option but to try their hands at it for whatever paltry sums it fetches for their poverty stricken families.

Schooling was a dream for most children here until Avijit Guha and Rupak Choudhuri, decided to mend matters. They started the Primary School in a temporary structure put up on a rented piece of land, with two simple rooms. Three local persons, two of them women, are teachers in the school for around 50 children. These teachers have also taken on the responsibility of bringing literacy to about 20 women, for the majority of whom it is probably the first brush with education. It was primarily to interact with these women that Avijit and Rupak had been kind enough to invite me there.

We arrived there at around 5.00 P.M and found the school for the adults well in progress. It is only on the weekends that these ladies can make some time for school, away from their varied responsibilities. Taboos and jeers, they have braved quite some hurdles to be regulars here. The session is on as they practice writing the Bengali alphabets on their slates. Some are quite adept; others require a quick sneak at the open book. The two teachers are exhorting everybody to write on their own - an exam is scheduled for next Sunday and Avijit declares that the better performers have prizes coming their way. Meanwhile, I got introduced to them - Tulu Halder and Purnima Mondol are particularly impressive with their desire to take quick strides ahead. The rest of the group is no less enthusiastic, as the pride is evident when they declare that they can now read the No. of a bus, or can put their signatures on paper. Their emerging sense of independence is quite evident. They take pride in their new-found abilities, and though there is a hint of hesitation in some, most feel confident that they will improve with perseverance. It was wonderful to watch these women in their pursuit towards self-reliance and self esteem.

I spoke to them about setting their own goals and not be perturbed by the pace. The eternal hope that springs in the human heart should be the driver so that they keep up their journey for a better tomorrow. Avijit has a futuristic plan of setting up some vocational training for them at a later stage so that they can find avenues to augment their income. The concept of a group, which is at the moment unknown to these women, can slowly be introduced so that they become eligible over a period of time for micro-finance support. These goals can definitely be attained and the two young men, who are so committed, will surely pursue this dream. The women and the children will definitely make this partnership stronger by the day with their involvement towards an altered, brighter, future.

With all Best Wishes,
From: Supriya Ray.

Health Camp by Women's Council, Capgemini, Kolkata and Harinavi - Srijan

This is the picture of the health camp that was jointly organised by Women's Council, Capgemini, Kolkata and Harinavi - Srijan on on 23.08.2008. Capgemini, Kolkata giving special importance to this story published it on the visit on Talent India, under the People section.

You can also access the full article at the following link,

A synopsis of work done

Work accomplished by “ Harinavi Srijan” in the past 2 years – A Synopsis

· Patients treated for general ailments.
· 150 patients have undergone Eye Check Up organized at Harinavi school, in association with Baruipur Eye hospital
· Distributing 5 kgs of rice per family per month
· Distributing blankets to old people annually
· Distributing new clothes to children upto the age of 14 during Durga puja.
· Students received financial assistance to continue education.
· Distributing old clothes throughout the year.
· Students enrolled for coaching classes to prepare them entry in regular school.
· Health awareness camps organized.
· Arrangement of blood donation camps.

This report is a summary of all such examples drawn from our involvement with people. This provides a learning for all that it is the intensity of involvement which is more important than the magnitude and numbers of participation, The numbers may seem to be small, but nevertheless for us, if one single life breaths easier because of our efforts, we think we have justified our existence.

Project Swastha

What is our“ Project Swastha” all about.

Our Mission--- to facilate improvement in basic health, amongst the marginalized families in the operational area.
It has been observed that, there is no local hospital in Haral. The nearest Government hospital is Baruipur hospital which is 12-13 km from the village. The roads are kachha and the infrastructure is very poor. Over and above it is hard to find local doctors, except few 'quacks’, so the villagers face terrible misery in case of any medical requirement.

We have planned to :
Organise health camps and provide various vaccines at low / no cost, taking help from local health dept.
Provide information on maintaining basic hygiene required for leading a healthy life.
Safe blood is a major requirement, which is arranged through network of voluntary donors. The highlight of these donations is to get blood free from HIV, Hepatitis & Malarial parasite.
Cataract is another area that directly affects the mobility of the old patients making them dependent on others. For this we have made a tie up with the local Eye bank, and eye check up has been arranged a very minimal / no cost.

Project Disha

We also announce “ Project Disha” -

The project intends to make an effort to delay the age of marriage among young men and women
providing them with alternatives to early marriage such as education self employment etc. The project intends to build informed leadership and increase access to health services. The highlight of this framework is the creation of livelihood opportunities for the girl child with the understanding that the income would help improve the status of the girl child in the families and in the process would improve the standard of living of a family.

When health is absent, strength cannot fight, wealth become useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.

Project Shakshar samaj

Here comes “ Project Shakshar samaj” –

The project has an ambitious, but achievable intention of motivating illiterates and dropouts towards education, by 2010. The quantum, we report, may look miniscule, given the reality that exists around us, but for us it’s the intensity of involvement which rises above the magnitude and scales.

A survey conducted shows that approximately 52% of the children who enrolls into primary school drop out when they go to 1st and 5th standard. If this startling report is to be believed, then vision 2010 seems like a distant reality.

A study shows that;-
* 90% of the children had very low levels of self esteem.
* 80% of the children were delinquent.
* 90% of the children had never heard of something like "planning ones future”.

After putting up a long struggle, finally we have got a small piece of land on lease from a person residing in Haral, Champahati to start a primary school. Due to severe financial constraints, we are starting the school with temporary structure, from class 1 to class V, with a current student headcount of 30.

We have identified 3 teachers who are going to teach these students. This will give us an idea, about the response of the local children willing to come to school, as we have observed that there is a genuine lack of interest exhibited by the children in improving their lives and the environment in which they studied.

The mission ahead

We sometimes feel that what we do is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be smaller because of that missing drop”------ Mother Teresa.

Illiteracy is as bad as the loss of eyesight. If we want to ameliorate the condition of marginalized communities, literacy must be our top priority.

We strongly feel that we have both the will and the vision to change the future for hundreds of young men and women. We can provide them with the torch of education, so that they not only illuminate their path to future prosperity, but also become the catalyst to dispel the darkness of ignorance and poverty from others life.
We have ideas, which can be transformed into reality. Now it is time to pay back. Let us join hands to build a better society by strengthening the vulnerable pillars in our foundation.
Our mission- to create and nurture a mindset, amongst the marginalized that strives to excel.