Mid Town Musings: January 2017

Nere Waje Village Committee District 3141 Chairman Nirbhay Jain, organised the visit of DG Gopal Mandhania on 14th January, 2017 to Panvel. President Sucharita Hegde was instrumental in taking the lead by coordinating with the DG and the team of about 20 member Rotarians to make the programme a success.

The event was organised on the occasion of the application made to Rotary International under the Matching Grant Scheme for building toilet blocks; the approval of the same is expected soon. Members’ contribution of Rs. 33.20 lakh was made by Committee Chairman Nirbhay Jain and with matching grant contribution, it would be possible to build 364 toilet blocks for the rural households of Panvel taluka.

The visiting members assembled at McDonalds near the Kalamboli Highway at about 9:30 a.m. and after refreshments, left for Cheravali village. The women in the village welcomed the DG and the Rotarians. During an interaction with the DG, the women informed him about the various activities they are doing through self-help groups, especially about income generation activities viz. chapatti making, papad/pickle making, tailoring business, renting of utensils, etc. The village women presented a demo of making rice chapattis.

The self-help group in-charge of our NGO partner, Ms. Suvarna Bhujbal informed the DG about the various activities conducted like providing counselling in legal, civic and social issues, helping in domestic and land related issues, running awareness programs in health and sanitation and the advocacy programme to create awareness about the benefits of having toilets in their own house rather than defecating outdoors.

Addressing the women, DG Gopal Mandhania said that he is happy to see unity amongst the women folk and the progress made towards their empowerment. He assured that all possible help would be provided from the club. He further elaborated on the Rotary Club scheme available to children under the age of 16 who need medical help for heart ailments, covering all expenses till surgery.

The Chairman of Nere Waje Village Committee Nirbhay Jain informed that our NGO partner SKS Chakshu Foundation has already built 751 toilet blocks across 20 villages and has proposed to complete another 750 by the end of December 2017. He informed that the aim is to eradicate the practice of open defecation. He further informed about the proposed plan for providing clean drinking water to every village in the region by installing water treatment plants.

Rotarians then proceeded to see the already constructed toilet block in the village and about 12:30 p.m., left for village Shivkar to visit the Rakesh Jain Madhyamik Vidyamandir.

The students welcomed DG and the Rotarians. The school principal informed the visiting members that e-learning software is installed in every classroom, making the school fully digitised, the first of its kind in Panvel taluka. The members saw a demonstration of the e-learning software. The visiting members inspected the skill development programme known as Introduction to Basic Technology (IBT), under which courses in 24 vocations of technical skills are conducted, benefiting about 150 students each year. This programme was introduced in the school due to the efforts of the Rotary Club of Bombay Mid-Town itself. At present Rotarians Gopal and Shobha Motwane are supporting the IBT program by funding the training
expenses and materials required for the course.

The Rotarians enjoyed a hearty meal at Rotarians Urmila and Nirbhay Jain’s farm house nearby.

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