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Tag: Aroehan

Foundation Day Celebration

AROEHAN has been working for the last 15 years to uplift the economic and social status of the underprivileged section in the Palghar district. We are aiming to build a panel of tribal and rural youth for consistent initiatives and to uphold the principles of social change, human integrity, tolerance, and justice.

We celebrated our day of existence with our self-help group members and handed over them the rotavator cum cultivator cum reaper to four SHG’s namely
1. Mauli Swayamsahayata bachat gat, Shirasgaon (11 Members)
2. Maruti Swayamsahayata bachat gat, Thakurwadi (11 Members)
3. Vishwas Mahila Bachat gat, Dolhara (10 Members)
4. Mahila Bachat gat, Botewadi (11 Members)

आरोहन बद्दल बोलताना संस्थेचे विश्वस्त

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Aroehan Trustee

Speaking About Aroehan Work

Posted by Rashtra Seva Dal on Wednesday, Auguast 20, 2020

Aroehan’s Relief Work during the CoViD -19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm but has at least helped the countries and states to revisit their health systems and health care delivery.

The 21-day lockdown which has been extended till the 31st of August recently, announced by the Prime Minister on the 23rd of March had multiple effects on the community at large. It .has affected the most vulnerable of the tribal group – the Katkaris, some widows who are staying alone in far to reach hamlets and the seasonal migrants and their families from other blocks and districts in the State. The worst hit, of course, are the migrants and small scale industrial labour who leave their home town and enter other cities/villages in search of menial jobs. As the companies and brick kilns were shut down and their owners stranded in the cities, the migrant population had been left in the lurch with nowhere to go, no money and lack of basic necessities like food and water.

AROEHAN as a team has always strived to help the most vulnerable tribals in the various blocks of its implementation. The team was able to identify many such individuals and families in the villages and hamlets of Palghar and Mokhada Block in Palghar district through reliable sources and we decided to help them with dry ration and hygiene essentials.

There had also been requests for hygiene/ protective consumables (mask, sanitizer, gloves) from the PHCs as well as the front-line workers of Palghar, Jawhar and Mokhada block.

Summary of the relief work undertaken:

We could provide dry ration kits and hygiene essentials to 3042 migrant BPL families in Palghar, Dahanu and Mokhada blocks of Palghar district with the funds received from various individual donors as well as Corporate.

We have also been able to provide surgical masks and hygiene kits to health personnel, ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers and police administration in Jawhar and Mokhada blocks with support from our corporate donors. They were provided with 3552 bottles of hand sanitisers, 3520 cloth masks, 3200 surgical masks and 4850 pairs of hand gloves. 22 Pulse Oximeters have been provided to the Medical Officers and ASHAs at Mokhada and Palghar resp.

Each family was given a ration kit consisting of the following items:
• 5 kg of Rice
• 2 kg of Dal
• 1 litre oil
• ½ kg spices and salt
• ½ kg sugar and tea
• Soap bars

The Sarpanch and the local volunteers along with some villagers helped identify the settlements of the migrant families. The dry ration was picked up from the grocery stores who were permitted to remain open for supplies at the Taluka place.

A tempo was hired for transport and our staff also used their own vehicles to transport the goods to the respective villages.

All the precautionary methods like hygiene, social distancing were maintained and a list of beneficiaries made for our records.

A considerable population is still left out in small pockets in various hamlets in and around Palghar, Mokhada and Dahanu block. We are still carrying out the good work of providing dry ration in these areas. Along with this messages on hygiene, hand wash, social distancing and respiratory etiquette are also conveyed by our field workers to the group.

The Furthest Distance To Travel For Helping Adivasis

Moving from a commercial organisation (where I worked for thirty-seven years) to an NGO is like getting down from a car and go for a trekking.

 You see the road, the trees and even the people start looking different to you. Because you look at people and surrounding with new eyes, as they say. Each visit to Mokhada brings this message to me.

“Leave your car at the hotel. Let us travel together in this Ertiga,” Dr Shubalakshmi, COO of Aroehan said. Sedans are the not the best vehicles for driving to villages in Mokhada. I hopped in, so did Aroehan’s project managers. It was a long serpentine road up and down the hills after we exited the highway.

Women assembled for meeting
Women assembled for meeting

We reached a hamlet. A group of Adivasi women were assembled by Meenakshi and Sarita to meet us. A smaller group of men also joined them. Sulabha, my wife, Dr Shuba (during the travel from Jawhar to Mokhada I had become familiar enough to address her as Shuba) and I sat down with them.

“I am Rajendra Shankar Palve,” a young man moved forward and introduced himself. He picked up a file and scanned through the papers to pick up one to show me, but I stopped him.

Rajendra Palve
Rajendra Palve

“Wait, I said. I am going to record your video. Is that okay?” I took out my selfie stick, placed my mobile on it, fixed a collar mike and hooked it to his collar. My addressing him in Marathi must have made him more comfortable, I guessed.

“Not a problem” he replied as he gave a broad smile, adjusting the collar mike. He was excited to face the camera. “I am a member of the pada (hamlet) samiti.” He picked up his papers from the file. “Let me tell you the projects pada samiti has followed up with Government Offices.” He explained various issues, beginning with the ‘Bus problem’. State Transport buses had started plying to their pada, but heavy rains washed out the road during the last monsoon. There was no place where the bus could turn around, so the service was stopped. It was yet to be resumed although he had represented the problem before the State Transport authorities.

Rajendra also spoke of the PHC (Primary Health care Centre) which was sanctioned in 1994 but is yet to be established.

“What happens in the monsoon when you can’t cross the Pinjal river and your village is cut off from Pethecha pada?”

“Do you see that hill behind you? We have to climb up the hill and reach a village called ‘Kevnale.’ We then negotiate charges for a vehicle to take the patient to the PHC. All this takes about four hours. Sometimes the sick person dies on the way.”

That left me speechless. I was left to imagine the hardship of Adivasi villagers in this hamlet.

Our discussion then shifted to the Electricity supply. The Electricity poles had fallen or bent. That resulted in intermittent electricity supply. One woman said that a person had died, I guess he was electrocuted as a result of the unrepaired electric poles. Apparently the MSEB officials responded to Rajendra and his pada samiti’s appeal and it was repaired.

Governance is a difficult area to work on. Aroehan has obviously made an impact. The essence of governance is that the villagers must decide on the issues confronting them, and solve their problems.

Seeta (in blue saree) speaks about impact of Aroehan's work. Sarita to her right
Seeta (in blue saree) speaks about impact of Aroehan’s work. Sarita to her right

“Seeta wants to speak” Sarita from Aroehan’s project team said. Seeta in a light blue saree stood out in the group of village women. “She was illiterate but has learnt to sign, she takes initiative to find solutions to the problems. She is the treasurer of the pada samiti. Talk about women’s issues,” Sarita said. Seeta cringed. She drew courage and explained how pregnant women now go for scan, ensure inoculation, thanks to Aroehan. Seeta was happy that she was playing a role in alleviating the problems of her hamlet. She was so excited, she invited Aroehan team for a cup of tea at her home!

Paper Plates Making Machine
Paper Plates Making Machine

This is the ground reality in the twenty-first century! This was a different world, I thought. Seeta, Sarita and Meenakshi showed us a machine for making paper plates. And a grinding machine which can give them rice flour and masalas. They demonstrated their operation to me. These could be some sources of additional income, they said.

Grinding Machine
Grinding Machine

I was uncomfortable. Much more was needed to be done to provide better living conditions, education and the list would be long. The problem was huge, almost insurmountable. But somehow it had to be confronted with determination and skill.

“Malnutrition deaths, low literacy rate and education levels, water scarcity, migration of tribal to the city in search of jobs are all interconnected problems,” Anjali once told me, “You can’t work on only one problem, a comprehensive, integrated approach to development is required. And we have to put more money in the hands of the villagers to address the poverty and related issues. That’s the most effective approach. And it’s not easy.”

As I got in the Ertiga again, the words of my friend came haunting me: “Educated and the well-to-do people from cities have only ‘anthropological interest’ in the tribal community.” People have visited these villages clad in jeans, and a T-Shirt, carrying cameras. They have listened to their plight, visited their villages, photographed them all to quench their curiosity, but the involvement for active contribution was never forthcoming.

Lisa Ray tells a story in her autobiography. A stranger spoke to her, he told his heart-rending life story. He thanked her for listening to him and said his gift to her would only be a riddle. ‘What’s the furthest a human can travel?’ His answer was, ‘from here’, as he drew a line from his temples to his heart, ‘to here.’

I hope I can travel it. I am going to.

Vivek S Patwardhan

आरोहनतर्फे आदिवासी समाजात जागतिक महिला दिन साजरा

आदिवासी समूह मुळातच कमी बोलणारा पण आताच्या सतत स्वतःला सिद्ध करावं लागण्याच्या काळात आयुष्य समानतापूर्वक, आदरयुक्त हवे असेल तर तुम्हांला बोलावेच लागेल तरच विविध प्रकारचे नेतृत्व करण्याची संधी मिळेल नाहीतर सतत विविध प्रकारच्या हिंसाचाराला, अन्यायाला सामोरे जावे लागेल असा सूर जागतिक महिला दिन साजरा करण्यासाठी ‘आरोहन’ने आयोजित केलेल्या सहा महिला आणि युवा सोबतच्या मेळाव्यात निघाला.


आरोहन ही नोंदणीकृत सामाजिक संस्था गेली १३ वर्षे पालघर मधील मोखाडा, जव्हार, डहाणू आणि पालघर या तालुक्यांमध्ये ‘कुपोषण समूळ नष्ट व्हावे’ यासाठी आरोग्य, शिक्षण, रोजगार, शेती, पाणी आणि सुप्रशासन हे विषय मध्यवर्ती ठेवून काम करीत आहे. मोखाड्या तालुक्यातील सुर्यमाल- केवनाळे, कुर्लोद, पाथर्डी- बोटोशी, आणि आसे ग्राम पंचायत तर जव्हार मधील कडाची मेट गांव आणि आयटीआय जव्हार या ठिकाणी विशेष लक्ष देवून सध्या महिला, मुल आणि युवा वर्गा बरोबर काम सुरु आहे.

‘बॅलन्स फॉर बेटर अर्थात – समानता असणारा, आनंदी समाज निर्माण होण्यासाठी जात,धर्म,लिंग इ. सर्व प्रकारचे संतुलन आवश्यक आहे’ ह्या संकल्पनेवर आधारित यावर्षीचा ‘जागतिक महिला दिन’ सहा ठिकाणी साजरा करण्यात आला. बोटोशी येथील भोसपाडा, आसे येथील ब्राह्मण गांव, कुर्लोद, सूर्यमाळ, कडाची मेट आणि आयटीआय जव्हार येथे मोठ्या जल्लोषात महिला दिन साजरा करण्यात आलेल्या ह्या मेळाव्यात जव्हार आगारच्या व्यवस्थापिका सरिता बागल, माधुरी मुकणे, सरिता चौधरी, प्रतिभा भोये, अॅड कल्याणी मुकणे, मीनाक्षी खिरारी आणि लीला दळवी यांनी आजची स्त्रियांची सामाजिक-आर्थिक आणि राजकीय स्थिती मांडली आणि आपापल्या क्षेत्रात आदरपूर्वक स्वतःचे स्थान मिळवण्यासाठी प्रत्यक्ष त्या स्त्रीच्या तसेच समाजातील इतर घटकांच्याही मानसिकतेत बदल व्हायला हवा, हे बदल कसे घडवावेत हे दाखवण्यासाठी स्वतःच्या अनुभवांची मांडणी ह्या मेळाव्यातून करण्यात्त आली. सूर्यमाळ येथे ग्राम पंचायत आणि डॉन बॉस्को संस्थेबरोबर तर ब्राम्हण गांव येथे ‘साथी’ संस्थेबरोबर या मेळाव्यांचे आयोजन करण्यात आले होते.

यासर्व मेळाव्यामध्ये त्या त्या गावातील स्त्रिया, युवती, युवा मोठ्या प्रमाणात सहभागी झाले होते. कडाची मेट येथील मेळाव्यात गावातील स्त्रियांनी रान भाज्यांपासून विविध प्रदार्थ बनवून प्रदर्शन केले. मासिक पाळी आणि त्यासंदर्भात असलेले गैरसमज समजावून घेण्यासाठी ‘पॅड मॅन’ सिनेमा एकत्रित बघितला. महिला दिन हा सर्वांच्या आनंदाचा दिवस असायला हवा आणि महिला सक्षमीकरणावर फक्त भाष्य न करता आपल्या कृतीत तो विचार उतरला पाहिजे अशी भूमिका सर्व वक्त्यांनी मांडली आणि शेवटी सर्व आदिवासी महिलांनी आणि युवानी आपला पारंपारिक ‘तारपा नृत्य’ सदर केले.