Friday, November 16, 2018



14 November every year is celebrated as the Children’s Day commemorating the birthday of our first prime minister Sri Jawaharlal Nehru. Like previous years, this year too Swadhina organised Children’s Day programme in several locations in Jharkhand state.

Sohda Village, Surda Crossing,
Mosaboni, East Singbhum

Here the programme started at 11 a.m. About 30 children were present, which included 17 students of Swadhina Good Hope School. After the inaugural bengali song, Sri Laduram Mahato, the Swadhina staff present at the event gave a short talk on the significance of the day and also narrated about Pandit Nehru. There after the children recited poems, some of them sang local songs, and there were quiz on general knowledge. Those who actively participated in these were presented with a gift packet containing a pencil, an eraser, a toffee and a pencil sharpener. They were also given nice dresses and a sweater each and the children were very happy to receive these gifts. At the end every participant was given cake and packet of biscuits. Ten local women members of Swadhina very enthusiastically participated.

Latia Village
Mosaboni, East Singbhum
 There Children Day here started around 1 in the afternoon, with a group song “Hum Hongey Kaamyab” (Hindi version of We shall Overcome). Children present took part in reciting rhymes, hindi poems and songs. It was indeed a festival of joy for the children. In all there were about 40 children who attended the event. The students of the Good Hope School very enthusiastically participated in all events, and they were presented with a sweater each. Ms. Papia Sharma spoke about the significant of the day and the programme was conducted by Ms. Madhumita Sarkar. At the end all participating children were given a cake and packet of biscuits. About 12 local women members of Swadhina were present through out and encouraged these children. The 3 hour programme ended around 4 p.m.

Hurumbil Village
Patamdah, East Singbhum
 “Manush to ekdin Jagbei” was the chorus with which the Children Day celebration of Hurumbil started. In all there about 30 children who participated. Sri Mathur Mahato, a local educated youth spoke about the significance of the day. The programme had a large number of children participating in performance like recitation of rhymes, songs and a few group games. Ms. Jayanti Mahato, the local Swadhina volunteer conducted the programme. Every participant was given a Sweet at the end of the programme. The event was held from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

 Chirudih Village
Patamdah, East Singbhum
 The programme here was held at the Swadhina Tuition Centre and place was very colourfully decorated befitting the festive mood of the Children’s Day. 32 children attended the celebration. Ms. Basumati Mahato, the Swadhina local volunteer conducted the various events like poems recitation, singing local language songs, performing folk dances etc. Sri Kirtibas Mahato, a local educated youth explained in simple language about Jawaharlal Nehru and the Children’s Day. The programme started at 12 noon and concluded at 2 p,m. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Swadhina Education Support Centre

Swadhina: Shiksha Sahayata Kendra
Swadhina Education Support Centre

One of the basic issues, before education in the rural area , still is the significant proportion of drop-outs. As a result, though there are infrastructure available, like available primary schools, middle and high schools within the village or at a little distance, many do not pursue studies beyond primary level.

Swadhina has set up “Shiksha Sahayata Kendra” (Education Support Centes) at the village level to meet up the situation with the following facilities:

1. To arrange tuition for needy students, free of charge, especially for the girl-child, by experienced teachers,

2. Provide a good space, with sitting arrangements and proper lights-fans, for children to study together and prepare for home-work guided by the teacher

3. Supplement additional knowledge and learning of difficult subject like English

4. Organise special events like drawing classes, singing, group games, social gatherings to make children more interested in school education

5. Help them improve qualitatively so that they excel in school exams thereby they become more keen to go to school

6. Make them environmentally alert by getting them involved in various group activities like street theatre, songs on environment, quiz contest, tree plantation etc.

There are 6 such Educational Support Centres at the moment being run in East Singbhum District in Jharkhand.

1.Benasole Centre
The local primary school namely Utkramit Vidyalaya has kinddly provided us a school room which we are using as our Shiksha Sahayata Kendra. The Benasol village is located, in the Mosaboni Block of East
Singbhum District of Jharkhand State, in a hilly forest region. 15 girls are attending the centres - 4 study in VIIth Class, 7 study in VIIIth Class and there are 4 students who study in IXth Class. Of these 15 students, seven belong to Tribal community, six belong to Scheduled Caste community and two belong to the Other Backward Castes (OBC). The Teacher is from the local village - Ms. Reshmi Soy.

2.Latia Centre
Classes for Latia Kendra are held at the local Swadhina Village Centre. Latia is situated near Mosaboni Block, which is a mining area. There are 20 students here. 7 study in Class II,  7 study in Class III and 6 study in Class IV. Of them 16 belong to Tribal Community, 3 belong to Scheduled Caste and one belong to OBC . The teacher here is Ms. Papia Sharma. There are 17 girls and 3 boys.

3.Bordih Centre
The local Geruala High School has kindly provided us with a class-room to run the Kendra here. This area is located at a remote corner of the district at the border of the neighbouring state West Bengal. Sri Banka Bihari Mahato, a local school teacher has volunteered to conduct the centre. There are 25
students here all belonging to the backward class. Five of them study in Class II, Ten of them study in Class III, Ten study in IV. There are 13 girls and 12 boys attending the centre. Of these 18 belong OBC, 5 are from the ST Community, 1 each belong to the SC and Minority Community.

4.Kanku Centre
This centre in conducted by Ms. Rupali Mahato. The village belong to Patamda block of East Singbhum district. 21 girls are attending the centre, of whom 13 belong to the tribal community, 1 belong to Scheduled Caste and 7 belong to the
OBCcommunity. Three of them study in Class X, Four of them study in Class VIII, Five students are in Class VII, Two of them study in Class VI, Seven study in Class V.

5.Chirudih Centre
This centre is located in Patamdah Block in Bondih area. There are 27 students in this centre- 15 girls and 12 boys. Ten study in Class II, Eleven study in Class III, Six study in Class IV. Ms. Basumati Mahato is the teacher here. There are 4
from the Tribal Community, Two belong to the Scheduled Caste Community, One from the Muslim Community and Twenty students belong to the OBC community.

6.Hurumbil Centre
Hurumbil is near Katin area in Patamdah Block of East Singbhum district. There are 16 girls in this centre. Seven of them belong to Tribal Community, Three are from Scheduled Caste community ad Six belong to the Other Backward Caste section. Ms. Jayanti Mahato is the Teacher here, who has kindly offered a room for the centre.

In all there are 124 students attending the classes who are receiving education assistance. Of them 52 belonging to Scheduled Tribe Community, 16 students belong to the Scheduled Caste Community, 54 belong to the OBC and there are 2 students belonging to the Minority Section of the society. There are 97 girls and 27 boys enrolled in these centres.

We are aware that the need is for much more coverage, and, hence we are in the process of enrolling more students and opening more such Education Support Centres, in Singbhum in Jharkhand, Purulia in West Bengal, Kanya Kumari in Tamil Nadu, Mayurbhanj in Orissa and East Champaran in Bihar. .


Monday, October 22, 2018



For many environmental hazards, women and children are the ones who take the brunt of the catastrophe. For instance, for acute drought condition, women have to tread miles to fetch a pot of water for the entire family, at times amidst scorching heat. On agricultural field, women are the most crucial victims of all forms
chemical pollution since they spend most of the time in the field as they do majority of cultivation activities.
At the home front women suffer most due to kitchen smoke, thereby become the victims of smoke pollution. Since most of the kitchen in the rural area are dependent on naked fire oven, they, it is estimated inhale smoke equivalent to ‘smoking 20 cigarettes a day’!
“Smokeless Rural Oven” is one feasible low cost solution to the problem. Many may think that this would encourage use of fire-wood, and , thereby augment further de-forestation ! Be assured that ordinary poor villagers use dry leaves, dry small branches, dried hay for fuel for the oven. It is the big eateries of the big towns who use bundles of forest wood for their kitchen!
Swadhina, supported by ERM has taken up a programme to promote Smokeless Rural Oven. The programme encourages “make your own oven”, so, in a sense this programme stresses more on technology transfer for a low-cost Or no-cost oven making.

Village Level Awareness:
The first step was to create awareness on the need for making such smoke-less oven. It was explained that this type oven has several advantages

-         it helps women from smoke pollution
-         it saves fuel, since with the firing of one oven-hole, the second hole uses residual  heat
-         there is no smoke inside the kitchen, thereby the kitchen remain clean from shoots.
-         these ovens can be made from available resources like mud and stones, available free.
-         the technology is so simple that women themselves can make without depending on outside masonry help.
During these village level awareness local language leaflet, printed in Bengali and Hindi were used which also elaborated on the design of the oven.

Addressing the Conventional Design Challenge:The Chimney Pipe: 
This was our primary concern because most of the design we found are using cement asbestos pipes. (We were having a hard time convincing villagers about the harmful environmental effect of  asbestos). Therefore after several rounds of consultation and design development, we have devised an environment friendly solution by way of using tin-earthen chimney- a kind of semi-terracotta pipe.

Making of  Rural Oven :

50 such rural ovens are being made initially in Jharkhand, by the users themselves, in Ghatsila, Mosaboni and Patamdah block of East Sinbbhum district.  The ovens are being prepared by the local women under the supervision of experts from Swadhina. This hands-on process is meant as a training for the women as well. So, that they can prepare new ovens themselves as well as repair any damages. The programme has witnessed a good response from the women.

These are ordinary women who took extra-ordinary leap towards a better life. We are with them. 
What about you ? 

Documentation & Presentation

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


ERM : Swadhina Initiative -
Plant Trees, Save Environment

As a follow-up of Environment Awareness programme, a tree plantation effort has been initiated.
Therefore, those who attended our Environment Awareness Meet held recently, got involved in tree plantation in their own homes. Each woman participant were provided with 5 useful tree plants  namely mango, jamun, guava, amla and papaya. In all 300 plants were planted. Following are the details of the recipients: 

KADAMDIH village, Ghatsila Block, East Singbhum  District, Jharkhand
Karmi Kisku, Srimati Kisku, Sangita Hansda, Baso Hembram,  Pushpa Hansda, Anjali Majhi, Shaboni Hansda, Sumi Kisku, Dumni Majhi, Sabitri Majhi, Antami Soren, Chandmoni Soren, Kapura Tudu, Lakshmimoni Tudu, Ruibari Majhi, Bali Hansda, Bodej Hansda, Noha Tudu, Ruibari Murmu. They all belong to Santhal Tribal community.

BENASOLE village, Mosaboni Block, East Singbhum District, Jharkhand
Phulki Hansda, Jhano Hansda, Kunta Kisku, Mani Biruli, Raimati Hansda, Gurubari Biruli, Jamuna 

Soren, Rani Soy, Sukurmoni Hembram,  Gurubari Bodra, Basmati Soy, Rabdo Hansda, Singha Hansda, Bali Soren, Chintamoni Hansda, Rishi Murmu, Panmoni Soren, Baha Murmu, Yeshoda Mardi, Phulmoni Hansda, Lalita Purti, Biranga Banra, Saraswati Hansda, Kunti Munda, Sarti Soy, Mongodhani Tuti, Punam Banra, Kajal Purty, Kapura Tudu,Sonamoni Alda, Sumitra Purthi, t Bodra, Lakskmi Tiu, Jayanti Bari -  they belong to Santhal,  Munda and Ho tribal community.

Soma Karmakar, Arati Das, Manisha Patar and Lakshmi Shundi belonging to scheduled caste and OBC community who got the plants.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Animal Health Camp

Every year in the area we are active a large number of domestic animals perish due to various health hazards, which means not only loss of animal resources but people also suffer great financial loss since the animals provide the livelihood support for the families.

To combat the situation, Swadhina conducts regular animal health camp in the working area.

On July 12, 2018 one such camp was held at Bordih village in Patamdah Block, a quite remote village.

The camp was conducted by two popular local vets namely Sri Sristidhar Mahato and Sri Ladu Ram Mahato. The treatment was  for de-worming.
1.       Fifteen Sheep and twenty goats were administered albendazol.   Eight cows were administered medicine for worms.  Over 150 chickens were administered piperzine

Cow Vaccination Camp: 128 cows vaccinated

Cow Vaccination Camp:  128 cows vaccinated
Every year cows suffer from  haemorrhagic septicaemia and black quarter diseases  and poor farmers lose their animals. Cows are dear to them and are the main support for all agricultural activities. It is a great help if timely vaccination can be administered so that these animal resource do not fall prey to various diseases.
Hence  3 vaccination camps, on HSBQ,  were organised by Swadhina,  in the remote areas of Borabazar Block of Purulia district of West Bengal, which is in the border region of Jharkhand state.

- On 28 May 2018, a camp was held at Taladih village organised by the local Swadhina Women’s Group from 10 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon under the able leadership of Ms. Usharani Mahato. 37 cows were vaccinated.

- On 29 May 2018 another camp was held on Bongorah village which was held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On this day 46 cows were vaccinated.

-Finally on 30 May 2018 a camp was held at Hatnadih-Bulandih village in which 45 cows were given vaccination.  Local vet Sri Laduram Mahato conducted these camps.

                                                                  documentation by

Monday, July 23, 2018


WOMEN'S RESOURCE CENTRE A Centre at the village level augmenting women's empowerment effort of Swadhina Village Womens Groups at the grass roots.

Saswati visiting Latia WRC, Mosaboni, Jharkhand
Swadhina’s one of the main stake is the concept of Women’s Resource Centre.  In all the working areas there are WRC which is primarily a support centre for women’s  empowerment and livelihood enhancement activities .

WRC is run by local Swadhina Village Women’s Group. Each WRC covers one or more such local village groups. Each WRC is managed by a local volunteer staff of Swadhina. What are the functions of a WRC ?

1.   -  It is an oraganisinsg point  for Swadhina campaign materials - like posters, flex, banners, charts, flash-cards on social issues, for the use of local women’s groups,
Kadamdih WRC

2.    - It provides documents and forms for various welfare schemes of the government or other organisations, especially relevant to women and children development,

3.     -It displays the dates of forthcoming public events like Aam Sabhas, Development Meetings, Block Level Events etc . on a Notice Board and Blackboard,

4.     -It holds a tin-trunk library of simple-to-read books, magazines, booklets relevant to the women’s groups

5.     -It  stores study materials, cut-outs, pictures,  and other audio-visual materials

6.     -It is also the regular meeting and event room for the local Swadhina Village Women’s Group.
-    -It is the place where Mahila Nabodoya (women's social learning)  a two hour classes five days week held for social awareness building and literacy promotion for local village women. 
Taladih WRC, Purulia district, West Bengal
 Following are details of the WRC:

1.     LATIA WRC is located at Latia village which is near Mosaboni and Ms. Papiya Sharma is the in-charge here. This WRC covers 3 Village Women’s Groiups - Latia, Badiya and Dungridih villages in the Mosaboni Block, in East Singbhum of Jharkhand State.

2.     SOHDA WRC is located at Surda Crossing which is on Mosasboni-Tata road and
Bhabesh Kumar Mahato is the in-charge. This WRC covers Sohda village which is  about half a kilometre away and it is in East Singbhum district in Jharkhand state.

Motihari WRC, East Champaran,  Bihar
3.     KADAMDIH WRC is located at the crossing of Kadamdih and Amainagar in Ghatsila Block in East Singbhum district of Jharkhand state. The WRC covers the Swadhina Village Women’s Groups of the two villages. Karmi Kisku is the in-charge.

4.     BORDIH WRC is located in the village of Bordih, in one of the rooms in Swadnhina field office, in the Patamda Block of East Singbhum in Jharkhand. Women from in and around the village are covered through this centre. Basumati Mahato is in charge of this WRC.

Bordih WRC, East Singbhum, Jharkhand
5.     DHARGAAN WRC is in West Bengal state, in the district of Purulia, in the block of Barabazar. It is also accessible from East Singbhum district of Jharkhand as it is located at the border area. Usharani Mahato manages this centre.

6.     TALADIH WRC is primarily a tribal majority village in the district of Purulia in West Bengal. It belongs to Burrabazar block. Usha Mahato is the Centre-in-Charge.
      It coversTaladih, Bongora and Charrih villages.

7.      MOTIHARI WRC is Belbanwa area of East Champaran District of the state of Bihar. The area is an amalgamation of different castes. Vetran social worker Rambhabala Srivastav is in charge of the WRC in the area.

8.     INDIRANAGAR WRC is in Betnoti-Mayurbhanj district of Odisha and located near the forest region. Nirmala Sahu is a powerful local leader and in charge of the WRC.

Sohda WRC, East Singbhum, Jharkhand 

9.     BHURUDABANI WRC is in the tribal and forest heartland of Mayurbhanj district of Odisha state. Manorama Tudu is the WRC head here.

10.            VELLIYAVILAI WRC is located as a support to the women of the local fisher-folk community in the Nagercoil region of the state of Tamil Nadu. D. Suganthi is a well-known local woman leader and WRC in-charge.

- Diptendu Mukherji