December 2 2014

How We Help Villages in India

Dema is one of the many villages that Karuna-Shechen helps in India. Our work in this village is an accurate example of how your donations can transform entire communities and lift thousands of women, men, and children out of poverty.

DEMALocated in Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, Dema village is made up of 16 communities with a total population of about 11,000. Our team chose this village because it is isolated and poor and the villagers did not have even the barest of necessities.

As is our policy when we start work on any project, our team held meetings with the villagers to identify their most urgent needs. Our mobile medical clinic began weekly visits to the village and soon other projects followed.

One of the villagers, Sanageeta Devi, a 28-year old mother, tells us how Karuna-Shechen’s intervention in Dema completely changed her life:

sanfeeta devi“My family and I are benefiting from the medical services offered by the mobile clinic. We also have a kitchen garden and a rainwater harvesting system, both provided by Karuna-Shechen. We get free seeds of seasonal vegetables and fruits and are taught how to grow and maintain a kitchen garden. The rainwater harvesting system in our house provides water for the kitchen garden and washing purposes. It is a miracle.

“For the last year, I have been attending literacy classes. I can now sign my name and write my address. Now I can read a newspaper! I am aware of what is happening elsewhere and I enjoy talking about news with other villagers. I’ve also learned to count, do basic mathematics and sentence construction.  But, best of all, I’m now finally able to help my daughter with her homework.”

Our activities in Dema over the last two years include:

HEALTH

  • Our Mobile clinic visits the village once a week and consults with 100 patients per visit.
  • Pregnant women, newborns, and young children are given the required immunization.
  • Our health education and safe pregnancy programs have led to an increase in institutional delivery and progress in the reduction in neonatal deaths.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

  • Rainwater harvesting systems have been installed at the Dema school (six tanks) and for 58 households. The water is used for kitchen gardens, washing clothes and utensils, and bathing livestock.
  • A pond was dug and provides water for irrigation.
  • Solar lighting sets have been installed in 13 households.
  • With our help, 268 households now have  kitchen gardens in their backyards. Villagers grow gourds, green chillies, cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, and other vegetables.

EDUCATION

We will keep you informed about the progress of this village and its people through our newsletters and website.