In June 2021, Karuna-Shechen India inaugurated two new field offices in the towns of Madanpur and Fatehpur. This initiative allows our teams to be closer to the communities they serve and rationalizes our delivery processes from the office to the beneficiaries. Congratulations everyone!
Why new offices were so necessary
Karuna-Shechen started its humanitarian journey in India two decades ago from Bodhgaya town in Gaya district in the State of Bihar. With time we have scaled up our program activities in Bihar from a handful of villages around Bodhgaya town to 300 villages across the poorest pockets in Gaya, Nawada and Aurangabad districts.
The villages in the intervention districts beyond Gaya are up to 60 kms away from our office in Bodhgaya and require two-to-three hours of daily travel which, in turn, reduces the time for program implementation processes. We were determined to ensure that such long travels did not impact our community-level interactions which is part and parcel of our community-engagement approach to rural development. So, we decided to open two new field offices that will enable us to work in the distant intervention villages with greater ease and effectiveness.
After relentless house-hunting amidst the pandemic, we finally zeroed in on office buildings in the towns of Madanpur and Fatehpur (see map below). Both were inaugurated in June 2021 and have been functional since then ! Karuna now has 3 offices in the state of Bihar, one in each district where we operate : Gaya, Newada and Aurangabad !
The benefits of such initiatives
We have nurseries within both office premises. When we started operating from our field offices in June, we made sure to utilize the monsoons to prepare seedlings at our vegetables and fruit plants nurseries, and distribute them among the villagers for Kitchen Gardening purposes. All these years, our seedling supplies had to be sent to these far-flung villages all the way from our head office in Bodhgaya, but now the presence of our district-level offices has made things easier.
Such logistical convenience is not confined to the produce of our field-level nurseries, but is also extended to sanitary items required for our Toilet construction projects and the raw materials used for all the development projects undertaken under our “Small Money, Big Change program”.
Besides, the proximity to our intervention villages within the districts of Aurangabad and Nawada has also made it possible for us to serve some new, additional villages. Next year we will be extending our services to more villages, and also develop vermicompost units at the office nurseries.
In a nutshell, these new sub-offices in Bihar will allow the Indian teams to help more villagers and to do so with greater quality, by being fully part of the communities they serve every day.
In the words of our Block Coordinator, Deepak Kumar Pandit, who is currently posted in Madanpur field office, “Earlier travelling to the villages in Aurangabad district from Bodhgaya was a tedious task for us but now field visits have become a lot easier. We are now able to work in a greater number of villages. Toilet construction, Nutritional Garden, Kitchen Garden, Mobile Clinic and other programs are going on in full-swing. I am very hopeful that we will be able to serve people better from our field office.Deepak Kumar Pandit, coordinator in the Madanpur office