SavitriDevi chose to leave her plush job to make a difference in her Narayanpurpanchayat in Dumariya block in Bihar. She has worked for her village as a ‘model panchayat’ when it comes to women’s rights and the survival of daughters. Under her guidance, her village won many awards. A member from the Narayanpurpanchayat says “It is we women who understand the basic needs of the village. We are the ones who know the problems relating to water, the health of women and children, facilities in schools, ration cards, roads, and so on. When a woman is a sarpanch, these problems are addressed. Savitri adds that Shakti Project from India has empowered adolescent girls and has created leaders out of ordinary girls. She greatly acknowledges the role of leadership training, career counselling and civic awareness programmes. Her panchayat was facing issues at a different level in Anganwadicentres, community library, ante-natal and post-natal maternal care. Community members had next to no reading habit and through community action group meeting conducted by Ashaa Foundation, she was able to emphasis the importance of reading books apart from their textbooks. Savitristates that the game-changer was the setting up of the community library and saw a change in the behaviour of the people.
Sonam is currently a student of class VI at a Mission Education Center in Bihar . His father who used to work as a daily wage earner passed away when Sonam was in the vth standard. Before joining in the Mission Education center he along with his mother had to go through very hard times when his father expired and his mother did not have any money to pay the school fees and he had to drop one year. When identified by a project coordinator of the Mission Education center Sonam is a girl with little hope. Soon after joining the center Sonam began to improve in studies, he works harder and never misses a class. He likes to make new friends and read story books. His mother now works to earn for the family and Sonam hopes that someday he will be successful and work of all those children who have to suffer like he did. “I can’t forget the smile on her lips and tears on her mother’s eyes when the teachers told her I stood second in the class. I want to come first this year and make her only smile, no tears.” When Sonam started to go to the Mission Education center and stood second in her class her family’s joys knew no bounds. The stories of successful people she used to tell Sonamfelt like coming true when Sonam began doing well at school. Sonam and her parents are waiting for more good news to pour in when Sonam will grow up to be successful and stand on her own feet.
PoonamMajhi, a 47-year-old, tribal woman from Madanpur village, in Jharkhand, , lives with her husband, and her daughter. Today she works as an animator with Ashaa Foundation at a Livelihood under project Swabhiman, inspiring other women to adopt modern agricultural practices to increase their farm yield and improve their family income. However, situation was not so good always. Earlier, PoonamManjhi, and her husband used to work as an agricultural labour. During our interaction she mentioned, ‘It was difficult to earn enough to have two full meals those days, but I always had this dream of doing something and making a name for myself’. 2021, when Ashaa Foundation came to Madanpur village for project ‘Swabhiman’. PoonamMajhi’s zeal to achieve something and the grit and determination to work hard for it, made Ashaa team believe in her. She was selected as a women champion from her village, who will be trained by Ashaa Foundation in implementing modern agricultural practices. She became an overnight celebrity in her village, and women from all the neighborhood started asking her advice to do farming
Children from deprived, dispossessed communities and their development on the front of education, nutrition and access to a protected environment are at the centre of every initiative that Ashaa Foundation India supports. As part of our attempts to improve the overall situation of education in India, we were part of a nation-wide study on the status of Right to Education Act, covering 73 schools. The findings of the study and recommendations were shared with a wider constituency of civil society and government for future course of action. Similar initiatives were also held to address and improve the conditions of street children like Prakash Kumar. On the ground, our teams monitor schools for proper functioning, ensure enrolment of children in school and facilitate scholarships for higher education to children. Nine-year-old Prakash Kumar, a class 6th student at the Panchayat Primary School, wants to become an IAS officer. His school is in small Village in Bihar where Ashaa Foundation began its intervention after study about school droop out percentage . We are proud to say that every child in village attends school.
“When I took her to the doctor his scalp looked scary, now he has recovered and is so happy.” When Laxmi and Nandan had Kanchan six months back the condition of their family was bad. Kanchan’s elder sister was down with a bout of viral fever. Being daily wage earners it became very difficult for them to bear so much expenses. Even though she was born in a government hospital, her parents took him back home against the advice of the doctors because her sister also had to be looked after. Soon after the baby’s scalp started to turn red and flakes began to appear on his scalp. Initially the mother did not notice but when the flakes turned heavy she began to go to a local doctor to cure her baby but she could not do much. After hearing about the Ashaa Medical Worker, Laxmi took her baby to the clinic where he was prescribed medicine. Laxmi began to recover in no time and his parents are overjoyed that he is growing up healthy and happy.