According to the 2001 population statistics, around 75 million of our population dwells in slums. What is a slum? Why it is important for the country’s statistics? Why are we gauging the size of the slum dwelling population? A slum is a perfect example for the growing divide between the rich and the poor. It shows how far we are from creating the egalitarian society that is achieved in most of the developed nations. Did you ever have a chance to visit a slum? Are the conditions in a slum conducive for residing? Then how do 75 million population manage to live in these areas of extreme poverty?
Empowerment – How do we live? This is the question which rises in most of the women folks in India. However, some had the audacity to break the barriers and take up the opportunities in their way and change the course of their lives and families bringing in development. These were the educated folks. However, some who though had the courage to break the barriers to strive for a better life, did not have the opportunities and there was no one who would help. It is for the cause of this downtrodden section of the society that Seva Bharathi has initiated and dedicated a program “Vaidehi Kishori Vikas Yojana”.
Vaidehi Kishori Vikas Yojana is an initiative by Seva Bharathi. That was started with the intent of creating sustainable community development in the slum areas. As a part of this initiative, personality development camps are organised at different locations. These camps cater to girls from the one hundred and fifteen slums where Seva Bharathi has been working relentlessly for the past several years. These camps create awareness on the basic aspects of living like education, health, teaching income generation courses and local arts.
Vaidehi Kishori Vikas Yojana conducts three camps in a year which focus on training the volunteers on different aspects like folk arts, moral values, education, health awareness, income generation courses, social justice, social empowerment to mention a few. These volunteers in turn teach these aspects to the slum dwellers.
The unconducive environment in a slum is also a place where a part of India’s future is dwelling and growing up. The open drains, the diseases which follow due to the unhygienic conditions in the slum, the poverty all these make living even more difficult for the slum dwellers. Mortality rate and diseases among the children and adults is also high in slums due to the unhygienic conditions, which is an extra expense to low income people. Keeping all this in view, Seva Bharathi has taken up the “Vaidehi Kishori Vikas Yojana” for the development of the slum dwellers and to bring light into their lives. Any activity will be a success only if it is embraced and followed by the principal stake holders. This is something which holds true even for Vaidehi Kishori Vikas Yojana. This initiative was successful because of the effort of Seva Bharathi volunteers to ensure that the purpose of the initiative was clearly understood by the stake holders – the local slum dwellers.
Hyderabad has an estimated 1476 slums as per the statistics of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Of this 400 slums have been identified as working areas by Seva Bharathi for implementing Vaidehi Kishori Vikas Yojana. The modus operandi of the initiative is something which goes in this manner: female and male volunteers between the age 12-18 are selected from each slum who are trained in different areas like education, health, sanitation, vocational skills, folk songs, folk arts, yoga and etc. to mention a few. These volunteers then teach the rest of the slum dwellers in their area, thus bringing about positive change slowly and gradually.
The volunteers spend a minimum of 3 hours visiting the allotted slums. Apart from educating the slum dwellers, it also builds a relation with the volunteers. This relation further helps in creating a trust which helps in the development of the slum and the lives of the slum dwellers.
The previous camps of Seva Bharathi:
Medical Camp at Vaidehi Ashram with the help of volunteers from Wipro – The ashram is a home for destitute girls. Dr. Hari Anupama & Dr. Indira of Gandhi Hospital led this camp.
Eye Screening camp with the help of volunteers from Wipro – The camp was organised by Seva Bharathi with the collaborative effort of Pushpagiri Eye Institute, Secunderabad
Medical services for both the above camps were provided by Government Health Medical Services (GHMS).
A total of 175 girls were examined on various tests like Hemoglobin, Diabetes, Thyroid and etc.
Tours of Kishori Vikas coordinators
Saidabad: Mamata and Renuka, two coordinators of Kishori Vikas Yojana had set down on a tour for 15 days to the slums of Saidabad. In these 15 days both of them had interacted with as many slum dwellers as possible educating them on different aspects. The tour served as a platform for creating trust in the hearts of these people towards Sewa Bharathi and the initiatives.
Nalgonda: Swathi who happens to be another volunteer of Kishori Vikas Yojana visited the slums in the Nalgonda district educating the residents on various aspects like health, sanitation, informal education and etc.
LB Nagar, Hyderabad: Rama Devi another volunteer of Kishori Vikas Yojana visited the slums in LB Nagar educating the residents on various aspects like health, sanitation, informal education and etc.
This program is started to teach women in following four aspects.
Problem Solving Skills
In addition these girls and women are taught Self-defense.
Vivekananda Vritti Vidya Kendram (Skill development center):
Skill Development for Women operations started in 1995. Since then to 2015, we are able to train nearly 8100, out of which approximately 70% were employed. Nearly 20% started borrowing clothes form shops and tailoring on the basis of “fee”. 3 started business independently.
“Skill Development for Women” vocational training helped the people whose financial condition was poor by providing employment.
In these centers they are trained in tailoring, hand embroidery, machine embroidery, Maggam works, glass painting, pickle making, chocolate making, toys and handicrafts. Along with tailoring center, we are also organizing many other services. With these services we were associated with Kovida women’s council and Vasanth Nagar Women’s Council who were in the same service line.
These women are provided with a brief exposure on health, self confidence, self- sufficiency as a part of the training session
We are running 8 skill development centers in Hyderabad, Rangareddy and Nizamabad districts. Presently 320 women (average of 40 per center) are getting trained in these centers. Presently we are running 8 centers with good Infrastructure and well equipped place where the women can learn skill in pleasant atmosphere. The maintenance of these centers will be done by the donations received from kind donors from the society.
This project is supported by SBH bank. In 2004 the bank has sponsored 18 sewing machines to center and Sri RP Sinha, Manager with other bank officials are presented on the event. They also arranged sale exhibition of our products in their premises.
On August 19, 2015 Punjab National Bank has gave 5 sewing machines under its CSR activity.