Dear friends of Vayam,
This is a quick year-end update making sure we all hold hands and stay together for a better ‘present’ in 2010. The warmth of your good wishes has helped Vayam accelerate its work.
Vayam’s Green Dots has received a great response from both sides. 94 tribal families from 8 remote villages of Jawhar Taluka (Thane district) have planted about 250 medicinal herbs. 200 of these trees were donated by 29 urban friends. Our village teams have formed women’s groups and an informal learning process has begun last month. The women from participant families get together to learn about health and basic herbal medicine. The women have decided the agenda of these meetings and its frequency. The place of meeting rotates between villages and the lunch is provided by the women of host village. We have a Ayurvedic physician from Nashik offering her voluntary time as a resource person in these meetings. (We are looking for more such resource persons.)
Green Dots also organised a workshop in Pune for urban participants educating them on “home herbal garden”.
Green Dots aims at improving the family health of participant families, at restoring the green cover of forests, and at building a bridge of caring between urban and tribal friends.
Vayam’s leadership initiative focuses on developing strong-informed-sensitive leaders in tribal villages. We have conducted three ‘leadership development camps’ this year. 47 youth have participated in these camps. The youth learnt laws important for empowerment and development planning at village level. They charted out development priorities for their community and have begun activities towards their own goals. Two villages have drafted forest and water conservation plans: Gramsabha of Hateri has declared a ban on felling trees (kurhad-bandi and charai-bandi), while the Gramsabha of Kogda has approved a plan for construction of 120 small check dams to harvest water. The youth leaders in other villages have succeeded in rallying the community to demand its rights under NREGA. The youth leaders are also empowered to lobby and elicit cooperation from the local government administration. The leadership initiative is spreading in two Talukas: Jawhar and Mokhada.
Vayam has a good network relations with other organisations working on natural resources, forests, and tribal development. Vayam’s tribal volunteers have participated in Youth leadership program of UNDP-GEF. Resource persons from Prayaas (Pune) have trained our volunteers in NREGA. Nirman (Gadchiroli) fellows have taught our tribal volunteers to use internet to get information from government. Biodiversity experts from ARI (Pune) have helped the exercise of People’s Biodiversity Register. N-CAS (Pune) and Kalpvriksh (Pune) have provided training material on Forest Rights and conservation. Pragati Abhiyan (Nashik) has provided training material on Right to Information Act.
Vayam is now a registered Public Trust (E-5221/Pune) and donations are eligible for tax-exemption under Sec 80G of IT act.
You can visit Vayam’s blog: http://www.vayamindia.wordpress.com for latest updates and happenings!! You can send http://www.vayamindia.in for basic info about Vayam.
Vayam has active chapters in Jawhar, Nashik, and Pune. You can reach local coordinators by sending a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope this update will ‘recharge’ your support and involvement in Vayam’s activities.
Wish you all a happy, prosperous, and nature-friendly new year!!