Dear friends of Vayam,
2012 has been a great year for us and we wish to share the joy with you. Here are some highlights:
This year at Vayam:
+ Vayam believes in free sharing of knowledge. The ideas and methodologies of empowering youth in tribal villages developed by Vayam are shared freely with other organisations, individuals, and volunteers. Vayam field team provided knowledge inputs to other organisations; viz. Aerohan (Mokhada taluka), Shramik Vikas Sanstha (Jawhar taluka), Pragati Abhiyan (Nashik district), Maharashtra Prabodhan Seva Mandal (Nashik district), Adivasi Vanvasi Jagruti Sanghatna (Raigad district), Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (Maharashtra), Communist Party of India – Marxist (Jawhar taluka), Pragati Pratishthan (Jawhar taluka), Sah-Astitva (Ganeshpuri, Vasai taluka), and State Government of Goa (Goa).
+ We shared our ideas-that-have-worked with all the organisations mentioned above; specifically we could help them with People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBR), Community Forest Rights (CFR), Right to Food through PDS and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). The way we empower village youth to take these issues up is appreciated and adopted by many of our friends.
+ Knowlege sharing has certainly been a two-way process. We have learnt many more things from our friends mentioned above.
+ We conducted two leadership camps this year, both having a mix of new and seasoned volunteers. Keeping with our tradition, both camps were conducted on contributions given by the participants.
+ We have embarked our second lap. The villages where law-based-advocacy has succeeded in empowering the youth, it is now time for the community to take up self-driven initiatives. We have begun a new project coined by local volunteers as “Aplyach Gaavaat Apan Sheth” (translation: we will be rich in our own village). AGaAShe is entrepreneurship development project. It’s skill-training component is being supported by Vigyan-Ashram, Pabal.
+ This year also saw a huge challenge taken up by our village volunteers. They came across a dam that was planned to be built submerging the villages. The government had flouted the rules of law and had not even informed the affected citizens. Our village volunteers formed “Khargi Hill Dharan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti” (resistance committee). Eight villages united under this banner and told the government to follow the law. The Samiti has declared that negotiations must be held with entire Gram Sabha (village assembly) and not in closed-door discussions with political leaders. This lawful agitation has brought the dam to a standstill.
+ Our urban volunteers have been active in raising awareness in cities about dams, displacement, and injustice to our weakest brethren. An online signature campaign and a trek through the submergence area has had a handsome response from our city friends.
Thank you for supporting us all through. Of course we know you will continue to be a part of Vayam family. With this, we wish you and us (that’s Vayam) an amazing year ahead!
– the team