Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Barli Development Institute for Rural Women Installs Solar Cookers in Village Harsola and Jamli near Mhow

On May 24 2009 Barli Development Institute Rural Women installed SK 14 parabolic Solar Cookers in Harsola and Jamli villages of Indore district by handing over to 5 needy, desirous rural and tribal women members of Self Help Groups supported by State Bank of India.

Dr ( Mrs.) Janak Palta McGilligan, Director, Barli Development Institute for Rural Women, Indore introduced the overall activities of the Institute and its objective of promoting Sustainable Community Development through training of rural and tribal women as social change agents for their communities. She said taking solar energy to villages through women is just one of its priority as Institute believes that conserving and protecting the environment is a spiritual responsibility of human beings. These cookers have been given under their project sponsored by school children through an NGO PLAGE in Austria . The Institute has a policy that it does not give technology without training the user and it insists on nominal contributions by them so that they use it and value it.Women from Harsola and Jamli were, selected and sponsored by the State Bank of India.
They were sent to Barli Institute for 5 days training on how to use and maintain the solar cooker, also how to use it as an income generating tool, by cooking and packing snacks for sale during March 2009. Each solar cooker costs Rs 7000/ .PLAGE has subsidized heavily, by donating Rs 5000, State Bank of India has given these women a loan of Rs 1500 at only 4 % of rate of interest while the beneficiaries have paid Rs 500 each. The Institute has already more than 350 such cookers in use among the rural and tribal communities.

Addressing the women Dr. McGilligan said that there is scarcity of water in our part of the world, but solar energy is unlimited and we can get it free of cost. We should all use solar energy. The changes reported about these solar cookers in the lives of women and their families who are using, is remarkable. They are running Solar tea stalls, cooking midday meal on these cookers for their livelihood They are saving money and time by not having to get fuel. It saves time, energy, health, and dignity as there is always a fear of rape on the long distances to isolated areas to collect firewood..Using solar cookers is also much safer than conventional cooking methods because there is no risk of fire, gas leaks or explosions. The users are also very happy that the cookers being such a status symbol, more men have started cooking.
The women who received the cookers in Harsola Mrs.Shivkanya Bai,Smt Ramkanya Bai,andSmt. Rekha Kumre, and Smt Prbha Wati and Smt Sunita in Jamli had solar cooked rice and tea on their solar cookers that was served to all the guests and the members of their communities. Branch Mangers Sh R. K Ratnawat Harsola and, Mr Rajesh Mehta , Jamli welcomed and honoured special guests, Mr. Jimmy McGilligan, Manager of the Institute and his Solar energy team members Harindra Goluguri, Rajender Chauhan, Sakha Ram and Smt Nanda Chauhan.

Mr. R Senger field Officer of the Jamli. branch of the bank and Mr Himanshu Joshi at Harsola branch gave the vote of thanks after th programme.
By Janak McGilligan Director
Barli Developemt Institute for Rural Women.

Monday, May 18, 2009

96th Graduation

On 15th of May 2009 Barli Development Institute for Rural Women holds Graduation Ceremony for the Trainees of it’s 96th training Programme Barli Development Institute for Rural Women held the Graduation Ceremony for its 96th training course of Community Volunteers of six months duration. 86 Women from 41 villages of Dhar, Jhabua, Alirajpur, Khargone, and Burhanpur districts of Madhya Pradesh, and from Bihar, Tripura and Chhattisgarh received their certificates.
In her welcome address the Director of the Institute Dr. (Mrs.) Janak Palta McGilligan, having welcomed the guests said “Barli Development Institute for Rural Women is a Bahá’í-inspired NGO working since 1st June, 1985. In bhilali dialect the word ‘barli’ means the central pillar that holds the whole house. This is the concept behind the name of the Institute that the woman is a barli on which rests the family and the whole society. If the woman is empowered then the whole society will be empowered. The residential training programmes of the Institute in Indore are free of cost. The Institute has three Extension Centres in Chattsigarh run by trainers who are also Barli graduates.
The main objective of the Institute is to empower young rural and tribal, socially and economically disadvantaged women who never had an opportunity to go to school or a few of them who dropped out of school. The Institute has been focused on its programmes of facilitating the process that each trainee can become ‘barli’ of her family and community. This is done by using a holistic curriculum systematically developed by interweaving literacy, health and hygiene, personal and community development, vocational skills such as cutting and tailoring, tribal handicrafts, batik and block printing, typing and computers, environmental education and kitchen gardening. The Institute does not consider the trainees merely as beneficiaries, therefore trains them as Community Volunteers and Grassroot Trainers who return to their villages as social change agents
The Guests were welcomed with gift of colourful mobiles made from reused waste material from cutting and tailoring training.
The Chief Guest was Padamshree Abhay Chajlani, Chairman of Editorial board of Nai Duniya newspaper group.and Dr. Sunanda Jain, an eminent gynecologist and social worker.
On this important occasion, a number of the trainees, several who had never gone to school, recalled their experiences of learning at Barli in the presence of the guests, beaming with confidence.
Miss Keru Sastia told those gathered that she came as an illiterate, and is now leaving with theability to read and write.
Hindu Tomar, from Alirajpur district, showed the audiance some of the items of clothing she learned to make in the cutting and tailoring training
Mrs. Mamta Rawal from Chattisgarh shared her experience about the training at the Institute.
Binu Kumari from Bihar shared her experiance while studying ‘Learning to develop myself and my community’
Uma Solanki shared her learning about Environment and Cleanliness, how she learned to make fuel briquettes from waste paper and leaves of trees, and making batik brushes from hair fallen after combing
Miss Kari Jamare talked about the importance of childrens education
Miss Yashoda Alawa from Dhar district spoke about the use and importance of solar energy
Miss Reena and a group from Khargone sang a song about the use of solar cookers in their villages
Program Officer, Miss Vijayshree shared her experiences of preparing the trainees for the ‘Cutting and Tailoring’ exam under National Institute of Open Schooling’. She said that during the first three months of the training the trainees learn literacy and they are then prepared for the exam in the remaining three months.
Mrs. Manna Sharma from Tripura said that all at the Institute are like a family. Just as a mother holds the hand of her child to teach walking, in the similar way the trainees are taught at the Barli Institute Trainees are encouraged to develop their capacities
Radha Chouhan of District Khargone shared her experience of training other trainees and said that when she came she wondered how she would be able to teach others, but then she gradually gained confidence. Along with training others she learned a great deal herself
A volunteer at the Institute, dressed up in a Sari, Ms. Maya Rose Chouhan from Australia, spoke in Hindi that she had learnt Hindi, Indian food, Indian dress Indian culture & she enjoyed a lot at the Institute during her period of service and she conveyed her best wishes to the trainees for their future progress.
Miss Noori, trainer for ‘Cutting and Tailoring’ shared her experience of teaching tailoring to the newly literate trainees.
Ajma and a group from Alirajpur sang a song about literacy
During the ceremony Padamshree Abhay Chajlani released the Literacy Book “Aao Padhna Likhna Sikhe Aur Sikhayen”. This book is published by Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, with the financial contribution fromTwo Wings Foundation, Linz Austria. The Deputy Director of the Institute, Ms. Anjum Sood, while introducing the Literacy Book ‘Aao Padhna Likhna Sikhen aur Sikhayen’ and the process of its development, said “it is an achievement of the Institute that this book is being released today. This book is the documentation of the experience of the last over 24 years in teaching literacy that includes exercises for the participants as well as instructions for the facilitator, it is written in such simple language that anyone can use it for conducting literacy classes in the villages. Literacy is fundamental to the development of intellectual and social empowerment.”
Shri Abhay Chajlani, while addressing the trainees said, “You are very fortunate to have been trained very systematically at Barli Institute. You will be able to pay your respects to the Institute only when you use and practice all these skills and knowledge.” He further said that three things are very important to show respect to one’s Nation – use of your own language, attire (dress), and food. You are the light of the country, maintain your cultural values, be determined, awaken the spirit of understanding in each other and make your families strong.
Dr. Sunanda Jain, an eminent gynecologist and social worker presiding over the function said that ‘When we loose wealth, it can be regained, if looses health, it is a big loss & the biggest lost is if we have lost our character. As women you should take good care of your health as you are the holding force of their families and if you are weak the families could break apart. She also emphasised that if one looses one’s character then everything is lost. You have learnt about all three at Barli Institute; take all these three messages to help your self and your communities. Share with others on your return to your villages.”
Dhedi Bagdhare conducted the programme, and Vijay Shree gave a vote of thanks.
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