Friday, November 27, 2009

Barli Development Institute for Rural Women Holds 97th Graduation Ceremony

On 9th November 2009 the 97th Graduation Ceremony of Barli Development Institute for Rural Women at its Campus in Indore.
Dr. Mrs, Archana Ranka, Head, School of Law, DAVV Indore, the Chief Guest, presented Certificates to 75 rural & tribal young women who completed six-month training courses. 30 trainees were also given solar parabolic cookers donated by Terra Foundation from Spain.
These young women had come from 28 villages of Dhar, Alirajpur, Khargone, Badwani, Harda districts of Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh. She encouraged them to know more about their their rights and stand for justice and continue their studies after going from here so that they will become successful mothers
Dr Mrs Chhaya Matange, eminent Musician and Ayog Mitra of Madhya Pradesh Human Rights commission while presiding over the ceremony commended the enabling learning environment of the Barli Campus and the dedicated efforts of the Institute to develop these women as local human resources . UNICEF (M. P) Consultants Nagesh Patidar from Shivpuri and Mr Kripa Shankar from Guna, the special guests called these graduates as role models and leaders for their communities and they also stated that they are planning to send their volunteers for training communities in Shivpuri and Guna.
Manager of the Institute Mr. Jimmy McGilligan said “ in every village people have mobile phones, once you own a mobile phone, you start spending money but the moment you own a solar cooker it starts saving your money, your time, your health and the health of your environment, therefore we hope those of you who are taking solar cookers home will be helping their communities saving all this.”
Dr Janak Palta McGilligan, the Director of the Institute, welcomed the guest and gave an introduction of the Institute that it was established by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of India in 1985. It is a Baha’i inspired NGO committed to promote education, gender equality, the harmony of science and religion, Unity , harmony ,Peace and protect the environment .Barli Institute is striving to reach the unreached and the most neglected rural and tribal women and empower them by training as social change agents of their communities .She informed by now more than 5000 trainees have returned to their communities and helping about 500 communities. Institute trains them using a holistic approach integrating literacy ,health , personal and community Development Income generating skills and most of them come as illiterates and after 6 months they sit a 1.5 hour written examination for Institute of National Open Schooling.
Madhumita from Orissa, Beenu and Neetu from Bihar, Chhanna from Khagone, Banni Dawar from Alirajpur were among many of those who very confidently came up to the microphone and shared their experiences of positive changes they recognized themselves before and after the training, including the level of knowledge, skills, social behavior etc. They also sang self composed folk songs on various themes of development and messages for their communities.
International Interns from Canada Ms Samar, Ms Laura, Intern from India Ms Mitushi and volunteers Kahlil from USA, Basile From Switzerland and Louisa from UK also shared their experiences, members of the Board of Directors Pro Shirin Mahalati and Dr. Geeta Handa also gave their inspiring messages to the trainees to continue spreading their knowledge among their families and communities by practicing themselves what they had learnt at the Institute.

During the ceremony 30 Alsol 1.4 solar cookers were handed over to 30 graduates of the institute, these solar cooker are donated by the Terra Foundation in Barcelona Spain for the benefit of Barli's graduating young rural and tribal women. The trainees pay only 1000 rupees for the cookers and undergo 4 days compulsory training on maintaining and using the solar cookers, also how to use it to generate income by cooking and selling packed snacks etc.
Ms Anjum Sood the Deputy Director gave the vote of thanks and Dhedi Bagdhare conducted the programme.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Barli Graduates get Solar Cookers from Spain

During the 97th graduation ceremony on 9th November 2009 at Barli Development Institute for Rural Women 30 Alsol 1.4 parabolic solar cookers were handed over to 30 outgoing graduates. These solar cookers are taken to their homes by the graduates by choice after paying 1000 rupees and taking 4 days training in maintaining and using the solar cooker. These Alsol I.4 solar cookers have been gifted to the Barli Institute by the Terra Foundation based in Barcelona Spain for the benefit of Barli's outgoing village and rural young women graduates.
Unfortunately the 4 day cooking training was a real washout owing to the effects of cyclonic storm 'Phyan' which narrowly missed the city of Mumbai on 11th November, resulting in widespread heavy rainfall over the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh for more than one week.
The training started inside by showing them Imma Seifert's video on how to maintain, care for, cook, bake, fry and do all the many other thing the cooker can be used for, this was a really good beginning, the young women could see the idifferent items being cooked, they would also see the heat retaining baskets n use, as it was raining outside time could be taken to answer their many questions. The Spanish version of this video film can be seen at

For the 2 years a team from the Institute goes out to the villages and assembles the the solar cookers. earlier the graduates were trained to assemble the cookers at the Institute as part of the training, this proved difficult as it takes 2 days to train her and when she goes to the village she has to only assemble one solar cooker, then in the village the untrained male members of the family interfere and mistakes are often made.
As the weather was not suitable to give training in cooking and several trainees taking solar cooker were from distant states of Bihar, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, is is difficult to send the barli team so far. Training was given in assembling the cookers to these trainees. the others would also learn how to maintain the cooker and use it safely.

It was still raining when the graduates and Institute team to assemble reluctantly left the campus not knowing what the situation would be like in the villages. The team comprised of Sakeram Dawer, who has 10 years experience of working with parabolic solar cookers including manufacturing Scheffler reflectors at Barli, and two volunteers Basile Roux from Basel Switzerland and Kahlil Guilbaud from Miami USA, both have been volunteering at the institute for several months and experienced in working with the solar cookers.
Below are some pictures of of the Barli Graduates and family members with their solar cookers at the respective homes in the villages.

Below are some pictures with the solar cookers in the villages, graduates and their family members with assembly team of Barli volunteers and staff.
On returning from the villages Volunteer Basile Roux Wrote:
"It was a fascinating experience of rural India.
We went for three days in the countryside to help install solar cookers in approximately ten different villages.
We slept on site in the houses of the villagers, and left in the morning at around 7 a.m. for the next village.
We were riding a motorcycle and the landscape was gorgeous.
It was very different from urban India: no pollution, hardly any mosquito, and the villagers proved even more curious about foreigners than people from the cities.
It was really a great experience, not very comfortable, but hugely interesting."

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