Gandhiji’s’ 150th Anniversary And ShantiSeva Work

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated annually on October 2nd and is a national holiday in India to honor Mahatma Gandhi (also known as “The Father of a Nation”).  This year, however, was also a special celebration to mark Gandhiji’s 150th year birth anniversary.  Gandhiji taught us to lift the poor and also about Swachh Bharat.  The Indian government implemented the “Swachh Bharat Mission” on October 2, 2014, to make India ODF (Open Defecation Free).  Five years later, on October 2, 2019, Prime Minister Modi, successfully declared India was ODF on Gandhiji’s 150th year birth anniversary.
When I think back upon our ShantiSeva Mission, which we started in January 2010, our goal was to help rural & marginalized communities improve access to vital services, such as clean drinking water, improved sanitation, good hygiene and also to help finance start-up businesses to improve people’s quality of life.  In 2011, ShantiSeva started the “Swachh Graham Mission” to improve sanitation, hygiene and provide for clean drinking water in our villages by 70-80%.  We are working to make it 100%.  We have also given interest-free micro-loans to women to start home-based businesses.  In our ten-year journey, we have adopted five villages and made them model villages.  This is our ongoing contribution to Gandhi Jayanti to fulfill Mahatma’s dream.

Revisit Gourav After Two Years

Author: Rajneesh Jain. Shujalpur, Madhya Pradesh

In the autumn of 2016, ShantiSeva helped Gourav Saxena with a loan of Rs 25,000 ($500) to set up an office center in Shujalpur. Gourav had survived a major brain operation in 2015. Although his family helped him to undergo that fatal and expensive surgery his elder brother, an assistant to a local lawmaker, wanted his brother to live a better and normal life. He met Ravi Jain of ShantiSeva and sought his help to start an office center for his brother.

Now after two years of hard work to promote his business, Gourav is living a good life. He has started an online kiosk from his own house. When I met him at his store he was teaching his three-year-old nephew some rhymes.  He is still single but someday wants to get married and have his own family. He credits Mr. Ravi Jain and ShantiSeva for his financial independence.

Introducing Jaya Maheshwari

During my recent trip to Shujalpur in March 2018, I met Mrs. Jaya Maheshwari the wife of Dhiraj Parwal. She has completed her M.A. in psychology MSW (Master of Social Work). Presently she is working as a ICTC counselor to provide information about HIV/AIDS to villagers.

She also runs HIV/AIDS camps to educate people about symptoms, how to prevent it and the treatment available in government hospitals that are free of charge. She has also organized blood donation camps on a regular basis. In her spare time, she is very much involved in local social work to uplift widowed women. During our meeting, I explained the work that ShantiSeva was involved and she liked our work. I am proud to introduce Mrs. Jaya Maheshwari as a new volunteer to expand the work of ShantiSeva. Welcome to the team.

Diamond In the Rough

One day in February I was going to the Vijay Nagar area in Indore to buy a new SIM card for my mobile phone. After getting my SIM card, I was walking towards the taxi stand to catch a taxi. When I was walking, I saw a genuine entrepreneur riding a bicycle going door to door for his sharpening services. I stopped him so I could talk to him and understand what he was doing.

His name is Mr. Shamji and was about 45 years old and in normal health. He travels about 10-12 miles every day on his bike looking for business. He earns about Rs. 250 ($3.85) per day. He is very happy with what he is doing. His bicycle is very old, but he was very confident about his bicycle. I finally reached the taxi stand and I took a taxi to go back home.

This is a story I found one day just by walking in a local market. I was very excited about this man’s story and decided it was worth sharing on the ShantiSeva blog. I wish ShantiSeva could help him to get a new bicycle. I wish I had taken his mobile number to contact him in the future. Maybe someday I will meet him again and introduce him to ShantiSeva.

Friends of Kalangarai & ShantiSeva Joint Work

By: Karen Kayser

Dear Friends,

A year has passed since my daughter (Emma), her friend (Tessa), and I visited Kalangarai and marched in the streets with about 700 widowed and abandoned women who were demanding their human rights and changes in governmental policies. Kalangarai continues to work toward the empowerment of widowed, deserted, and marginalized women by helping them to organize as a movement in collaboration with like-minded groups.

One more volunteer Dr. Shirnett will help ShantiSeva in developing training material. Dr.Shirnett Gajaraj, MD, MPH was trained as a physician in pediatrics, psychiatry, and infectious diseases and worked in the Caribbean, Miami, Detroit, and Boston. She teaches nursing and public health courses and does research in HIV/AIDS. Her interests are focused on public health and healthcare for the poor and unreserved.

We are very proud to be associated with ShantiSeva in training  women in  Shujalpur (MP) area and make  them  self-sufficient and to meet their basic human needs.. Friends of Kalangari will help in providing training material about, health, hygiene, women entrepreneurship and basic accounting.

A Story Of Commitment And Growth

Author : Robert Browning

For more than five years I have known Ravi Jain. Initially, we connected about our mutual interest in providing safe drinking water to villages in India. Over time, as my interest helping people escape poverty grew, Ravi introduced me to his work with ShantiSeva.

There are many aspects of ShantiSeva I find particularly appealing. Under Ravi’s leadership would-be entrepreneurs and their proposed ventures are carefully vetted. Entrepreneurs are not given grants or hand-outs, but small interest free loans with which to start their venture. Once loans are made , there is a period of regular follow-up and coaching on a weekly or monthly basis. Each entrepreneur is thoughtfully and carefully mentored. An the success of this micro-loan program is surely on par or better among such efforts.

If you are interested in supporting effective efforts that lift people from poverty in India. I urge you consider supporting ShantiSeva cause.

Nemichand Jains’ 5 Year Journey with ShantiSeva

This is a story of the five year journey of Nemichand Jain with ShantiSeva. ShantiSeva gave a loan of Rs. 10,000 ($170) in May 2012 to expand his business. He is a very sincere  and hard working person. He is very regular in his payment of loan installments. ShantiSeva has given him four different loans in the amount totaling to Rs. 50,000 ($850). He got the last loan of Rs. 20,000 ($280) on May 2017 to purchase the seasonal food for the upcoming festival season. His sales have doubled in the last five years from Rs.15,000 ($255) to Rs.30,000 ($510) per month. He has renovated his shop and house with his savings. His mission is to again double the sales in the next five years.

Q&A Session

On 6th of  March 2017 we had a meeting with three of our star volunteers in Shujalpur at my brother’s resident at 8.00 PM. The meeting was attended by Rajneesh Jain, Dharmendra Parmar and Purushottam Parvani. This meeting was to plan the future road map of ShantiSeva’s work in six villages. This meeting turned into a Q&A session.

Rajneesh: Sir what is plan for year 2017-2018 in the women self help area?

Ravi: Rajneesh I think we have reached most women in the six villages and have given them micro-loans. Most of them are doing well.

Rajneesh : Are you planning to include more villages to promote ShantiSeva work?

Ravi: I think we should concentrate in six villages only. At present we have very limited funds. We should encourage more women in these villages to start home base business.

Dharmendra: Sir what about public health & hygiene works in all villages.

Ravi: As you know health & hygiene is our second pillar of ShantiSeva’s work area. I know our work in this area is very slow. We are currently working in one village. I know you have other responsibilities and have little time to put into this project.

Dharmendra: Sir I will assure you that in year 2018-2019 we will be able to put more time in villages with the help of college student volunteer to teach school children and housewives about health, hygiene and safe drinking water.

Ravi: I very happy that your team approach is working but it’s a little slow. I hope it will a pick-up the speed as times goes  on. Good luck in your work.

Purushottam: Sir what about  the Child Medical help programs.

Ravi: As you know ShantiSeva is very new in this area. I am depending on your guidance and your local team to work with ShantiSeva. As you know on your recommendation, we have sponsored 25 family child medical insurances.

Purushottam: What is target for year 2018-2019 in child medical help programs?

Ravi: We will try to sponsor 30-50 families in coming years.

Thanks for taking part in this Q & A meeting. We will be in touch with each other by email, WhatsApp and phone. Good luck in your work.