The Rural Centre
   Krishnamurti Foundation India,Rajghat Fort Varanasi, India



  Community Development Programmes

The Centre is earnestly deeply concerned with initiating development programmes in the neighbouring villages. In this direction it is seeking support from external agencies which can provide both human and financial resources. Following are the few programmes that have been initiated.

a) Promotion of Women Self Help Groups (SHGs)

The Centre wishes to support the disadvantaged community particularly vulnerable women in the neighbouring villages. The Centre is intending to promote formation of Self Help Groups in the villages and reach out to 400-500 families in the next two years. The Centre has submitted a proposal to National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for a small grant for the formation of 25 SHGs.

In the endeavour to empowering women, the Centre, in collaboration with a voluntary organization Unnayan Sansthan, Chunar, is working towards the formation of SHGs for the last one year. Unnayan Sansthan has the required competence and experience in working with disadvantaged communities. It has been working with at least 5000 women in 70 villages through 270 SHGs.

With their support the Centre has formed 4 self-help groups. Out of these, two groups have already opened their bank accounts. Totally there are 59 members in these groups. And the groups are functioning well. The members have started borrowing from the groups for the consumption and productive needs. As of Feb-09 the accumulated savings of the groups is Rs. 23,525 and total loan disbursed is R.25,500. The repayment of installments of loan is 100%. The Centre is aiming at forming 10 groups by June-08.

Training: Capacity building of the staff members and the members of SHGs plays crucial role in sustaining this programme. During the last week of Dec-07 a staff member and a community member were sent for training on 'Management of SHGs' to Lucknow. The training was organized and sponsored by NABARD, Lucknow. The Centre is now exploring to get funds for training the staff and SHGs' members for sustainability of the groups formed. The Centre also intends to create awareness among the members of SHGs on various issues concerning their lives such as gender equity, girl child education, health and hygiene, empowerment of elected representatives to Panchayat Raj Institutions etc.

b) Livestock Development Services

Apart from providing milk to the people at Foundation, another objective of the livestock farm is to provide improved crossbred bulls for natural breeding services to breeders in the neighbouring villages. But the Centre is providing artificial insemination services instead. On an average 10-15 cows are inseminated in a month. The Centre charges Rs.70 per service. Though the charges of the Centre is slightly more than the Govt. Hospital, which charges Rs.50 per service, the people prefer coming to the Centre for its high rate of conception. The Govt. Veterinary Hospital is located about a kilometre away. The Centre also renders free medical services and treats cows, buffaloes, and goats. On an average 50-60 cases are treated monthly. 75% of the people in the neighbouring villages live below the poverty line. Due to paucity of funds the Centre is not able to extend the services such as giving medicines at free of cost to the needy.

Future Plans

a) Sanitation Project

The Centre has been conceiving the idea of creating awareness on health, hygiene and sanitation and constructing of public toilets and individual latrines for the community members in Sarai Mohana and Baroti village. It is being planned to spread this message by involving the students of the Rural School-Achyut Patwardhan School. The Centre has already submitted a concept note to a few Donor agencies for funding and technical support. We are expecting some positive responses from them.

b) Biogas Plant

The Centre wishes to install a biogas plant for meeting cooking energy needs of our Kitchen 'Naivedhya'. The civil work for installing 4 cum capacity biogas plant is completed. The completion work is halted due to reallocation of budgetary provision, meant for installation of the plant, to meet the unforeseen expenditure. The Centre intends to complete it when funds are made available to the project.