Pune-based Jankidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sanstha (JBGVS) has been engaged in integrated rural development work for the past 30 years. This work has been contributing significantly to various government initiatives. In the present context, JBGVS’ work has been helping to achieve various government goals in areas like Jalyukt Shivar, Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao and Digital India.
JBGVS work is spread across many villages of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. Elaborating more on the scope and focus of work, Colonel Vinod Deshmukh, Director, JBGVS said, “Our organization operates in the rural areas with the concept of village development through people’s participation. At present we have focused on Aurangabad district on the issue of water.”
Jalyukt Shivar Yojana
JBGVS has been working in the drought prone areas of Maharashtra for many years. Till now the organization has completed water conservation work in 42 villages of Gangapur, Paithan, Vaijapur and Fulambri talukas of Aurangabad district and in 23 villages in Wardha district, in line with the Jalyukt Shivar Yojana guidelines. A total of 31.44 km of nullah deepening and widening work has been completed, while 10 cement check dams have been constructed. A 70-metre wide cement check dam was completed in record time in Lahanyachi Wadi in Fulambri taluka. The surface water storage capacity in the above villages of Aurangabad has now reached 16,263 TCM, while that in the above villages of Wardha has reached 148 TCM. The storage and percolation of water and the recharging of wells has been effective this year due to the good rains. JBGVS has also provided training to rural youth in Ralegan Siddhi on watershed development.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
The ongoing activities of JBGVS have been contributing to this public cleanliness campaign of the government. Since cleanliness begins at the level of an individual, JBGVS has been regularly conducting awareness programmes. As a part of 10 major projects, the organization has till now built/helped in building more than 16,000 toilets. Thousands of school children have been imparted personal hygiene lessons. Public awareness, creating the right attitude, providing training and actual construction like two pit latrines, kitchen gardens using waste water and school toilets at the village level have been the salient features of this JBGVS’ endeavour.
Rashtriya Gokul Mission
Having once again realized the importance of the role of cow and organic agriculture in human, environmental and economic health, rearing of Indian breeds of cow has been getting encouragement at the government level in recent times under Rashtriya Gokul Mission. In the past 10 years, JBGVS has distributed 1388 cows in the Khed and Maval talukas of Pune district under its Kamdhenu Gopalan project, wherein apart from hybrid cows, the focus is now also shifting towards preservation and development of the native Gir cow. Beneficiaries have observed that one Gir cow gives 11-12 litres of milk per day and sale of milk from one Gir cow yields a profit of Rs 3-4000 per month. JBGVS has also been distributing goats to economically backward and landless beneficiaries. The organization also provides help and encouragement in organic farming. All these initiatives are helping in the dual tasks of improving human health and providing supplementary income to farmers.
Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao
JBGVS undertakes various educational and healthcare activities for girls under its Adolescent Girls Programme and Girl Child Education Project. In 2015-16, over 1000 adolescent girls (13-18 years) in Aurangabad and Wardha districts of Maharashtra and Sikar district of Rajasthan were provided training in personal hygiene, nutrition, health and personality development. Bicycle distribution to girls (in association with FICCI and Rotary Club), awareness among women about female foeticide and training in mehendi, rangoli and cottage industry are the other activities undertaken. JBGVS run Samaj Seva Kendras (SSKs) operating in urban areas also have a major role in these activities. Similarly, over 2400 rural women in Pune and Aurangabad districts of Maharashtra and Sikar district of Rajasthan have been trained on nutrition. JBGVS’ initiative of constructing separate school toilets for boys and girls under its School Improvement Project and distribution of educational material in rural areas has helped in retaining female students in schools.
The various activities of JBGVS are also aiding the government initiatives of bringing transparency and efficiency through the use of computers, internet and mobiles. In line with the Information and Communication Technology policy, JBGVS under its e-Learning Project has distributed nearly 1500 e-learning sets in rural areas of Maharashtra and Rajasthan and also provided relevant training to teachers. Study indicates that the initiative has helped in increasing enrolment in schools, reducing the dropout rate, improving attendance as well as improving the performance of students.