COMMUNITY-DEV_

Sustainable Community Development

Since 2001, PRASAD Chikitsa has been implementing meaningful and effective sustainable community development programs. Initiatives include agricultural, environmental, educational and women’s empowerment programs that provide a more stable livelihood for the people.

Self-Help Groups (SHGs)

People can accomplish far more if they work together than if they work alone. With this in mind, PRASAD Chikitsa helps people in the Tansa Valley form Self-Help Groups. With 10-20 members each, they are small enough to be self-managed and large enough to make a difference. At a basic level, SHGs are micro-banks; they aid members during emergencies and they invest in the income-generating activities of their members. At another level, they give members an organized forum to improve the quality of their own lives and the lives of those around them.

In 2001, there were 11 PRASAD Chikitsa Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in the Tansa Valley. Today, there are 229 women’s SHGs, with nearly 2,750 members among them. The success of these SHGs is inspiring more and more people in Tansa to form their own groups. There are now 12 men’s SHGs with 144 members.

SHGs help their members tackle the innumerable problems they face, including indebtedness, alcoholism and illiteracy. When individuals come together to form a Self-Help Group, they each agree to contribute a nominal sum of money every month to a common pool. PRASAD Chikitsa volunteers then help the group to set up systems and processes to manage their finances, decision-making, and planning, and to help them maintain discipline.

SHGs are involved in a range of projects, including running small businesses, improving the condition of roads and schools, organizing village cleanups, promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and accomplishing environmental initiatives.

Education

PRASAD Chikitsa is opening new doors of opportunity for the young people of the Tansa Valley through the Primary School, Scholarship, Career Guidance and Arts and Crafts education programs.

PRASAD Chiktisa staff members encourage the children to work hard and emphasize the importance of education. PRASAD distributes education materials (textbooks, notebooks, pens, and pencils) to children of under-privileged families to help facilitate school attendance.

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Arts and Crafts Program

PRASAD Chikitsa also helps young people in the Tansa Valley find vocations that are rooted in the local culture. PRASAD began the Kalakendra Arts & Crafts Program in 1998, to preserve the cultural heritage of the Tansa Valley region. It provides the youth with opportunities for self-expression and employment.