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Uttarakhand - Case Studies
 
Title Issue
Education, By Demand... Education
Labourers to Entrepreneurs Skill Based Livelihoods
Meeting Mutual Needs Healthcare
Whatís the buzz about? Agro-based livelihoods
When Life Steps Up for Poorna Women's Issues
 
Education, By Demand...

Nasma, a 17 year old village girl, has a story that can inspire thousands of other Indian children, both boys and girls.

Nasma comes from an extremely orthodox Muslim family in Sikanderpur, in Uttarakhand. The eldest of her siblings, she was the only one dreaming of an education. Of sitting in a classroom, learning as much as “Miss” could teach her. But she had few hopes of realising her dream, given that no one in her family had been to school.

When she heard about ACF’s Non-Formal Education (NFE) centre in her area she approached the instructor without telling her family. Desperate to attend classes she asked the NFE instructor to convince her parents, who agreed after
much persuasion.

Nasma has now been attending her classes regularly and even topped her class tests. The promise of a bright future, full of opportunity, beckons. As they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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Labourers to Entrepreneurs

In Roorkee, Uttarakhand, Gulshana, who was 35, was illiterate and due to her poor financial condition was forced to work as a labourer on other people’s fields. When making ends meet was such a struggle, she constantly worried about
the future.

She attended one of the community meetings held by ACF on self-help groups and felt that she may gain from joining such a group. In consultation with ACF’s field team, she chose to not only become a part of an SHG, but, to take the lead in establishing a new SHG in her location. She explained the benefits of forming SHGs to other women in her locality and motivated them to join in. After much motivation and encouragement a group of women came together to form the Ashiana Ambuja SHG.

They group began monthly savings and after about four months were able to set up a bangle shop in the village. This shop is doing well and from the money received from the sale of bangles, the group members are paying back the small loan they took.

Subsequent to becoming a member of an SHG, Gulshana’s life has changed for the better. She is able to earn enough to support her family and pay her monthly instalments on the loan. She has stopped working on other’s fields completely and is even thinking of establishing her own small enterprise at home.
 

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Meeting Mutual Needs

In village Baleki, Uttarakhand, Sami the son of Majuafar was found to be polio positive. Like him, there were many other young children who were at a risk of catching the crippling disease due to their parents’ ignorance. Parents in the village had groundless misconceptions about polio immunization and would often hide their children when the government personnel made the rounds during the Pulse Polio drives. Some families didn’t allow the health department persons to enter their homes. This attitude of the villagers, made the government campaign a daunting task. On one hand, the personnel needed to ensure health for all the children by implementing the Pulse Polio campaign and on the other, they couldn’t fight with the parents to do so. Knowing the reputation of ACF in the villages, the health department felt that they could partner with the Foundation to successfully implement this campaign. ACF personnel along with a few local leaders made home visits to the families that were resisting the campaign.

Mujaffar’s family was also visited. Long discussions ensued and eventually the family was convinced about the essential nature of the polio vaccination. The family allowed the government personnel to administer the polio drops to Sami. Other families too were convinced in a similar manner. In this way the village guaranteed for itself a healthier future.
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Whatís the buzz about?

Balvant Singh Saini was a small farmer from Gee Sayeedpur village. Tired of juggling his meager finances, he got in touch with ACF, praying for a break through. Assessing his situation, Team ACF suggested that he begin bee keeping. It did not require too much investment and the returns were good. With ACF promising him technical support, Balvantís confidence was fortified. He knew that with the right technology, he was sure to get good returns from his venture. The only challenge he faced was raising the initial investment money. His meager savings were grossly insufficient to meet the Rs.30,000 cost. A bank loan provided him the start-up money but at the back of his mind, he wondered if he had in fact multiplied his troubles.What if the bee keeping didnít work out? He would be left with a large debt and no way of paying it off.

Soon after beginning bee keeping, Balvant realized that his fears were unfounded. His family was supported him in every way possible and the market for honey was readily available, taking care of all marketing needs. The profit Balvant made from bee-keeping, he wisely ploughed back into it. This way he expanded and bought new bee boxes. When he calculated his profits at the end of the year, Balvant was astounded to learn that he had generated a whopping Rs.270,000! He had paid back his loan and now all that he earned constituted his income.

As the money from bee keeping keeps pouring, the financial condition of Balvantís family continues to improveand the days of deprivation fade away from their memory. The story of Balvant and his bees is indeed one of sweet success!

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When Life Steps Up for Poorna

Poorna Kashi, a resident of village Khubbanpur, Uttarkhand, was suffering from a chronic disorder. Acute anemia, pain in the uterus and an irregular menstrual cycle had been troubling her for a while and was taking a toll on her family.

Her husband Shanker, took her to the local ‘doctors’ several times, but they were quacks who couldn’t diagnose her problem properly, and the repeated visits just cost Poorna and Shanker time and money without curing her problem. As much as Rs. 1,500/- was spent with no improvement.

Shanker was a migrant labourer, and the regular visits to the doctor made it difficult for him to keep up with his work, draining the family’s income even further.

The couple later learnt about the ACF mobile health van through word-of-mouth. Poorna visited the doctor there and was finally diagnosed accurately and given a suitable treatment, with follow up to make sure she recovered properly. Poorna is happy and healthy now and so is Shanker, who can go to work without worrying about his wife.

 
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