NGO: Magan Sangaralaya Samiti

Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti (MSS) is a non-government, social-service organization that started its work in 2003 and is committed to the empowerment of women in rural communities in Seloo Block of Wardha district in Maharashtra. Over the years Magan Sangaralaya has supported several women’s Self-Help Groups and helped in starting up various eco-friendly micro-enterprises run by women in their own villages. Recently MSS has started a program, inspired by the national campaign of ‘Clean India Mission’ -to eradicate the problems of open defecation.

IDRF Partner Since: 2007

Focus Area(s): Women Empowerment, Health and Eco-friendly Development.

Location: Maharashtra

Project Title(s): Women Supported Small Business Activities, Construction of Farmers’ School

Due to extreme poverty, aggravated by adverse impact of climate change on its local crops, and lack of livelihood opportunities, Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti decided to form Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of women in the 100 villages in Seloo. These groups trained other SHGs in turn and started several micro-level rural enterprises in these villages. However, poor infrastructure facilities: bad roads, absence of public transportation, irregular electricity supply and shortage of portable water in these villages, hindered the setting up of successful operation of these enterprises. A budding story was turning into a tragedy about a decade ago, until IDRF came to their rescue.
A decade of IDRF’s involvement in 10 projects has brought MSS to a level of sustainability where it has become a hub of women empowerment in the area. IDRF has funded:
1. two buildings to house rural women enterprises
2. transportation facilities to provide access to raw materials and markets
3. introduction of organic farming activities
4. women led enterprises for processing and marketing of outputs from organic farming
5. setting up of a training center for organic farming that provided direct benefit to more than 3,000 farmers in 50 surrounding villages
6. training for more than 10,000 farmers from Maharashtra and other states and formation of 79 farmers’ federations with 450 members each

MSS has been selected by the Government of India as a nodal training center for organic farming. At present the rural enterprises are providing sustainable livelihood to around 500 rural women and reaching out to thousands of women in 1,000 villages of Seloo block through 1,000 SHGs.

In 2007, IDRF gave financial assistance for the construction of the building for the “Center for Organic Farming” in Girad village. This building accommodates the office, training and meeting hall, storage of organic farm produce, seed-bank, machines and equipment for processing pulses, cereals, spices and oil, and farm-tool workshop. Over the last few years the activities at the center have increased manifold and all the rooms have been occupied. Due to lack of space a few processing machines and farm-tool workshop had to be shifted outside the building in a temporary shed and the office space (hall) was used for the farmers’ school. However, this hall is not spacious enough to accommodate the increasing number of activities as well as the increasing number of participants. The use of office space interrupts with the office work and threatens the safety of the organization’s records.

With IDRF’s financial assistance, MSS has tried to overcome this problem of space by constructing a separate building for Farmers’ School and other community based activities alongside the Organic Farming building. This annex is being constructed as an eco-friendly structure with the use of mud-terracotta technology and will be fully solarized to run lights, fans, computers and projectors on solar power.

This eco-friendly structure will be able to showcase an elegant, durable, thermally comfortable and energy efficient building to the villagers and will be symbolic of holistic organic living.

                                            IDRF: Winning Hearts and Minds
“We were reluctant to take grants from a foreign entity. But to our relief we found that IDRF was not a straight jacketed funding agency, but a family where sensitive hearts and constructive minds came together to shake hands with institutions and groups working in critical remote areas of India, supporting works related to alternative education, skill development, awareness generation. Empowering the powerless and constructive development work. Empathizing with our urgent needs for a safe structure to house our enterprises support came from IDRF in 2007 to construct the common facility center for rural women enterprises in Seloo village.” READ MORE

-Dr. Vibha Gupta
Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti

Please click on the link to learn more about the various eco-friendly programs run by Magan Sangrahalaya Samiti.

Women-led Small Business Enterprises