Sunday, March 7, 2010

Community finance and livelihood resource centre (CFLRC)

Over the years, Ibtada has gained a rich grassroots and strategic experience of community based savings and credit program. Using this rich experience, it has evolved itself as a resource agency for community based savings and credit program. Ibtada has provided many trainings and orientation trainings for bankers, Government functionaries, Alwar Milk Union and other NGOs of Rajasthan. It organizes regularly exposure visits for individuals, organizations and agencies. Building on the expertise, Ibtada has started providing inputs to the groups promoted by banks and ICDS for strengthening their systems and management.

CFLRC is a joint initiative of IBTADA, Alwar and CMF Jaipur. This centre has been established to cater the need of quality, timely and professional resource support to CBO’s, SHPI’s, government departments, banks on microfinance and livelihood promotion.

Ibtada and Cmf have gained considerable experience in community based microfinance and livelihood promotion and want to share this knowledge with wider constituencies and stakeholders.

Mission of CFLRC
Mission of CFLRC is to create and disseminate knowledge and provide quality support inputs SHGs and SHG based institutions, SHPIs, bankers and other stakeholders which in turn would enhance the quality of these institutions and the overall microfinance sector to improve credit access to the poor, facilitate enhancement of their livelihoods and contribute to their empowerment.

Roles and service of Resource Centre
RC will offer the following services:
 Training facilitators, book-keepers, leaders and board members (CBOs)
 Developing training material/modules for use of the facilitators
 Hand-holding of SHG facilitators
 Handholding services to selected SHPIs for mF programmes
 Grading the institutions – SHGs/ SHG Federations
 Training other resource persons such as community level Resource persons.
 Seconding services of CRPs to other SHPIs
 Conducting microfinance immersion program for bankers and NGO heads
 Providing customized services to other agencies on request
 Conduct studies and document good practices for own learning and dissemination.

Activities carried out under CFLRC are:

Certified Trainers in Micro Finance
November 21-25, Ibtada Resource Centre, Nogawan
20 participants from different NGOs.
Tejinder Singh Bhogal and Sanjeev Kumar as trainers

Perspective Building on SHGs and Leadership
Four NGO partners of CEE Ahmedabad
December 21-23, CASA Resource Centre Udaipur

Training of HGVS, Almora
HGVS Staff training on Community based Micro Finance Institutions
January 27-29, Ibtada Resource Centre, Nogawan

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Community development through livestock rearing.

Community Development through Livestock Rearing: The project is supported by Heifer Project International (HPI), USA. The main philosophy of HPI is fostering 12 cornerstones among the project partner members, leading to overall development in the lives of the members. The core to these 12 cornerstones is ‘Pass on the Gifts’. So any member who receives any kind benefit, be it material, training, information or any other form has to pass it on to next needful member. Goat or any small ruminant is used as a tool to enhance the incomes of the families. The project also focuses on improving quality of life through various skills and interventions such as promoting gender sensitivity in the family, better sanitation and hygiene, improved nutrition through kitchen gardening, and focus on education and literacy.
There are 173 original families and 132 pass on families under the project.

any kind benefit, be it material, training, information or any other form has to pass it on to next needful member. Goat or any small ruminant is used as a tool to enhance the incomes of the families. The project also focuses on improving quality of life through various skills and interventions such as promoting gender sensitivity in the family, better sanitation and hygiene, improved nutrition through kitchen gardening, and focus on education and literacy.
There are 173 original families and 132 pass on families under the project.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sharifan meets Rahul Gandhi..

Sharifan is the Chairperson of Sangharsh Mahila Manch, a federation promoted by Ibtada. She had an opportunity to meet Rahul Gandhi. The event was training of Indian Youth Congress and NSUI Leaders. A panel of distinguished speakers was selected for the opening session, 'Vision for India 2020'. Other panelists included Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka; Anil Bordia of Lok Jumbish fame; Sunil Khairnar of Agriwatch; Arvind Kejriwal of Parivartan; Rekha, another SHG leader from Indore and Harsha Moily of Moksha Yug.

Rahul Gandhi had half an hour private session with Panelists before the main session during which we all sat together. Rahul explained the purpose of the training and the coming session. He shared his concerns on democracy and attempts to build democracy within party first.

Being the only illiterate member in the whole gathering, and the quality of speech she delivered, Sharifan got the best applaud among all panelists. Tarun Tejpal in his speech emphasising education, could not resist saying that "imagine where would she reach if she was educated".

Many people came to meet her after the speech and congratulated her and Ibtada!

Memorable day for Ibtada!!



Taleemshala is an endeavor of IBTADA in collaboration of IIMPACT.Taleemshalas are parallel schools that are run by Ibtada for girls in the backward areas of Alwar and Mewat where girls are denied basic education due to household chores,Age old practices and sometimes just like that.These girls are married sometimes at very tender age to people as old as their fathers just because they cant fight.

Ibtada tries to get drop out girls back to school and prepare them so that they feel confidant and Independent.


Experiencing the joy of learning


Loan that got her land back.......ALONG WITH CONFIDENCE

Dadar is a small village in vicinity of Alwar, district headquarter and industrial city of Rajasthan. Jatavs living in a secluded colony in this village are listed amongst scheduled caste in India. Condition of most of the members of this community is bad. Most of the members work in village as daily wage labor during the agriculture season and rest of the time they work in Alwar as construction labors. Women join their husbands in agriculture work during agriculture season and rest of the time they are either free or busy with their household chores. Addiction of smoking, chewing tobacco and country made liquor amongst men makes condition of this community worst.

Krishna is a 45 years old woman from Jatav community in this village. Krishna’s husband works as construction labor in Alwar city. Both manage to earn around Rs 2000/- monthly. She has two are daughters and a son who is studying in class 9th of village government school. One of the two daughters is married and another is studying in class 7th. Krishna owns a total of 4 beegha land which was mortgaged 7 years back to a local money lender. She took loan of………. for the treatment of her another son who suffered APPENDICITIS. He was given treatment in Alwar and then taken to Jaipur but his life could not be saved. His treatment forced family to mortgage their 4 beeghas of land for Rs.50000/ and sell the paltry jewellery that Krishna had. Krishna could never arrange enough money to get her land back. The loan though was interest free, gave moneylender the right over produce of the farm which was around Rs.16000 yearly. Without agriculture income Krishna’s family was forced to live life of deprivation, as income from wage labor is very irregular and insufficient for a family of five members to survive.
Ibtada is working on women’s empowerment through Self Help Groups in the area for around 10 years. Ibtada has formed a federation of 11 clusters called Savera Mahila Munch and each cluster is again composed of 8-10 groups each.
Some women of her community wanted to start a Self help group that was facilitated by Ibtada, an NGO that was working in this village for seven years. She attended training session for the formation of group and came to know about the benefits of the group. Her group named SEEMA started in Jan,2006.Group started with initial savings of 50 Rs from each member and had to meet every fortnight. Group was a member of Cluster named SHANTI and District level federation named Savera.Activities of this three tiered institution is facilitated by Ibtada.Members of the group discuss their problem and community issues in the meetings. An accountant keeps record of the groups and is paid by Cluster. Ibtada facilitates loans from bank to the Cluster which disburses them to the group according to their performances which is decided by regular meetings, attendances of the members and repayment of the loans. Krishna’s group started getting loans in 6 months.In last 2.5 years Krishna has taken 6 loans that amounts to 13700/- for various petty needs of her family. She paid all her monthly installment in time. Group charges 24% interest on the loan and 2% service charge that is send to cluster for payment of accountant.
This loan and its repayment gave Krishna confidence and She discussed about her mortgaged land in the meeting. Three other woman of the group also wanted loan to get their land unmortgaged. The issue was forwarded to Cluster meeting. Application of Krishna and other three women was than forwarded to IBTADA which persuaded bank to provide a loan for two years to the cluster.
Accountant of the group helped all women in preparation of documents of land. A loan of 13000/- was provided to Krishna for 15 months at the rate of 15% per annum.
Krishna got her ½ beegha land unmortgaged with this loan. She will pay back the amount in Equal monthly installments of Rs 955/-.She is hopeful and happy. She said that she will work harder to pay back the loan so that she can take another loan to unmortgage her rest of the land. She is brimming with confidence . She is thankful to ibtada and her group. Her reputation in her family has increased. Now she can take part in decision making as she is the one who represents her family in the group.


Arsida .......back to school

Arsida lives in Dadgas Bas (Meo-Muslim) village with her parents and 7 siblings. Her father is farmer and her mother is housewife. Every person of her family was illiterate therefore her father was unknown about importance of education and he had no interest in education of Hindi language. Her father believed that children learn bad manners by education so he refused to send his children to school. All the children of his family used to work as agricultur labor.
Arsida was one of his children.Ibtada’s staff and teacher contacted her father regularly to send Arsida to taleemshala. Mothers of Mothers Education Committee contacted Arsida’s father regularly too.
Her father believed only inUrdu language so he sent her in Madarsha. Teacher of Taleemshala contacted regularly and many time in meetings he discussed this issue. Members of Village Education Committee and Mother Education Committee contacted with her father many times.
After these efforts Arsida’s father agreed to visit the school. When he visited TALEEMSHALA he felt satisfaction that Taleemshala’s environment is as good as his family’s environment. Thus he agreed to send Arsida to school.
Now Arsida is regular in Taleemshala. Taleemshala education improved her level of understanding, such as the difference between living and non-living, milk and its products, animals and their residence etc. She also enjoys thumb painting, leaf rubbing, paper folding and making clay toys, all these creative activities she had never experienced before. Like other girls in this area, she might drop out soon for her early marriage or housework burden. However her teacher and staff are trying to build up her self-learning capacity, so that she can continue to learn throughout her life.

Motivation turned into success..


Taleemshala provided me an opportunity to explore my knowledge & to educate girl child who cannot get basic education because of our society’s pattern. I am working with Taleemshala since 2000, when we established taleemshala in Bandipura village. In seven years, I have gone through different experiences. I worked with many children. Every child was different from other. It is quite normal to have a special relation & place of children while we work for them for more than three years, but sonam was a very different child of my Taleemshala.
Sonam 19 year’s old girl is a resident of Bandipura village. She came at Taleemshala in year 2000 with the progress report of class 5th from government school, when we started our Taleemshala in Bandipura village. According to their report, she was eligible for class sixth but her parents carried her to Taleemshala for basic learning. I was surprised, why her parents want to enroll in taleemshala. I told them we are only educating girls until they do not pass class 5th and your daughter has already passed class 5th than why you want?. I will not permit her than her parent told that yes she has passed class 5th but she do not know anything,she can not read & write properly and also do not know basic math like addition, subtraction, multiply, dividing, zero & equal to. I could not believe on them so I checked for my satisfaction but

I got surprised because her parents were right. She was unable for basic functioning. I shared this narrative with my colleague & coordinator of education programme and asked him what I should do. After getting permission for enroll her in Taleemshala from the coordinator, I enrolled Sonam in my Taleemshala. She was interested in study. She came to Taleemshala daily on time and completed given exercise perfectly.
In our sharing meeting, coordinator of education programme Mr. Ramsingh Hapawat always told me not to give more attention on Sonam because she has passed class 5th. However, I treated her as well as other children.
At the initial time, she was weak in reading; by the continuous efforts from both the sides (by herself & mine); she made a good understanding about the reading of stories, poems and puzzles. She was able to write story & poem in her words and raise questions on them. In the language, she acquired knowledge up to class fourth.
She was incapable for simple addition and identified the numbers in between 1 to 100 in math. In Taleemshala, she worked up to class fourth in which she learned calculation, number system up to one billion, fraction Geometry, measurement units etc.
In environment science she participated in discussion, in the sect of Aarambhik kshamta she learned classification and tabulation after observation and knowledge up to class third.
In government school while she passed class fifth, English was not a subject in their syllabus till class fifth. She learned English in Taleemshala by working on a book that is given by ‘David Horsborough’ in this, children speak English sentences. She fined an opportunity for speaking and listening English. By the 52 standard cards, she learned identification of ABCD…. In addition, by the phoenix she learned to read and write letters. It was similar to class fourth. She got an opportunity to express herself by the Art and learned many ways to express herself rather than speaking and writing.

In July 2003, she discontinued Taleemshala. I was not miserable by this but there was a peace in my heart that my Taleemshala and I were helpful to make her progress report of class fifth more significant.
There was a soft corner for her, which motivated me to make efforts for her study. I talked with her parents for her admission in class sixth but they said what she would do with more study. She has a progress report of government school and you taught her basic things, it is sufficient for her. I tried more and more but I could not make them agree for further study of Sonam.
Many a times Sonam shared with me now, can I study more? I was answerless, her parents were not agree, but I was with a hope that she will do and I always told her you can do if your parents get ready for it.
In July 2004, a batch passed class fifth from Taleemshala and went for class sixth. Sonam again came to me and shared that she wants to study with these girls. I got an anther opportunity to convince her parents. This time she put her desire more forcefully. Luckily, her parents got ready and she went in government school in Kalsada village for class sixth. She studied here for a year and after that, she passed her class seventh & eighth from government school, Mahua khurd. She got 65% marks in class 8th. Fortunately, this school was upgraded to secondary school and Sonam is studying in class ninth in this school.
Sonam wished to study so Sonam is studying. I just want to say we can make a bright future of children like Sonam by our little efforts. We can only do efforts we cannot assume the results. We cannot give up efforts by thinking about bad results. We may change bad result into good by the positive and continuous efforts.


Introduction to IBTADA.

Ibtada was established in 1997 with a non-profit motive to build and strengthen people's institutions and enable these to address the issues of their concern.The NGO is currently operating in the MEWAT region of Rajasthan.The inspiration to start the initiative called IBTADA,an urdu word meaning the beginning, came from the existing backwardness of women in this region.
Ibtada envisions a society where poor and deprived social groups are economically,socially and politically empowered to take part in development processes and have equal rights and access to resources, that abridges poverty,deprivation and discrimination. In order to achieve this vision, Ibtada's mission is 'Incapacitate communities especially women to play an influential role to reduce social and economic poverty and inequality."
The core strategies adopted by Ibtada are: Augment community capacity and promote self reliant community institutions: Put women and girl child in forefront; Collabrations with Govt. for innovations and effective outreach; and Build alliances with civil society and CBOs on issues of common concern.

In terms of concrete activities,Ibtada promotes
  • Women's institutions around issues of microfinance. Such institutions are self-help groups, cluster level Mahila sabhas and block level fedrations.Apart from micro credit, these institutions indulge in village level issues, girl child education and women's health.The overall approach leads towards women's empowerment.
  • Girl child education: Running alternative schools for girl child called Taleemshalas.
  • Livelihoods: Enhancing livelihoods through existing resources of land and livestock.