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MSSO NEWS - 1996



Editor: Eilish Hiebert




Canadian Students Visit MSSO India Projects

Sixteen students from across Canada participated in the second University of Calgary "Term Abroad Program" at the University of Pune, Pune, India. MSSO President Dr. Jagannath Wani co-ordinated the program in Pune. Activities planned by Dr. Wani augmented academic studies with real life experience, beyond the boundaries of the university. The experience included stayovers with families, visits to local hostels, rowing boats with the students of Government Engineering College, and visits to development projects, some of which are funded by MSSO with matching grants from the Alberta Wild Rose Foundation and the Canadian International Development Agency. The project visits formed part of a practicum for the two new course choices this year: Development Studies and Women in Developing Countries. In Ralegan-Siddhi, Anna Hajare initiated an ideal community development project without any outside financial assistance. His project priorities are protecting the environment, watershed and irrigation management and family planning.

Mr. Anna Hajare with Canadian students

At another level Mr. Hajare works actively to combat government corruption. He is changing the tide of development funding from heavy bureaucratic administration to real grass roots development. The government formula acknowledges that atio of administrative expenses to real development cost is 4 to L.That means 80%of the money goes to administration, and only 20% to the project itself, where the actual development work is taking place.


Mr. Hajare awakened the rural population and got people actively involved in their own development and revolutionized the concept of development funding. Using his methods, the expense priorities are now completely reversed, meaning that now only 20%goes to administration, while 80%goes directly to the project. This cost effective development did not come easy. At one p^int Mr. Anna Hajare had to declare a fast unto death to stop the corruption.The students were very impressed with Anna's simple life and very effective practical philosophy. Naturally, they requested that Anna pose with them for a group photo.


"I will agree to a group photograph," said the photo-shy Anna, "on the condition that you propagate my message of protecting the environment." True to the students' word, here is the photograph of the man who has virtually stopped deforestation and overgrazing of land in the area. Anna is training 300 youth from surrounding villages who will replicate the experiment he started.
Other development visits of the students included a leprosy rehabilitation Centre (Udyog Dham); earthquake rehabilita tion work of Manavlok; and Students' Welfare Association's Ladies' Hostel. These three NGOs have received MSSO funding. As part of the course Women in Developing Countries, students visited Hingne Women's Education Society (HWES).


Begun 100 years ago, when education of women was nonexistent and remarriage for widows prohibited, HWES founder, O.K. Karve, defiantly married a widow and started the campus with four widowed women students. Today several thousand women enjoy a campus which includes an Engineering College and a College of Architecture for women only. Searching for an equivalent of Canada's abused women's shelter at HWES, the students were surprised to find that these women are immediately integrated into the rest of the campus - much like we integrate handicapped students with regular students in Canadian classrooms. This was a novel idea for Canadian students.
[Editor's Note: This student visit was featured in '20 Below' Youth Series 'Adventures in Education.'
'Calgary Herald'page B6, Aug. 30th, 1996]




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MSSO completed the following projects in 1996.

MSSO deliberately chooses solid, established organizations run by core groups of selfless volunteers. This means that after our support has ended, the partner organizations keep the project running.
Your tax-deductible donations help support MSSO work with the less fortunate in India. Matching funds from the Alberta Wild Rose Foundation and CIDA help multiply the value of your donations. See details in box below.

Some Facts About Matching Funds ... Alberta Wild Rose Foundation (WRF), established by the Government of Alberta, has a special division for international development. This division provides matching funds to projects which meet the Foundation's guidelines. An NGO (non-governmental organization) contribution for such projects may receive 1:1 match for Alberta donations up to a current maximum of $24,000.00. CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency, was established by the Government of Canada to assist projects in developing countries. Canadian NGOs, such as MSSO, responding to the needs of their southern partners are eligible for funding if their projects meet CIDA's guidelines and program priorities. Some examples of these priorities are basic human needs, women in development and environmental protection. Projects approved by CIDA may receive matching funds on the basis of 2:1 cost sharing Only those NGOs with a fund raising capacity of $50,000 per year can submit projects for matching funds. Funds received from the Wild Rose Foundation can form part of the required minimum threshold of $25,000.

Children of Leprosy Patients are traditionally ostracised through no fault of their own, often resulting in their turning to crime. Your dollars have helped NGO partner Udyog Dham teach these children vocational skills and literacy. Udyog Dham will continue giving these children support to find jobs.

Neglected slum female students and their mothers have learned sewing and vocational skills to help them find employment. Your dollars have been assisting Swa-Roop Wardhini provide education on nutrition, family planning and general hygiene. These women will later volunteer to share the benefits of this training with others from a similar background. The work will go on even after MSSO assistance stops.

Mentally Challenged children have been trained to make files on their MSSO funded file making machine. They also make doormats and greeting cards and engage in other craft work. Our partner Indrayani Manovikas Sanstha needed only the expenses required to get established.


A Work Centre in Nasik for Destitute Women
provided training to more than 150 women in shoemaking, textile and packaging work. Your donations to MSSO helped Mahila Hakka Saurakshan Samiti in construction and initial operation of a work centre accomplish this task. With income from their activities, they will keep going on their own without external asistance.



MSSO started the following new projects with matching funds from CIDA and Alberta Wild Rose Foundation.

The approval from CIDA, due to massive reorganization, took close to two years for three of these projects. Hanceforth, CIDA will not fund small projects as it used to under their old Prairie Decentralized Support Program (PDSP).

Rehabilitation of Devdasi Prostitutes who are dedicated to the goddess Yallamma when they are teenagers: After dedication, a class of prostitues is created by vested interests in the society under the garb of this Devdasi system. Utthan works for rehabilitation of Devdasi women. MSSO will help to extend the existing training program to include additional 50 women and their children. By law, the Devdasi system is banned but it continues secretly in villages of Karnataka and bordering districts of Maharashtra.


The Latur Earthquake is not new (1993), but your donations to MSSO have just begun to construct an oil extraction plant which will give long term employment to (mainly) female victims of the earthquake. The delay was partly due to CIDA reorganization and advice from our NGO partner Manavlok to wait until the dust settled so we could start a really effective rehabilitation project.


Rural Tribal Entrepreneurs are often people with great
ideas for making a living through self-employment.. They
just lack the means to get started. Our NGO partner Yusuf
Meherally Centre (YMC) recognized this. For more than 30
years, YMC has been promoting rural development. Your
generous donations have started village industries for tribal


Training rural midwives. MSSO is undertaking training of rural midwives in rural areas of Aurangabad and Dhule districts of Maharashtra. As in Canada, often urban girls with nursing training are not keen to work in rural areas. MSSO hopes to support two NGO partners who will select untrained village midwives, providing them training in primary health care for pregnant women, normal baby deliveries, care of newborns, and identifying and treating common communicable diseases. Having their roots in the rural communities, these midwives will be less likely to be lured away from their villages. Faculty members of Government Medical Colleges in the two districts have agreed to work with the NGOs in the training program. The idea was initiated by the Dean of the medical Faculty of North Maharashtra University. He has offered to direct the project on a voluntary basis. The size and capacity of the project will depend upon approval from the two granting agencies, CIDA and the Alberta Wild Rose Foundation.

Working with sister organizations is always a fulfilling experience. Maanaw Seva Association based in Edmonton, Alberta, sponsored some of our small projects. These projects, due to their small size, are supported only by the Alberta Wild Rose Foundation. For space consideration we have not included them in this newsletter. The Maharashtra Foundation is another sister organization which has offered a helping hand to our 'Science for Development' project. Any USA-based donors wishing to donate to this, or to any other MSSO work, may send donations through the Foundation with a request that they be forwarded to MSSO to support the project of their choice. Their address is:




Maharashtra Foundation PO Box 2287,
Church Street Station New York,
N.Y. 10008-2287 U.S.A.






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The purpose of development education is to create better understanding of people of the developing world. Development mobilizes human energies to promote both economic and social change, with justice and humanity as its ultimate goals.

Bageshree Vaze puts MSSO
Work on the Calgary Map

Hailing from Newfoundland with a Carleton degree in Journalism, Bageshree Vaze joined MSSO as development education co-ordinator. She is an accomplished Bharat-natyam dancer and enthusiastic advocate of development work. Braving the worst winter many of us in Calgary can remember, Bageshree took the Calgary community by storm with her energy, enthusiasm and talent. Travelling by bus and train - undaunted by the elements - she worked from her apartment and made tremendous strides into parts of the community which formerly had no idea about MSSO. With tremendous pride in her own Indian heritage, and in the cultural richness of India, Bageshree reached many Calgarians through her University of Calgary Radio program, interviewing such illustrious guests as David Suzuki and Ed Broadbent.
She also visited many schools and community groups in the Calgary area, seeking to co-operate with others involved in development. This was not easy, since the development community had practically disappeared between the time she was hired and the time she began her job. This was the result of massive cuts in CIDA's budget in 1995. Bageshree spoke of MSSO work and the culture of India on local community TV and participated in dance recitals to the joy of many Calgarians. Bageshree has left for Toronto to pursue employment in journalism. Thank you, Bageshree. You will be sorely missed, but not forgotten!



MSSO Heartfelt Thanks to Volunteers:

All of the following MSSO volunteers helped with fundraising activities, raising in excess of $18,000:

Ramesh and Vijay Aggarwal
Madhu, Satish and Angela Sehgal
Jivan, Siddhi and Samir Kayande
Kamalakar and Usha Joshi
Monica Juneja
Jagi and Nandini Singh
Ashok, Keerti and Suhas Kotecha
Dev and Pushpa Sharma
Dinker Thakore
Bhaskar Thankey
Uday and Uma Thakor
Eilis Hiebert
Rima Kar
Samir Roy
Jagannath and Raju Wani


Let us Explain the Tax Benefits ...
A donation does not merely reduce taxable income. It provides a direct credit against the amount of tax to be paid. On the surface, tax benefit appears to be 17c per dollar of donation below $250 and 29c per dollar above $250. These amounts relate only to the federal tax. The credit also applies to the Provincial tax. For Alberta, with a rate of 45.5% of the Federal tax, residents get additional credit of 7.735c, bringing the total credit to 24.735c per
dollar of donation below $250 and 42.195c per dollar thereafter. For Newfoundland residents, with a rate of 69% of the Federal tax, the respective credits are 28.73c and 49.0 Ic. Actual credits are slightly higher if you factor in surtax charged by the govern ments.
Still confused? Ask MSSO.




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A Printing Technology Facility in Dhule was established five years ago through an earmarked donation. The facility, situated in a district with a heavy concentration of tribal people, could handle only 10 students every year into a two year dipoma program. The number of applicants far exceeded the limit of 10 students. MSSO agreed to assist K.S. Wani Institute to extend the facility to double this enrolment. The Institute itself created 30 new jobs and works closely with the local printing industry. They also offer certificate courses in a variety of computer courses including DTP and accounting.


K.S. Wani Memorial Trust, Dhule, administers funds to a number of bodies, including the K.S. Wani Institute. In 1994, MSSO funded a Mobile Science Laboratory for rural students in Pune, Nasik and Latur districts.

Volunteer science teacher surrounded by rural students during a visit oj'MSSO'-supported mobile science laboratory.


Creating a Lasting Memory
ABC, in his will, left $10,000 for MSSO to help create a lasting memory of his father. MSSO, in consultation with his relatives, found a project conforming with CIDA guidelines. With matching funds, the amount grew four times to $40,000. The NGO partner in India accepted the condition of naming in memory of ABC's father the building which formed part of the project, The donation of $10,000, based on ABC's particular province of residence produced an approximate tax credit of $5,000. Thus the net cost of $5,000 to ABC's estate generated $40,000 for a worthy cause and created, simultaneously, a lasting memory of ABC's father. (Based upon a true event experienced by MSSO)


For further information about any project or MSSO work, please contact our office by mail, phone or fax. Thanks for reading this newsletter. Your donation makes MSSO work possible, while giving you a tax break. Thank you for your continued support!



Donations to MSSO are eligible for tax credit (charity registration No. 10765 4410 RR 0001). Donations and/or requests for MSSO videos may be sent to:




Maharashtra Seva Samiti Organization
4 Strathbury Circle SW
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T3H 1P7
Phone (403) 288-0048 Fax (403) 547-5471



From Dowry Tortures to Economic Independence

"I was burned, beaten, sick, terrified, unable to care for my frightened children," says 25-year-old Sheela. A neighbor heard her screams and rescued her when her in-laws set her on fire for not bringing enough dowry to the marriage. Sheela had been too ashamed to report her abuse to a doctor or to the police, afraid no one would believe her. Manila Hakka Saurakshan Samiti provided shelter, counselling and corrective surgery, restoring mobility in her upper arms and fingers. Sheela can now continue her nursing profession. She helps other abused women regain their health and dignity and become independent, after similar 'dowry death' attempts.

MSSO helps NGOs like Mahila Hakka Saurakshan Samiti and Manaswini (Manavlok) who have trained volunteers, including lawyers, doctors and social workers to help women like Sheela, shown here examining her healing arms.


Tailorin for Women in Bombay Slums

Asha patiently carries a pile of school uniforms she has been working on all day to Alok, who owns a nearby tailor's shop. Eighteen years old and the oldest of six children, Asha is a born organizer. She realizes the time and inconvenience involved in sending every stitch of clothes out to Alok's place. Paying to have buttonholes made before final inspection and delivery of the clothes she will eventually sell is an unnecessary bother in her difficult struggle to make a meager living. Imagine her excitement when MSSO provided a buttonhole machine to Sane Guruji Arogya Mandir - the tailoring school that Asha attended. Now she would be able to sew uniforms from start to finish. Asha makes the best uniforms anywhere and has been chosen to help others measure and cut and sew theirs better. She is now a fully-trained tailor and is much more employable.