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MSSO NEWS - 1997



Editor: Eilish Hiebert




CIDA Monitors MSSO Projects

Donors are naturally concerned about the proper use of the money they donate to charitable organizations. They want the NGO to be accountable for their donations. MSSO is well aware of this and regularly monitors the projects it funds. Mr. A.K. Gupte is a consultant based in Pune who works as our project monitoring officer in India. He visits our projects, monitors them and submits reports to MSSO from time to time. Dr. Wani, MSSO founder, makes sure every new NGO application is thoroughly screened: its personnel, track record, accountability and relationship with the local people. He visits projects himself; MSSO Board members, MSSO members and friends going to India round out this monitoring process by visiting projects in various stages of progress. These reports are incorporated into final reports MSSO submits to Alberta Wild Rose Foundation and CIDA.

Just as you, our donors, are concerned about use of your money, so is CIDA concerned about use of their monies which match your donations a on 2 to 1 scale. They make their own arrangements for monitoring CIDA-funded projects. In February 1997, Anne Banwell (CIDA Program Officer) monitored four MSSO projects in India.

She was impressed with the work carried out by NGOs in India. She observed that NGOs reach villages, hamlets or isolated communities which include urban squatters, urban ethnic or caste enclaves -- urban and rural poor who are just existing in a space they have taken to live in. The NGOs operate in these communities and are naturally very popular here. During her monitoring trip of India and Nepal, MSSO partner Manavlok is the only NGO Ms. Banwll met which specifically addresses the issue of domestic violence against women. The following is a summary of Anne Banwell's visit to MSSO projects.

Integrated Extension of Printing Institute (Dhule)

K.S. Wani Institute of Advanced Studies in Marathi received MSSO assistance to establish vocational training programs in modern printing technology. This is the first program of its kind functioning in the interior of


Maharashtra, away from big cities like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. "MSSO/CIDA funds have been used to purchase a variety of equipment needed to train students in modern printing methods. MSSO/CIDA are also funding the development of a botanical garden on donated land. The garden will have a variety of interesting species which could be visited by area school children.

Rehabilitation of Earthquake Victims
(Salegaon, Osmanabad)

Ms. Banwell had a meeting with 18 farmers from five villages around Salegaon, the project site of the MSSO/CIDA funded project administered by Manavlok. She heard first hand from these farmers why they belonged to Manavlok. They also described the assistance they received from Manavlok after the earthquake.

Anne Banwell with Manavlok Farmers in Salegaon

Training of Rural Health Workers (Dhadgaon, Dhule)

Marathi Vidnyan Parishad and K.S. Wani Memorial Trust are jointly administering this project. Ms. Banwell spent a day and a half with Dr. Solepure (the project coordinator) and others visiting various tribal hamlets around Dhadgaon and Akkalkuva in Dhule district, the government hospital and the government medical college. She realized how




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difficult it was to reach the tribal villages around Dhadgaon where the work is being carried out. It took 3.5 hours to reach the tribal village close to Dhule. A vehicle with four-wheel drive is a must to reach these villages. Some villages cannot be approached even by a dirt road. The aim of the project is "Tribal health in tribal hands." The project will train a group of tribal women who can serve as midwives, provide care to babies and children, and refer more serious problems to government clinics in tribal areas.

Ann Banwell at a polio prevention clinic in Dhule

Village Industries for Tribal Entrepreneurs (Tara)

Yusuf Meherally Centre (YMC), has a CIDA/MSSO funded training/production unit in "village industries" at Tara, Panvel. These trades include edible oil extraction, bakery, soap making, pottery, paper making, non-edible oil (neem tree seeds) extraction and compost making (both organic and vermicompost). The Director of YMC, Dr. G.G. Parikh, was a leader of the Socialist Party, and was jailed by the British in 1942, again in 1971 by Indira Gandhi when he fought against the state of emergency in India. The YMC vision is essentially Ghandhian, and holds that development should be oriented to villages, not urban areas. YMC defines sustainable rural development as micro-watershed development, along with organic farming, non-conventional energy, village industries, and marketing their manufactured items.

Your Donation Dollars Helped ...

Here are a few success strories outlining the impact of your donations. Two projects completed during 1997 used your donations, matched by CIDA dollars: 'Integrated Extension of Printing Institute, ' implemented by K.S. Wani Institute of Advanced Studies in Marathi and 'Vocational Training of Devdasi and Other Destitute Women' carred out by Utthan.

Printing Student Lands Skilled Position

The Institute hired Pravin, their own student, as a helper on their offset machine. He had finished only a short certificate


course (not a two year diploma) on Operation of Offset Machines. He had hardly completed 4 months with the Institute he was offered a job in a managerial position to run the entire operation of a newly started offset printing press in a nearby small city at a salary three times higher than the Institute was paying him! Surprisingly, Pravin was selected in spite of the fact that four other candidates appeared for the job interview who had higher qualifications than he had, having completed diploma courses at other institutions. When asked for the reasons behind Pravin's success, the Institute Director pointed out that the students of the Institute get more practical experience alongside theory. Consequently they fare better than others at job interviews. It was noted in the original proposal for this project that "the printing industry in the district is short of trained personnel." Pravin's experience provides glaring proof of this.

Hobby Turns into Business Venture

A group of 47 students completed a certificate course in screen printing as part of the Ford Foundation project of student integration run by Jaihind College. The students took the course as a hobby. Rekha, Asha and Pratima were among these 47 students. We did not expect any of these 47 students to take up screen printing as a career. Rekha, Asha and Pratima proved us wrong. To our surprise the three female students sought help from the Institute and set up their own business enterprise of screen printing. Their purely academic education at the college was not enough to provide them a source of earning. Their knowledge of screen printing, pursued as a hobby at the Institute, provided them with a source of employment.

From Desperation to Hope

Dilip graduated with a bachelor's degree from a local college. For more than a year after his graduation he had no job prospects. His parents thought that the time and money spent during four years of higher academic education was a sheer waste. Dilip happened to know about the six month screen printing course offered by the Institute. He decided to give it a try and successfully completed the course. His instructors at the Institute guided him to obtain a business loan through the Prime Minister's Job Creation Program, assured him of steady printing orders which were too small for the Institute to handle. With this assistance, Dilip has engaged his entire family in screen printing business.

Anne Banwell with Staff of Printing Institute in Dhule




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"Earn and Learn"

Deserving students who cannot afford to pay for a two year printing diploma program do not have to give up their dream for lack of funds. The overseas NGO partner provides an opportunity to such students by enrolling them into their "Earn and Learn" scheme. Samir and Prasad were keen to join the diploma course but were unable to pay their fees. The Institute offered them a part time job in its commercial printing division. The earnings from the job were more than enough to pay for their tuition fees as well as their living expenses during the education period. Just recently they completed their diploma. They secured jobs even before they finished their education Samir will be joining a large printing house in Mumbai (Bombay); Prasad will be employed in Nasik at a newly opened printing press.

With a tribal midwife in a village near Dhadgaon

Triumph of Women Boarn into Poverty

Dr. Bhimrao Gasti hails from a community branded as "criminal." He sacrificed his well paying job as a chemical engineer to devote full time to help Devdasi women. 'Devdasi' refers to women offered by their parents to the goddess Yallamma and deserted within the compound walls of a temple. They thus become orphans exploited in every way possible, some sexually. Subsequently many end up as prostitutes. Though banned by law, this tradition is practiced underground in back allies of several villages and towns. Dr. Gasti formed an NGO named Utthan (which means upliftment of downtrodden) to fight against this tradition and to rehabilitate these women. MSSO/CIDA funds helped Utthan to establish a work centre for these destitute women. The centre provides them vocational training leading, allowing them to be self supporting and lead a meaningful life with dignity. In his final report to MSSO Dr. Gasti provided the following success stories.

Tayavva (17) a daughter of a Devdasi has to do menial work as a house maid at a very meager pay of Rs. 30-35 a month. On completion of training she now earns Rs. 50-60 per day by stitching clothes. Since she does not have her own stitching machine she uses the one at Utthan. Consequntly, she and her mother are no longer forced to do menial work for low wages, and are now able to lead a respectable life.


Meenakshi Naik (19) could not continue her studies beyond grade IX as her father, a habitual drinker, was squandering all his earnings on drinking illicit liquor. After completing training in tailoring she is able to get work from a local tailoring shop. She is thus able to support her family, all obtaining a key position, also gaining self respect.

When Pournima Patil (18) lost her Devdasi mother,She had no one else to turn to. Utthan gave her shelter for two years and provided her training in tailoring. She is now able to earn her own living in tailoring; as well, she is continueing her schooling. With her recently completed examinations for Higher Secondary School Certificate (High School Diploma). Pournima is now one of the active volunteer workers of Utthan, helping others like herself.

Mangala Dukle (19) had nobody to take care of her. Her father is serving a 17 year prison term on murder charges. Utthan not only gave her shelter, counseling and training in tailoring but also found a match for her. Her marriage will be solemnized in near future.


"Three Faces of Tomorrow"
MSSO Success Stories on a Video!

We commissioned Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar to produce professional quality video on MSSO development work. Those who follow news from India will recall that the duo received several awards, nationally and internationally, for their recent Marathi film Dhoghi. Since then the film has been screened at several international film festivals. The duo also won several awards for their short films: Pani, Bai and Chakori. The MSSO features three success stories associated with three MSSO projects. Every effort will be made to persuade national TV and/or Cable channels to broadcast the video for their viewers across Canada. MSSO will also make it available for viewing to any interested persons or groups. Just contact our office.

Anne Banwell in the midst of instructors and nurses
( Tribal Midwife Training Project )




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MSSO President Dr. Wani (second from the right)
with Dhadgaon Tribal Family

Concert Tour Creatively Raised $10,000

Back in 1987, Dr. Jagannath Wani organized the premier North American concert tour of Dr. Ashwini Bhide - Deshpande and her accompanists Dr. Arvind Thatte and Mr.Subhash Kamat under the auspices of Raga-Mala Performing Arts of Canada. Mrs. Manik Bhide who accompanied the troupe also gave concerts in a few cities. Their entire travel itinerary was arranged on Air Canada flights from Mumbai (Bombay) to North America. The travel generated several thousand Aeroplan miles. Dr. Wani personally requested the members of the troupe to donate these miles to MSSO. Air Canada normally requires that the Aeroplan miles be used only by the immediate family members of the account holder. MSSO made an appeal to Air Canada.After exchanging several letters, they agreed to make an exception to the rule. As a result, the concert tour of the troupe retroactively raised more than $10,000 for MSSO. These miles will be used for travel related to MSSO work. MSSO sincerely appreciates the generosity of the quartet. Special thanks Air Canada.


(MSSO would greatly appreciate the donation of YOUR AEROPLAN MILES. These will be used for travel related to development work of MSSO. Please contact MSSO for procedural details).



MSSO is pleased to acknowledge assistance of the following in the production of MSSO News


3555 - 93 Street, Edmonton, AB. Canada T6E 6N6


#10, 3803 - 26th Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB. T3E 6V7


Canada-U.S. Free Trade
Agreement Benefits MSSO ...

Did you know that the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States of America can benefit Canadian Charities?. Without registering with IRS, Canadian charities like MSSO can receive donations from U.S. residents who have income from Canadian sources. Tax receipts issued by Canadian charities for such donations will provide tax benefits to the U.S. donors. To enhance the benefits of the Free Trade Agreement, Canadian charities can now register with IRS, providing tax receipts for donations received from U.S. residents even if they do not income from Canadian sources. In the latter case, however, the Canadian charity follow the IRS guidelines.

We welcome your comments on
this newsletter!


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

CIDA's Anne Banwell planting a tree in Dhule
Botanical Garden

"If you have come to help me
You are wasting your time.
But . . .
If you have come
Because your liberation is bound up with mine,
Then let us work . . .

By Lilla Watson, Australian Aboriginal woman