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MSSO New Projects

Human Rights & Law Defenders (HRLD): We have undertaken a project in an area not touched by many organizations. It is for the less fortunate victims of police brutality and a lethargic justice system. We are providing financial assistance to Asim Sarode and his team who are battling to further the cause of these less fortunate. Here are some examples (1) Justice for Under-trials: - Telagi, now under trial, made headlines for defrauding the government of billions of rupees selling fake stamp papers. Along with Telagi, servants at his house were also imprisoned as part of the Telagi team. These included sweepers, cooks, washer-man and other working class people who were the sole bread winners in their respective families living hand to mouth. It is highly unlikely that any of them were party to the crimes committed by Telagai. They were languishing in the jail and could not afford to pay for any legal assistance. Even if they were convicted, they were in the jail for a period longer than a possible sentence of a jail term. Asim Sarode's HRLD team took up their case and got them released. (2) Discrimination against HIV victims: - Many HIV victims are treated as outcasts, fired from the jobs or driven out of the house. HRLD has taken up the cause of many such victims and obtained justice for them. (3) Police Brutality: A police officer, Iqbal Bargir, committed suicide and left a note indicating that at the behest of his superiors he was compelled to frame several innocent people for crimes they did not commit. It included the name of Armungam, a pavement dweller, who was in jail for the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl child which he never committed. When HRLD learned about the plight of Armungam, they took up the matter, got him released and rehabilitated him by finding a job for him. In the intervening period till then Armungam had been languishing in the jail for eleven and half years. The State has appealed in the Supreme Court against the Release Order, while HRLD has filed a petition in the Mumbai High Court claiming compensation and payment of damages to Armungam. There are many such cases. For details visit <>.


Nachiket Bal Vachanalay, established in 2004, provides books to over 1000 disadvantaged school children in Amravati and surrounding rural areas in Maharashtra. Nachiket now has 10 libraries operating out of rented or donated rooms, reaching out to children in schools which are poorly equipped. These librariesare run as learning resource centers.

Inspiring a love of reading

Each library has an excellent selection of books and reference material. Nachiket aims to establish a network of library services throughout the Amravati district to ensure that books are available free of charge to all children.

Reading promotes independent thinking, self respect, and confidence amongst the children. There is also compelling evidence that reading skills improve comprehension, writing ability and vocabulary. Nachiket believes that all children have the right to realize their full potential and that instilling a love of reading will lead them on that path. Every dollar you donate will buy a book that will inspire a child. Your donation will help to equip children with better education.
Bal Brahmachari Mission: The mission provides education to less privileged children around Hardwar. The project will assist in construction of classrooms to avoid overcrowding. The project is co-sponsored by Maanaw Seva Association.


MSSO gratefully acknowledges assistance of the following in the production of MSSO News



Canadian International Development Agency
200 Promenade du Portage, Hull, Que., Canada K1A 0G4



Polyphase Engineered Controls Ltd.
3555 - 93 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6E 6N6





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Manaswini Mahila Prakalpa: This is part of Manavlok activities supported by MSSO. The project is to provide assistance in forming small credit unions of women and to train them according to their aptitude (a) in production and sale of food items needed for day to day use, (b) in designing and production of garments and (c) in computer literacy. The necessary equipment for the training was purchased from the funds provided by MSSO. The project has provided income generation activities to more than 100 women in Ambejogai and surrounding areas.


MSSO Projects in Progress

Education of Hemalkasa Tribals: The project is located in Hemalkasa under the supervision of Drs Prakash and Manda Amte. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has approved a three to one matching grant. Against the MSSO contribution of $94,750, CIDA will provide $304,028 in matching funds for direct expenses associated with the project. The first installment of the matching funds was received in the last week of March 2007. The construction of the hostel for 250 tribal students has already started. MSSO NEWS 2006 contains additional project details. Drs Prakash and Manda Amte toured North America for a period of two months beginning 14th June till 14th August. The funding for the visit was included as part of the project. In Canada they visited six cities - Toronto, Saskatoon, Calgary, Kelowna, Vancouver and Edmonton. Fourteen cities in U.S.A. also invited them to make presentations of their work in the respective cities. The impact of their presentations is well expressed in the following response from a donor in Orlando.

Impact of Prakash and Manda Amte Visit
"Even to be in the presence of such human beings, so selfless, so down to earth and with so much compassion makes me feel worthless. The least I could have done is to donate what I did. The Amte family has put their lives into this work; selflessness of this sort is unparalleled. The pleasure was totally mine and I thank you for making this happen."

An attendee from Orlando, FL

At the BMM 2007 Convention

BMM 2007, the biennial convention of Brihan Maharashtra Mandal (BMM) of North America, was taking place during the Amte visit period on 29th, 30th June and 1st July in Seattle. Jagdish Vasudev, BMM President, extended an invitation to Prakash and Manda to address more than 2600 delegates attending the convention. Since the quiet and unassuming couple, Prakash and Manda Amte, do not like to give speeches, we arranged for Sudhir Gadgil to conduct an interview on 1st July 2007. Using very brief questions, Sudhir elicited Amtes' story of improving living conditions of the


local tribes deep in the forests of the remote isolated region of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. They have been providing medical care to more than 40,000 tribal people every year, as well as education to hundreds of their kids, some of whom have become medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, veterinarians and professionals in variety of disciplines. It was a very touching, and moving presentation.

Wealth! If you have it, enjoy, give and share! Don't accumulate! Remember, others rob the bees of the honey they accumulate!

A Sanskrit verse

Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan (BNGVN): Using computer and some technical equipment purchased from the MSSO assistance, BNGVN has provided technical education to 90 students to learn fabrication, electrical wiring, food processing, and poultry. Close to 300 students, 100 of them women, have acquired computer skills, such as internet browsing, email and word processing.
In Parola sub-district BNGVN formed close to 300 small credit unions which together have a total of Rs.200000 in monthly savings collection. The outstanding loan amount exceeds Rs.1,000,000. The rate of loan recovery is 100%. The work is being extended to surrounding districts. In Dhule district BNGVN has recently formed close to

BNGVN women members at work

1000 groups which will distribute loans to members for purchasing 12000 milking animals. Work is underway to form additional groups in the slum areas of Dhule city and in the tribal area of Nandurbar district.

BNGVN has eliminated suicides of farmers who are heavily burdened with debt by providing an alternative to exorbitant interest rates charged by private money lenders. Using a revolving loan fund of Rs.500000, 70 farmers were provided loans to purchase seeds and fertilizers. After harvesting crops, 100% of the farmers not only repaid their loans but also saved money to form their own credit unions, which provide soft loans for children's education, marriages and health. The total holdings of their credit unions now exceed Rs.200000. Within a period of two years these self-help groups will be strong enough and the farmers will not need to borrow from the revolving fund, which then can be utilized to replicate the initiative in the nearby area.

Explaining benefits of small credit union




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A Government scheme of subsidizing Below Poverty Line (BPL) families does not encourage them to join work force but leads them to mentality of free-loading. Formation of self-help groups has created confidence and have made them self supporting. BNGVN formed a self-help group of close to 75 BPL families; loaned them money to purchase milking animals and start their own dairy which deducts the loan repayment installment whenever a payment is made for the milk delivered to the dairy. Farmers in the area provide fodder for the milking animals. The dairy recently purchased a three wheeler vehicle for milk collection.
Four hundred women from the village of Bahadarpur and the surrounding areas are busy in doing embroidery, making quilts and painting on readymade clothing. This handmade work is marketed not only in big cities of Maharashtra but also in different countries around the world. This has helped village women to become economically strong.

Visit of Australian Annie Godfrey to help marketing

BNGVN has also created a trading group of 25 women who purchase seasonal products as a group from the district place to sell these in nearby 150 villages. Bulk buying has increased their profit margin from Rs.50 to 250 per day.

Fully equipped ophthalmic mobile van

Vision Restoration for Rural Tribe: MSSO provided assistance to Sharda Netralay, operated jointly by the K.S. Wani Memorial Trust and the Sundeep Foundation, for purchasing ophthalmic equipment and a fully

equipped mobile van to provide on-site ophthalmic care to rural people. More than 1422 rural people have benefited from this service since the start of the mobile clinic.

Thirteen month old Mayur was blind since birth. He entered this world with cataracts in both eyes. After a successful surgery his vision was fully restored. It was a pleasure watching Mayur running with joy in the hospital corridors.

As of 31st August 2007, the partners have provided 3318 free ophthalmic surgeries. The newly purchased specialized treatment equipment for the hospital was used to treat many patients, who otherwise would have had to travel to big cities


like Mumbai or Pune. The program of free ophthalmic checkups for school children is progressing very slowly due to sheer number of schools and the huge number of children in each school. Additional information about the ophthalmic hospital is available at: <>

Sindhubai, a 25 year old woman, living in a village 25 km away from our hospital, looked like a 10 year old due to her malnourished state. She had mature cataracts in both eyes and she couldn't move around. Out of frustration, she had stopped eating and her hemoglobin had dropped to 2 (normal level is between 12 and 15). She was taken to many private hospitals for her ophthalmic treatment; but none wanted to operate due to low level of hemoglobin. She was kept in our hospital for a week under the supervision of an internal medicine specialist and was given blood transfusions to raise the level of her hemoglobin. Our hospital team then operated on her cataracts one at a time, with a gap of two days in between the two surgeries on two eyes. She now has recovered from her blindness and her physical condition also has improved. A month later she was examined by our mobile clinic team during a visit to her village. She is now a fully functional happy person in good health.

Heartfelt Thanks

Jivan Kayande organized the following team of volunteers to help MSSO in its fundraising activity for two days on 24th and 25th February 2007. The proceeds from this event will be utilized for creating a movie on awareness about the Right to Information Act in India.

Kumud Acharya

Deepak Aggarwal

Ramesh Aggarwal

Sandhya Bagwe

Nischala Bhuwanee

Krishna Bukka

Jim Capp

Niru Channan

Krishan Chawla

Rohit Desai

Balwant Gandhi

Nilay Garge

Jyoti Jani

Suresh Jani

Bharat Jobunputra

Bhanubhai Joshi

Krishna Joshi

Devang Joshi

Krishan Katyal

Jivan Kayande

Poonam Kohli

Dhirubhai Ladwa

Vinod Marwaha

Renu Narang

Savita & Jitendra Patel

Rajanikant Patel

Jayesh Rao

Samir Roy

M.P. & Shyama Sharma

Preetam Sharma

Rahul Shrivastava

Maneesha Singh

Mahendra Thaker

Raghavendra Verma

Jagannath Wani


MSSO is grateful to the following charities for assistance in raising funds in various cities in U.S.A. and Canada.



Maharashtra Foundation, New Jersey
Adopt a Village, Inc., Los Angeles
Indians for Collective Action, San Jose
Marathi Mandal of Kansas City, Kansas
Marathi Bhashik Mandal, Toronto
Hindu Society of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
Hindu Society of Calgary
Okanagan College, Kelowna
Marathi Cultural Association of B.C., Vancouver
Maanaw Seva Association, Edmonton





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Eye camp beneficiaries waiting in queues


Projects Completed

Reu Wani Vidnyan Vihar: The science exploratory to assist less privileged students has been expanded and additional basic science equipment has been purchased.
Institute for Psychological Health (Thane): MSSO partner has acquired the necessary equipment and a vehicle for delivery of primary mental health care to the under-privileged in urban slums, rural hamlets and tribal locations.
Nari Samata Manch (Pune): MSSO partner has expanded its activities to assist the nomadic tribal 'Katkari' community through successful intervention to stop their harassment by corrupt government servants. The project is also providing them with education and vocational skills.
Development of Abandoned Children (Pune): The Society of Friends of Sasoon Hospital (SOFOSH) has installed renewable energy devices, a solar water heating system, biogas plant, tube-well and inverters in the newly constructed residence facility for orphaned children who have double disabilities, mental and physical.

Manju Karkare invites her friends to help MSSO
Manju distributed information about MSSO, along with self addressed stamped envelopes, to 90 friends and invited them to join her in assisting MSSO. More than 32 responded with a donation to MSSO. The total collected exceeded $3000 from the friends and relatives. Manju matched the donations one-to-one making the total fund raising to exceed $6000.

MSSO Project in Progress

Rehabilitation of Rural Physically Challenged: The project is providing vocational training in agriculture and food and fruit processing to the physically handicapped in the rural area of Konkan region of Maharashtra. A video, to create awareness and describe the work of the Helpers of the Handicapped, Kolhapur, is ready for public screening.


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


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




Visit for
(1) Past issues of MSSO NEWS and
(2) List of available videos, VCDs & DVDs




MSSO donors now have an option to fully earmark their donations specifically to the following three categories and have their own small scale stand alone project.
(1) Gift of Sight: You can decide to donate $50 for cataract surgery in one eye or $100 for both eyes. Details of the NGO organization that will receive your donation may be found at <>
(2) Gift of Justice: Your donation of $125 will support one month salary of a junior lawyer assisting in legal matters to help a less fortunate victim of justice system in India. Visit <> to know more about victims of police brutality and lethargic justice system.
(3) Gift of Education: A deserving less fortunate student can receive assistance in completing professional degree program from your donation of $150 annually for at least two years. Sakal India Foundation will administer this particular program. The foundation is one of the activities of Sakal Newspapers.
Matching Funds: The above three gifts will NOT receive matching funds from the Wild Rose Foundation or the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) since the amounts are too small to justify any paper work. If you would like your donations to multiply through matching funds from the above two agencies, you will need to select one of the major projects undertaken by MSSO and earmark your donation for that project.


Vocational Training in Interior Decoration (Dhule): The project, initiated in 2005 by the Women's Education Society in Dhule, was completed in August 2007. It will be now self-sustaining.
Kamalabai Kanya Shala (Dhule): The school expanded the toilet block facility to accommodate the needs of 5000 female students. This toilet expansion will improve hygiene of the students.


Non-profit Sector Contributes Billions to Economy
Based on a study conducted over seven years, 1997-2003, Statistics Canada concluded "Non-profit organizations not only play an important role in the well-being of Canadians, they also constitute an economic force," In 2003 alone the gross domestic product of the non-profit sector amounted to 7.1 per cent of the total economy or $80.3 billion in gross amount. The economic activity by the non-profit sector, with the average GDP growth rate of 6.4, outstripped the pace of the overall economy, with the corresponding rate of 5.6 per cent. The value of volunteer work was more important than individual donations to the non-profit sector. In certain areas, volunteers' contribution exceeded that of the paid workers.
The revenue for the core non-profit sector came from a variety of sources, including sales of goods and services, government transfers, membership fees and individual donations. The overall non-profit sector generated economic activity greater than that of the mining, oil and gas extraction, and retail industries. Even the small core sector consisting of smaller organizations, excluding hospitals, universities and colleges, was about twice the size of the agricultural industry and larger than the accommodation and food services industry in Canada.

Condensed from CBC News, 8th December 2006