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MSSO Vision

§   Sustainable economic and social development of the less fortunate in India, leading to their independence from external assistance

MSSO Mission

§   Create long term partnership of Canadian donors and hardworking, selfless, grassroots social workers in India to build the future and respond promptly to emergencies

§   Enhance the value of donations by carefully selecting NGO partners and effectively managing development projects

§   Empower women to be equal partners in achievement of social justice and equitable development

§   Promote balance between development and environment 

Magsaysay Award

During the last week of February 2008, representatives of the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation visited the project site without declaring any connection of their visit to the nomination of MSSO partners Dr. Prakash and Dr. Mandakini Amte for the award. It was a pleasant surprise for all of us when the foundation announced on 31st July that Prakash & Mandakini Amte have been selected to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2008, the most prestigious award of its kind within the Asian countries. The award is dubbed as the Nobel Prize of Asia. It was formally bestowed upon the Amte couple on 31st August 2008 during a grand ceremony in Manila, Philippines.

Drs. Prakash and Mandakini Amte with Magsaysay Award
in front of Baba Amte's photo on the wall


Come one; come all

To Celebrate
MSSO Silver Jubilee !
Place: University Theatre, Univ. of Calgary, Calgary

Day & Date: Sunday, 28th June 2009
Time: 9:00 AM till 1:00 PM

RSVP before 28th May 2009 to


The idea of starting an organization such as MSSO was muted in our correspondence back in the latter part of 1983. The first formal meeting to sign the documents took place on 11th August 1984 in Toronto. MSSO was formally registered by Consumer and Corporate Affairs of Canada on 5th September 1984.
Back in 1984, when we founded MSSO, we could not visualize the extent of the growth of the organization in the next twenty five years. Our expectations were very modest. We had hoped for a maximum annual turnover in the vicinity of $10,000. This was based on the assumption that most of our donors, being salaried people, would not make sizable donations. Twenty four years later we find that our guess was far too modest; MSSO revenues at the end of 2007 exceeded half a million dollars.
As of 1st September 2008, MSSO has contributed more than four million dollars to help the less privileged in India. A major portion of this amount came from the two government agencies, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Alberta Agency for International Development (AAID), the predecessor of the Wild Rose Foundation (WRF).
We wish to take this opportunity to invite all our donors, supporters and well wishers to attend the silver jubilee celebration of MSSO on 28th June 2009.

CIDA's Evaluation Team Visits Hemalkasa
The CIDA team consisting of Roderick Haney (team leader), John David Comtois (environment specialist) and Mr. Sampath Kumar, from CIDA's India Post in New Delhi, visited the project site at Hemalkasa from 20th till 22nd February. Mrs. Jennifer Haney, (interested in public health), accompanied the team. She visited the hospital run by the partner, and watched video of mega surgery camp completed in January 2008.





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Rod spent a few hours inspecting the construction. John David looked into aspects of environment, including agriculture, sanitation and water sources. They visited classrooms and communicated with the students, the main beneficiaries. They also had discussions with the teachers. The team met past students who are successful doctors, veterinary surgeons, businessmen and others. It was a very fruitful discussion. The team was taken aback when the past students told that they cannot implement any government schemes due to threats from the rebels in the area.

Front: Mukta & Jagan Matkale, Prakash Amte, Jagannath Wani, Aparna Velankar, Chitra Phadke & Subash Gaitonde
Back: Datta Saraph, Jennifer Haney, Roderick Haney, Sampath Kumar, John David Comtois & Chandra Pai

It was a mere coincidence that five well wishers of the Lok Biradari Prakalpa happened to be visiting Hemalkasa at the same time. These included Datta Saraph, Chandra Pai, Aparna Velankar, Chitra Phadke and Subash Gaitonde. The presence of these well wishers made the CIDA Team's visit more enjoyable and lively.

Devrai in Multiple Languages

The movie Devrai, which won 15 awards, has been screened at several national and international film festivals. The movie was produced to create awareness about schizophrenia. The movie attracted the attention of the Ministry of External Affairs of India and got it subtitled in five languages - Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and English. The president of the Indian Psychiatric Society (Western Zone) has shown interest in getting it subtitled in the Gujarati language.

MSSO New Projects

Printing Diploma for Rural Youth: Shreewani Printing Institute in Dhule is the only educational institution imparting knowledge and training in printing technology to 40 students annually within the region of three districts - Dhule, Nandurbar and Jalgaon. The diploma program of the institute is recognized by North Maharashtra University. There is a shortage of trained, skilled personnel in the printing industry all over Maharashtra State. All the graduates of the school have been gainfully employed immediately after graduation. The project was initiated 19 years ago with partial funding from Alberta Aid for International Development (predecessor of the Wild Rose Foundation) and the Canadian International Development


Agency (CIDA). Partially funded by the matching funds from the Wild Rose Foundation, the first phase of the current project solved the problem of power shortage by relocating the operations to a special industrial zone where power supply is assured for 24 hours a day. The second phase of the project will assist in replacing requisite machinery consistent with modern printing technology. Financial assistance from MSSO will provide an opportunity for sustainability of the program.

Training of Tribal Athletes: Based on the performance criteria, eight talented tribal boys from the Narmada Ghati were identified by the State Government for special training at the Krida Prabodhini at Balewadi (Pune) and few other places in Maharashtra. Many of these boys are recipients of several medals at various competitions at the state and the national level. The State government bears all expenses for boarding, schooling and special training for various sports. However, certain expenses, although essential, are either not met or met only partially by the government. These include expenses for supplementary diet, fruits, special shoes (with spikes), sports kits and incidental expenses for participating in various events at the state level and other competitions held at different places. MSSO is providing financial support in meeting these parts of essential expenditures not met by State Government. The funds will be administered by the Naralkar Foundation, based in Pune.

Tribal athlete ready for javelin throw

School of Agriculture: Jnana Prabodhini, Solapur, (JPS) has earned the trust and confidence of the rural community around Harali on account of their contribution to significant progress in education and development of the region, which is drought-prone, arid, and underdeveloped. The area was devastated by a severe earthquake in 1993. The relationship between MSSO and JPS started in 1994 when MSSO provided assistance for rehabilitation of earthquake victims. In 2003, with matching funds from WRF, MSSO provided financial assistance for vocational training in fruit processing for rural women.




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Jnana Prabodhini Complex at Harali

 The current project was conceived on the basis of requests from 25 Village Councils (Gram panchayats) around the village of Harali to start a diploma course in agriculture. In view of these 25 requests, as well as the practical relevance of the agricultural school, JPS agreed to undertake the project. The project will bring about significant improvement in quality of life of poverty stricken farmers by eliminating the cycle of debt and suicide.
Since there was no necessary infrastructure for the agricultural school, JPS started the school with classes held in shifts in the classrooms of the existing conventional school. The agricultural school also needed its own separate laboratory related to agricultural topics such as soil testing, water testing, etc. As a stopgap solution, they started doubling the use of the science laboratory of the conventional school for this purpose. All this has created overcrowding. The residence facility for the new school was another problem to be tackled. JPS made makeshift arrangements to convert a warehouse for this purpose. This is far from being a safe and secure accommodation for the students in the new program. Added to these woes, the staff turnover is very high due to lack of staff quarters. The proposed construction component of the project will alleviate all of the above space problems by adding classrooms, dormitories, laboratories and staff quarters.

The day begins with a prayer and meditation

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has approved a three to one matching grant. Against the MSSO contribution of $123,280, CIDA will provide $384,591 in matching funds for direct expenses associates with the project. The first installment of the matching funds was received in the last week of August 2008. JPS thereafter immediately started the construction work. Two selfless social workers from JPS, Dr. Vasant Tamhankar and Dr. Swarnalata Bhishikar, will be coordinating


the project activities. They have devoted their lives to education and development of rural population in Maharashtra.

Variety of crops in 60 acres assigned for agricultural school

MSSO Projects in Progress

Bal Brahmachari Mission: The mission has been providing education to less privileged children from villages near Hardwar. The project will assist in construction of additional classrooms to avoid overcrowding of students. The project, co-sponsored by Maanaw Seva Association, is presently in a standstill position, due to some technical issues.
Nachiket Bal Vachanalay, established in 2004, now has 14 libraries, 5 in the city of Amravati and 9 in the surrounding rural area, reaching out to children in schools which are poorly equipped. These libraries are operating out of rented or donated rooms. Currently, they have 15,000 books and more than 3,000 children are using these libraries. Nachiket is in the process of establishing two branches in two villages, Chikhaldara and Melghat, in an exclusive tribal area. In January 2008, MSSO president visited five of these schools and met many student beneficiaries. He was amazed with the confidence of these students in describing the benefits they have been receiving from these libraries. This is an ongoing project.
Nachiket Children's Library has recently reached out to its youngest readers and started a reading program for children from infants to age five. Its purpose is to instill a love of reading from an early age and foster a home reading culture which is necessary for a child to succeed in school.


Preschool children getting exposed to story reading







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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

Education of Hemalkasa Tribals: MSSO NEWS 2006 contains more details about the project. The construction part of the project, a hostel for 250 tribal students has been completed and the students have moved into the new facility on 1st September 2008. The new residence facility will provide a safe and enabling environment for education and career development of Madia Gond students.


Spacious court yard

Wide passage


Projects Completed

Vision Restoration for Rural Tribe: MSSO provided assistance to Sharda Netralay, operated jointly by K.S. Wani Memorial Trust and Sundeep Foundation, for purchasing ophthalmic equipment and a fully equipped mobile van to provide on-site ophthalmic care to rural people. During the year ending 31st March 2008, the hospital performed 2314 surgeries of which 1410 (61%) were totally free for those patients who were subsisting on income below poverty line. In the previous year, there were 1428 surgeries of which 1003 (70%) were free. The increase in paid surgeries from 30% to 39% is a clear indication that paying patients are




coming in increasing numbers due to quality service provided by the hospital. This increasing income from the paying patients will make the charity program self sustainable. The OPD checkup per day increased to average of 52 from 30 in the previous year (an increase of 73%).

Manaswini Mahila Prakalpa: The project provided training to rural women in production and sale of food items needed for day to day use, and in designing and production of garments. 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.

Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan (BNGVN): The project has provided income generation activities to more than 1000 persons including women, youth and farmers. Formation of more than 300 small savings groups has eliminated unscrupulous money lenders from the region. This has eliminated farmers' suicides by providing an alternative to exorbitant interest rates charged by private money lenders.

Human Rights & Law Defenders (HRLD): In cooperation with Sahyog Trust, we undertook a project in an area not touched by many organizations. It is for the less fortunate victims of police brutality and of a lethargic justice system. We provided financial assistance to HRLD which operates under the direction of Advocate Asim Sarode and his team. As part of the project, they are helping the under-trials languishing in jails, due to lethargic justice system. During the project period, they got 84 under-trials released on either on bail or personal bond. Another 36 cases for bail and 29 cases for personal bond are still ongoing. They also got 12 wrongly convicted prisoners released from the jail. At least another 100 prisoners were given free legal consultations and help in expediting their meetings with family members.

Besides helping under-trials and other prisoners, HRLD also undertook to help 33 women to get them protection from domestic violence, represented 8 women in divorce proceedings and provided free consultation to 25 women in legal proceedings.

HRLD are now in the process of producing an awareness documentary to encourage lawyers to get involved in socio-legal matters and help the less fortunate. Interested readers may find details on the activities of HRLD on the following website <>.

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

Phone: (403) 288-0048, email:
Visit <> for
Past issues of